Green Sea Turtle(Chelonia mydas)
Stranding Location: South Beach Marina, Sea Pines, Hilton Head Island, SC
Stranding Date: 12/9/2017
Weight: 2.55 kg (5.5 pounds)
Anemone was found floating at the surface of the water by a boat captain who was fishing near South Beach Marina on Hilton Head Island. When South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) responded to the call, Anemone’s body temperature was a chilly 51ᵒF and he was cold stunned. SCDNR’s Kacie Ferguson transported this cold little green to the Care Center for treatment.
Once Anemone’s low body temperature was communicated us, we instantly lowered the temperature in our medical facility. As with hypothermia in humans, when sea turtles are cold stunned their body temperatures must be warmed up slowly. Upon arrival, Anemone received a physical exam, radiographs and a blood draw. Anemone’s blood work was relatively normal but indicated that he was dehydrated and radiographs look good as well. He was started on antibiotics and received fluids subcutaneously (under the skin). Anemone was left resting comfortably on foam in our medical facility overnight.
December 14, 2017: Anemone has been doing really well in a shallow water tank. We have offered food, but so far he has shown no interest. We will continue to monitor him closely but we are hopeful for a speedy recovery!
January 15, 2018: Anemone continues to have no interest in food and is being tube fed to provide nutritional support. Anemone has received a contrast study, radiographs and multiple CTs to make sure that there is no impaction present somewhere in her gastrointestinal tract. Anemone’s fecal showed that she has a very dangerous intestinal parasite called Caryospora, which may be contributing to her lack of appetite so we are treating her for that as well.