Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Stranding Location: North Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 04/16/2018
Weight: 32 kg (70.5 pounds)
Hagrid has quite the rescue story! He was found by a couple visiting from Burlington, VT who went beach combing following a set of strong storms in the Lowcountry. Hoping to find some rare and unique shells, they got more than they bargained for! Hagrid was found around 2 am, and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) transporter Linda Mataya responded to the call, and met them on the beach at 3 am. Recognizing Hagrid had both debilitated turtle syndrome (DTS) and was cold stunned, Linda transported Hagrid to the South Carolina Aquarium where Sea Turtle Care Center staff (STCC) met his bright and early to admit this sick turtle.
Upon admit, Hagrid’s body temperature was in the upper 50s and his heart rate was extremely low- about 3 beats per minute. Knowing his body temperature was low ahead of time, we lowered the room temperature so that Hagrid did not warm up too quickly. A blood draw was taken to better access his critical condition. Blood work results indicated dehydration, so fluid therapy was started. Hetastarch was administered intravenously to help pull the fluids into the vascular space so that they can be properly circulated throughout the body. Hagrid was also started on antibiotics, and calcium injections to help replenish the calcium lost due to debilitation. Hagrid was covered in a heavy epibiota load, and algae covered the top of his head, face and front flippers which made his look “hairy”. Once stabilized, Hagrid’s heart rate improved slightly, and he was placed in a waterbed made of foam and shallow low-salinity water to rest comfortably. Hagrid is the first DTS patient to be admitted this year.
April 17, 2018: The day after admit, Hagrid’s heart rate improved, and he received more subcutaneous (under the skin) fluids. Hagrid was taken down to the basement to get intensive care and placed in a tank with very shallow water. Hagrid perked up immediately and slowly swam around the tank! Hagrid’s prognosis is guarded until further diagnostics can be performed, but he is hanging in there!
May 15, 2018: Hagrid has finished his course of antibiotics and now in a full-depth tank! He is still getting diet increases but has gained about 8 lbs since he was admitted. Hagrid still has a lot of weight left to gain but is on the up and up in terms of rehabilitation.