WVI Turtle Team Back On the Road
During their trip to ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, at the end of February, our Turtle Team of vet Tania Monreal and vet nurses Matthew Rendle and Kirsty Dewhurst were able to advise on a wide range of clinical cases. Read on to find out more about how they were able to help Lilo, Purity, Peanut, Hermes, Doughnut, Lacta, Phoenix, Phoebe, Briklin, Celia and Cleopatra.
Here's little Lilo the green turtle being tube fed. It’s unusual to see a green turtle at ARCHELON, so our Turtle Team were particularly pleased to be able to help her during their recent visit. She came in with wounds on both sides of her head. The team were able to sort her out with subcutaneous fluids, analgesia and specialised nutrition and the news since their visit is that she’s doing really well.
A special thank you goes to Lafeber for providing the Emeraid supplement that has made a huge difference to Lilo.
This is Purity, who is having her head wound gently dressed by vet nurse Matthew Rendle, using medicinal honey. The honey is very effective for treating wounds as long as there is no exposed brain tissue(which needs to remain moist).
Sadly, many of the sea turtles coming into the rescue centre have suffered blunt trauma to the head, most likely inflicted by a minority of fishermen who see them as competition for their catch. But with good care and nursing they are often able to make a successful recovery, even when the brain has been exposed and we are very hopeful that Purity will make a good recovery.
The turtle team were delighted to hear from ARCHELON shortly after their visit that this small turtle, known as Peanut, had finally passed all of the fishing hook and line that she had ingested.
While they were at the rescue centre, vet Tania did her best to get hold of the hook using forceps, but with no success. It is possible though that the forceps might have helped dislodge it. We’ll never know for sure, but it is great news that Peanut is now doing well. She came in suffering from hypothermia and a lung infection back in December, as well as the ingested hook. The ARCHELON team have done a great job in nursing her back to health.
Hermes the loggerhead’s future is looking a whole lot brighter these days. When Hermes arrived at ARCHELON back in 2018 he was very weak and had to have weights attached to his carapace to help him float straight. Due to suspected trauma to his head and neck, he had such trouble swallowing that he simply wasn’t able to eat for months.
But thanks to a great joint effort between the WVI turtle team and the dedicated ARCHELON staff and volunteers, his long road to recovery is nearly over. He’s just waiting now for the sea to warm up before he can finally be released back to a life on the ocean waves.
The team were able to help with another seven turtles during their visit, including Phoenix who is suffering from oedema and weight loss, with blood smears revealing possible anaemia. For now, it’s a case of waiting for full blood test results before Matthew and Tania can advise on the next steps. Meanwhile, the team suspect loggerhead turtle Phoebe may have lost her sight as a result of a brain injury. The hope is that it will be possible to arrange a specialist ophthalmology consultation in the near future. In the meantime, the emphasis is on training her through touch and feel to know when a human carer is nearby, particularly as she needs to be hand fed. Another loggerhead, Briklin, has osteomyelitis of the left fore flipper. She was started on a course of antibiotics, and will have follow-up X-rays to determine whether amputation might be the best course of action in the long term.
From an inflamed intestinal tract, to buoyancy problems and liver issues, the team were able to help ARCHELON staff plan the care of these eleven turtles going forward. Matthew will be staying in close contact to provide on-going advice before his next in-person visit in the summer.
A huge thank you goes to Animal Friends Pet Insurance for funding the work of the WVI Turtle Team and helping turtles in trouble.