green (Chelonia mydas)
Stranding Location: Hilton Head, SC
Arrival Date: 12/15/2010
Weight: 5.52 kg (12.2 lb)
This 4.52 kg green was found cold-stunned on the beach at Hilton Head, a unique event as we typically don’t find cold-stunned sea turtles in South Carolina. Frosty was recovered from the beach in the early morning hours on 15 December following overnight low temperatures of 24 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blood work performed on arrival indicated this little green had very low ionized calcium levels. Initial treatment included fluids, calcium gluconate, vitamin B complex, and two separate antibiotics. Frosty’s physical exam revealed damage to the eyes due to the cold temperatures that required daily application of antibiotic eye ointment until 5 January 2011. Prognosis is guarded to poor.
9 January 2011: The tip of Frosty’s left front flipper suddenly turned white on 19 December 2010, indicative of frostbite damage to the tissues. Although we’ve been treating the flipper daily, the tissue has necrosed and the tips of the bones are exposed. While the damage isn’t progressing up the flipper, we have recently noticed milder damage to the right front flipper tip as well. Otherwise, Frosty is eating well and seems to be responding to treatment.
31 January 2011: Frosty is in excellent health based on his blood work values, and both front flipper tips are healing well.
Beachwalker County Park, Kiawah, SC