Eddie is a testament to the resiliency of sea turtles in the wild. During his physical exam, we noticed this juvenile green had been struck by a boat earlier this year but had healed quite well without medical intervention. With the exception of the flotation disorder, Eddie was in fairly good health when he was admitted into our hospital. However, there is a strong possibility that this turtle's current buoyancy problem is a complication resulting from this boat strike.
|The light-colored line on Eddie's shell (indicated by blue arrow) is healing tissue in the deepest part of the propeller strike.|
Luckily for Eddie, a barium study (performed in-house) and a CT scan donated by the Charleston Veterinary Referral Center have ruled out a complete bowel obstruction. However, we are still unsure what has caused the impaction, as x-rays do not show any foreign objects (certain objects, like plastics, are not visible in x-rays).
|Eddie was calm and cooperative during his CT scan thanks to a small dose of a mild sedative.|
Our current treatment regimen is focused on increasing the motility of the gut to encourage the impaction to pass naturally and, so far, Eddie has been passing fecals quite often! We have not found any foreign bodies in Eddie's fecals yet, and he still has a large amount of excess intestinal air that is causing him to bob around like a cork in his tank, but radiographs taken yesterday indicate he is improving. This is great news, as we'd like to avoid surgery to remove the impaction if at all possible.
|Eddie receives an enema to encourage his body to pass the contents of his intestinal tract.|
Although we are seeing encouraging signs during this initial phase of treatment, Eddie's prognosis is still guarded and surgery may become necessary. Come visit Eddie in our hospital and wish this spunky turtle well as he tries to recover from this severe intestinal obstruction!
|Eddie is looking forward to meeting you!|
Sea Turtle Biologist