Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Stranding Location: Jarvis Creek near Hilton Head Island, SC
Arrival Date: March 8, 2017
Weight: 6.4 lbs
Similar to our last two admits this year, Crush was also found floating at the surface of the water and unable to dive. Michael Collins, Sea Turtle Technician for South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, safely transported this little green to us for treatment! Crush had a heavy epibiota load of sea squirts and barnacles on his/her carapace (top shell). Though Crush’s body temperature was normal, Crush was affected by the cold weather and colder water temperatures we have experienced off of SC’s coast the past few weeks.
At admit, Crush received a physical exam, radiographs and a blood draw. Bloodwork results indicated that Crush was very dehydrated and needed subcutaneous (under the skin) fluids and vitamins for rehydration. Crush was also started on a course of antibiotics to prevent any secondary infections as a result of a lowered immune system from cold-stunning. Radiographs also showed a humeral fracture to the left front flipper as well as a significant amount of gas present in the gastrointestinal tract. After triage, Crush was left in a waterbed with a small amount of water and lots of foam and closely monitored overnight.
March 15, 2017: Crush has been placed in tank with very shallow water and is floating with the left side of the body up – this is due the gas in the GI tract. Our staff has been administering fluids to help with hydration and s/he is receiving radiographs and antibiotic injections biweekly. We are reintroducing greens this week as well.
April 3, 2017: Crush is no longer listing to the right, and the water level has been raised to a full tank. Crush will receive his/her last dose of antibiotics this week and is eating both veggies and protein! Crush will continue to receive radiographs to monitor the healing on the fracture on the left front flipper. We are pleased to see how well Crush is progressing.
May 5, 2017: Crush is eating very well and shares his/her tank with BB-8, another green sea turtle patient. Crush recently had radiographs taken to assess the broken flipper. There has been no change in the fracture since admit. This is not unusual as it can take sea turtles many months to fully heal from a fracture. Often times it is difficult to assess the healing progress as radio-dense material (material that is dense enough to show up on an x-ray) filling in the fracture may not appear until for a few months. Otherwise Crush eats all of his/her fish and veggies and is in good body condition! You got it, dude!