loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Stranding Location: Isle of Palms, SC

Arrival Date: 06/09/2010

Age: juvenile

Weight: 49.5 kg (109 lb)

Case History

This 39 kg debilitated loggerhead arrived at the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital around 9 p.m. Wednesday night from the Isle of Palms. The turtle, named Palmer, is emaciated and covered with tiny barnacles. Blood parameters are very low (PCV is ~7) but not rock bottom as we see in some animals. Palmer was lethargic upon arrival with a heart rate of 14 bpm, but activity level and heart rate improved somewhat following IV and SQ fluid therapy.

Treatment

Palmer is on an intensive treatment regimen. S/he is receiving injections of antibiotics, vitamins, iron, and calcium; as well as daily fluid therapy. A freshwater bath is being utilized to noninvasively remove epibionts.

Updates

3 July 2010: Palmer remains lethargic, positively buoyant, and is showing minimal signs of improvement since being admitted. Her treatment regimen is intensive and includes various types of subcutaneous fluids, injections, and oral medications. On a positive note, Palmer began intermittently eating on her own on 21 June and is now consuming 1% of her body weight in food daily. However, her bloodwork is not showing the improvements we’d like to see yet.

7 August 2010: Palmer has finally begun showing signs of improvement over the last couple weeks. S/he is consistently eating 3% of her body weight in fish daily, s/he’s gained 3 kg, and recent bloodwork shows her PCV has increased to 9.5 (still low, but any improvement is welcome at this point). However, this turtle is still emaciated and floats on the surface of her tank most of the time.

25 October 2010: Palmer’s condition has improved greatly. Following months of oral supplements, recent blood work showed that Palmer’s iron level has returned to normal and his PCV is 26. Palmer will spend the winter recuperating and hopefully be a candidate for release next spring.

29 November 2010: Palmer is thriving; his PCV has reached 30! Check out our hospital blog for before and after pictures of Palmer; the improvement is astounding!

18 January 2011: Palmer’s blood work results today were excellent and s/he is currently being evaluated for a spring release.

7 May 2011: Good luck, Palmer!

Release Date

05/07/2011

Release Location

Isle of Palms County Park, SC

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