loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Stranding Location: Battery Creek in Beaufort, SC

Arrival Date: 05/30/2011

Age: juvenile

Weight: 45.6 kg (100 lb)

Case History

This 45.6 kg turtle was the last of three turtles (2 loggerheads and a diamondback terrapin) admitted to the Sea Turtle Hospital on Memorial Day. While the other two turtles were suffering from boat strike wounds, this loggerhead was found floating and unable to dive in Battery Creek in Beaufort. Both SCDNR and SCA staff and volunteers put in very long hours this holiday weekend to rescue South Carolina’s sick and injured turtles.

Treatment

Unlike the majority of turtles we treat, Beaufort was bright, alert, and responsive upon arrival. His heart rate was slightly depressed at 24 bpm (bradycardia), and blood work revealed his blood glucose was a bit low and his WBC was elevated (20,000). Beaufort also floats abnormally with his left side elevated (see picture) and he has lacerations on his cloaca (likely bite wounds). Radiographs taken 31 May showed food present in various parts of his GI tract and ruled out excessive gas (a good sign), so we began tube-feeding this feisty turtle mineral oil and administering enemas 1 June.

Updates

20 June 2011: Beaufort eats his small portion of mackerel eagerly each day. Simthicone treatment appears to have reduced the severity of the floating disorder a bit, but he still floats with his left side elevated and remains in shallow water. He is receiving enemas and has defecated a bit of blue crab hash. He is one feisty turtle!

20 July 2011: Beaufort is still afflicted with excess intestinal gas, and typically floats with his right side elevated. We have reinstated simethicone treatment and began conducting a barium study yesterday. On a good note, Beau’s attitude is good and he is able to pass small amounts of fecal material.

17 August 2011: Beau is ready to go home! This feisty turtle will be returned to the wild this Friday at 4:30 P.M. at the Isle of Palms County Park.

Release Date

08/19/2011

Release Location

Isle of Palms County Park, SC

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