loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Stranding Location: Hamlin Creek, Isle of Palms, SC

Arrival Date: 06/12/2011

Age: juvenile

Weight: 33 kg (~73 lb)

Case History

This has been our busiest stranding season on record! This 27.44 kg (61 lb) loggerhead is the 14th sea turtle we’ve admitted in 2011. SCDNR transported Hamlin, who was found on a dock in Hamlin Creek, to our Sea Turtle Hospital on 12 June 2011. He was covered in barnacles and suffering from dermatitis, with oozing skin lesions and areas of tissue rot. His blood work was poor upon arrival and revealed Hamlin was severely hypoglycemic, anemic, and dehydrated.

Treatment

Skin scrapes of the soft tissues didn’t reveal anything relevant. Hamlin received IV hetastarch and dextrose upon arrival, which improved his activity level. Fluids, vitamins, and antibiotics were also administered, and Hamlin was placed in a fresh water bath temporarily to aid in the debridement of the barnacles covering his shell and soft tissues.

Updates

20 June 2011: Hamlin defecated a large amount of sea urchin spines and exoskeleton over the course of the first week he was with us. He has been eating slowly increasing amounts of mackerel and smelt well for us, and his activity level is slowly improving. We are hopeful this very sick turtle will recover.

10 July 2011: This turtle is now eating 4% of his body weight in healthy fish daily and is extremely spunky! His skin ulcers are covered with an odd white membrane, and he is shedding a lot of necrotic tissue, but his skin is beginning to heal. Hamlin eats like a champ and we are confident our treatment regime of iron injections and a healthy diet will reverse the severe anemia Hamlin is still suffering from.

28 August 2011: Hamlin is doing so well! He has gained weight and is no longer anemic. His skin is in its final healing stages (epithelialization), and he is strong and active.

26 December 2011: Hamlin is feisty and healthy, and his skin has healed beautifully. We are hopeful he will be released this spring!

Release Date

05/18/2012

Release Location

Isle of Palms County Park, SC

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