Updated: May 12
This bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was found deceased in the Beaufort River in Port Royal, SC. The animal was towed to land where a necropsy was conducted on site. This was determined to be an adult female.
Initial necropsy findings indicated congested lungs, aortic polyps, a thickened ventral wall, and the uterus was very dark and vascular indicating a recent pregnancy. Additional histology samples (i.e., tissue samples) were collected and sent to a trained histopathologist and veterinarian. Based on their findings, death was likely attributed to cardiac dysfunction based on myocardial fibrosis. Myocardial fibrosis is essentially an increased quantity of scar tissue in the heart which may be due to cardiac disease.