Abstract: A 1-y-old male harbor seal (Phoca vitulina concolor), identified by a flipper tag as an animal previously rehabilitated, was found stranded and was euthanized. Postmortem examination revealed a type III hiatal hernia, with the lower esophageal sphincter and approximately 80% of the stomach within the hernia sac. The stomach had an organoaxial volvulus. No ingesta were found in the animal's digestive tract, and the hernia likely contributed to this animal's stranding. During the animal's previous stay in a rehabilitation facility, it had undergone inhalation anesthesia, including intermittent positive pressure ventilation. This appears to be the first description of hiatal hernia in a phocid seal.
Key Words: hiatal hernia, pinniped, seal, harbor seal, Phoca vitulina concolor
Document Type: Research article
Page Numbers: 178-181