Biscuit | South Carolina Aquarium

Biscuit

Apr 22

Biscuit

Green (Chelonia mydas)

Stranding Location: North Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 4/12/24
Age: Juvenile
Sex: Unknown
Weight: 5.36 kg (11.79 lbs)

Case History

This little green washed ashore in North Myrtle Beach lethargic, emaciated and debilitated. Based on the load of epibiota covering this turtle, it was evident that s/he had been sick for quite some time. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources received a phone call about the turtle and a permitted member of the North Myrtle Beach Turtle Team made sure that the animal was transported quickly and safely to the Aquarium!

Treatment

Upon arrival, we observed a very weak turtle. Biscuit was covered in a lot of epibiota and had lesions on all flippers. Diagnostic imaging showed that there is more damage than just visual to the flippers: One is dislocated, another is shorter than it should be and the areas are swollen. There is no way to know how this damage occurred.

At admit, Biscuit’s heart rate was steady and respirations were decent. Bloodwork further showed us how weak this turtle was, with very low glucose. We administered fluids, dextrose, vitamins, antibiotics and pain medication to help kickstart this turtle’s rehab. After all treatments were finished, we decided to see if this little green would do better in water. After observing Biscuit in shallow water, we determined that s/he was too weak to handle it, so we set Biscuit up in a wet dock overnight.

Updates

April 17, 2024: Over the last several days, we have seen Biscuit make good initial strides in recovery. We are starting to finally see an increase in glucose levels and energy. After a few days in a wet dock, Biscuit was promoted to a kiddie pool and is now doing well in shallow water in a tank! We started offering food and are happy to report that Biscuit has an appetite and has started eating as well. Here’s to hoping Biscuit continues in the right direction!

May 15, 2024: Since Biscuit has arrived, we’ve seen some improvements. This patient is doing well with tank depth increases and has started eating vitamins! We have seen that Biscuit prefers to eat lettuces over vegetables, such as peppers and zucchini. Overall, we’re happy with the progress that Biscuit has made thus far!

June 15, 2024: This last month Biscuit has shown some marked changes, with some unfortunate setbacks. This patient’s appetite drastically declined and we were not seeing much fecal matter in the tank. After some diagnostic images revealed a significant amount of backed up material in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, we revised our treatment plan to include more fluids for hydration and oral medications that treat GI issues. We have also performed a series of enemas to attempt to break up and flush out blockages. So far, the majority of the enemas have not resulted in much fecal material passing. This concerns us that there are more serious issues with the functionality of the colon and disease processes. We are continuing diagnostic imaging and expanding our medical plan to assess how to best treat Biscuit.

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