Stranding Location: Edisto Island, SC
Arrival Date: 05/04/2015
Weight: 33.9 kg (~75 pounds)
This severely debilitated loggerhead was found washed ashore on the 700 block of Edisto Beach on a Monday morning. Edisto turtle team leader Brad Drawdy responded to the stranding call and found the turtle was extremely lethargic, thin, and covered with barnacles. Brad contacted the SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and they transported the sick turtle to our Sea Turtle Hospital, where our veterinarian and turtle crew were waiting to provide immediate treatment.
In-house blood work analysis allowed us to get a clearer picture of just how sick this turtle was. As suspected based on our initial physical exam, this animal’s condition was similar to what we normally see with debilitated loggerheads: an extremely low PCV of 4%, moderately low blood protein level of 2.4, and undetectable blood glucose. Fluids are always an important part of our initial treatment for severely debilitated sea turtles as they help to combat severe dehydration, and we can tailor our choice of fluids to also correct for any other deficiencies detected during blood work analysis. Dextrose was administered to combat hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Normosol-R was given to correct electrolyte depletion, and IV hetastarch was given to increase the volume of blood plasma for fluid circulation. In addition to these fluids, this loggerhead received antibiotics and vitamins before being placed on a supportive foam bed in 2” of water overnight.
14 May 2015: Named “Portia” in reference to her stranding location, this loggerhead is showing marked signs of improvement since her admission ten days ago. When offered a small piece of food for the first time the day after admission, Portia immediately ate! This was a promising sign, and her diet has slowly been increased to 1% of her body weight in fish daily. Although s/he is still being kept in a very shallow tank of filtered water, prognosis is good.
13 June 2015: Because of the massive influx of sick and injured turtles being admitted into the Sea Turtle Hospital, Portia, Sewee, Socastee and Miss Pine were transferred to the Karen Beasley Rescue and Rehabilitation Center to finish their rehabilitation. We are grateful to Jean Beasley and her team for helping us in such a busy time.