After a few anxious days we were able to get confirmation today that the lesions on Dusty's tailstock are healing well. Dusty has been keeping away from the White Strand and other beaches this week during the stormy weather but had been seen surfing the big waves off the nearby headlands, so we suspected she was not too sick after all. Ute Margreff, who probably has more experience of interactive dolphins than the rest of us put together, has been keeping a look-out for Dusty and today was able to join her in the water when the dolphin briefly came into the beach this afternoon. Ute reports that the angry redness of the erupted sores has subsided and that they are healing over nicely with new white tissue. Dusty herself was full of her usual vigour and was very playful and keen to interact. Ute could see no difference in her behaviour from before the alarm.
Our provisional guess is that this was some sort of bacterial infection, although we have no idea of the cause. As snorkellers and divers will attest, cuts and wounds heal up much faster after immersion in salt water, and nature's cure seems to be working also in Dusty's case.
We have also heard that several well-meaning but naive people have been trying to get hold of vets who could fly down to Clare to "save" Dusty. If this happened it is likely they would try to inject the dolphin with broad spectrum antibiotics, despite the facts that we don't know what the cause of the disease is or was, that there are no antibiotics specifically designed for cetacean use and in any case this type of treatment is well known to be counter productive by weakening the body's own immune system and creating resistance. Hopefully the word will now get around that this will not be necessary!
Luckily the seas are still too rough for most swimmers and Dusty is in any case keeping well away from the easy access points.