Keeping sea turtles healthy during rehab

Published March 01, 2011

In earlier posts, we introduced you to 11 Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that are currently undergoing rehabilitation at the Aquarium. The turtles continue to be treated for blood infections, pneumonias, and wounds associated with the cold-stunning event, but are responding very well to treatment. The turtles undergo weekly medical exams with our veterinary team. They are weighed, their blood values are checked, and they receive repeat radiographs (X-rays) to monitor their health.

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This group of turtles was the first to receive X-rays with our brand-new Fuji digital radiography machine! This new system provides our veterinary staff with better-quality films and is helping to reduce our environmental footprint.

Since being admitted in December, all of the turtles have gained a healthy amount of weight, and most of their wounds associated with the cold stunning have healed well. For example, turtle #24 was admitted with significant tissue damage to the area around the nostrils. Over the last few weeks, you can see that the tissue has healed completely thanks to routine medical treatment, proper diet, and excellent water quality.

 

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Water quality is an important factor associated with animal health that is often overlooked. The Aquarium has an in-house Water Quality Laboratory that is responsible for taking water samples and testing the water on a routine basis.  Needless to say, the staff stays very busy, because we work in a watery world filled with 2.2 million gallons of water!

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We’ll continue to keep you updated on the turtles' journey through rehab, and look forward to sharing some fun updates showing how we provide environmental enrichment for the animals during their time in rehab.

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