10/16/09 Pawley suddenly, but not unexpectedly, “died” in his tank this morning. After a long 10-15 minutes of CPR, we were able to resuscitate him to biting and minor flipper movement. It wasn’t a full recovery, but it was significant. I decided to conduct a coelomotomy surgery to attempt to remove the impaction. Intestinal inflammation was severe but we were unable to locate and remove the impaction. After surgery and some recovery time at the Aquarium, I brought the turtle home with me until his heart finally passed at 6:30 PM.
10/17/09 Necropsy answered our questions. Among other finds, the inflammation in the gut was the most severe I have seen in a living reptile. The complete intestinal obstruction was inaccessible by surgery and showed evidence of being weeks old. The short story is that 50% of the small intestine was damaged beyond repair. The little guy never had a chance.
Big thank you to everyone involved (SCUTE), especially the surgery crew who hung with me for 3 hours on Tuesday afternoon and DNR for putting up with my long necropsy last Wednesday.
Dr. Shane Boylan