Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My, what beautiful skin you have!

"Hamlin Creek," named for the creek behind the Isle of Palms where s/he was rescued, was admitted into the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rescue Program last summer suffering from a severe skin disease. Large areas of soft tissue on the flippers and neck were infected resulting in tissue loss. The heavy encrustation of tiny barnacles masked some of the skin ulcerations, but as the barnacles fell off and medications started working, the skin lesions became more apparent.

PHOTO: On the day of arrival, Hamlin Creek was covered in small barnacles. A close view of the soft tissue revealed skin lesions and tissue loss.

PHOTO: The white skin ulcerations on the left are indicative of antibiotics and external wound treatments taking effect. This photo was taken a month after admittance and is compared with a recent photograph on the right of Hamlin Creek. Notice the large grey patches where new skin has regenerated. You may also notice that the flipper appears a bit short and stubby - this is a result of the tissue loss on the tip and posterior edge of the flipper and occurred on all four flippers.

With a great deal to overcome including regeneration of tissue, poor bloodwork, and extreme lethargy, we are thrilled with the progress Hamlin Creek has made and believe she looks positively beautiful! To learn more details about this patient and the medical care, go to the main hospital webpage.

Kelly Thorvalson
Sea Turtle Rescue Program Manager