Sea Turtle Patient - Zoe

Sea Turtle Zoe

Species: Green Sea Turtle
(Chelonia mydas)

Stranding Date
: November 7, 2011
Stranding Location: Jupiter Island, Florida

Initial Weight
: 27.6 lbs.
Initial Weight: 29.7 lbs.

Injury: Motorcraft Injury, Propeller Damage


Admission Note:

Zoe is a juvenile green turtle that stranded with severe fractures to the carapace from an apparent boat propeller injury. There is extensive damage to the vertebrae and deformity of the spine. The turtle has several other stress fractures throughout the carapace and plastron. The radiographs also revealed sand in the esophagus most likely from the turtle struggling in the surf while stranding and swallowing sea water and sand. We are utilizing KCI’s negative pressure wound vacuum to remove infectious fluid and material from the wound and to promote healing. Zoe will also receive antibiotics, fluids, pain medication, vitamins and good nutrition.

Progress Notes:

4/11/2012 - We are deeply saddened to report that Zoe passed away on Wednesday, April 11th. Since arrival, Zoe had not eaten on her own. She has had two feeding tube surgically implanted over the course of her rehabilitation to replenish the lost nutrients, but she still had no interest in any food offered. A third attempt was made to insert a feeding tube on the 11th, but unfortunately she did not recover. Her post-mortem exam did not present anything abnormal that could contribute to the cause of death.

4/4/2012
- Zoe has been maintaining and average activity and continues to increase in strength, but still continues to eat very little ever week. This past week, Zoe’s palette expanders detached from her carapace and will remain off until further notice. The turtle will continue to receive calcium injections daily in addition to offering nutritional support.

3/23/2012 -
Zoe continues to maintain a good activity level and continues to gain strength!  Zoe has been passing fecal matter weekly, which is an indication that the turtle has been eating on its own every few days, though it’s only a small portion of food offered. Zoe’s plastron sores have been improving very well these past couple of weeks! The turtle will continue to receive calcium injections daily in addition to offering nutritional support.

3/16/2012 -
Zoe continues to maintain a good activity level and becomes increasingly strong every week!  Zoe has begun to finally eat on her own, though it may not be daily. Zoe’s food of choice: Green peppers! Green peppers provide a similar nutritional value to that of a Green sea turtles natural diet of sea grasses.  Zoe has been very persistent about not eating any food that we offer her, but the 1st day we offered her green peppers, she took it and ate about 4 good sized pieces! Although she won't eat daily, we have at least found a type of food that the turtle is willing to eat. Zoe’s plastron sores continue to heal. The turtle will continue to receive calcium injections daily in addition to offering nutritional support.

3/9/2012 -
Zoe has been maintaining a good activity level and becomes increasingly strong every week! Unfortunately the turtle has not yet begun to eat on its own and we will continue to monitor the turtle’s appetite.  Dr. Vargas’ team arrived earlier this week to remove some of the fixatures, as some were moving the scute and causing it to wrinkle where they were being contracted. Two contractors were placed over the open fracture in Zoe’s carapace in hopes they will continue to remain adhered to the shell and contract the bone to slowly close up the space. The fixatures will be tightened once every other day to do so. Zoe’s plastron sores continue to heal slowly. The turtle continues to receive calcium injections daily in addition to offering nutritional support.

3/2/2012 -
Zoe’s activity level continues to improve, but the turtle still has yet to eat on its own. Most of Zoe’s fixtures continue to remain intact and are being turned once a day to help reduce the gap in its carapace. Dr. Vargas and his team will be returning next week to reapply some of the loosened fixtures. Zoe’s plastron sores continue to heal slowly and the turtle continues to receive calcium injections daily in addition to offering nutritional support.

2/24/2012 -
Zoe’s activity level continues to improve. The turtle’s feeding tube was removed and will be offered food to try and entice the turtle to eat. Zoe’s fixtures continue to remain intact and are being turned once a day to help reduce the gap in its carapace. Zoe’s plastron sores are beginning to heal with the help of antibiotics. The turtle will continue its series of antibiotics every 48 hours.

2/15/2012 -
Zoe’s activity level continues to improve. Zoe continues to be tube fed, now with pureed squid and tuna, and will continue to be tube fed until the turtle starts to eat a large, consistent amount of food daily.  Zoe’s fixtures still remain intact and are being turned once a day to help reduce the gap in its carapace. The turtle’s culture of its plastron wounds was received and the turtle has a bacterial infection, but continues to be on multiple antibiotics every 48 hours.

2/8/2012 -
Zoe’s activity level continues to improve and continues to eat small amounts of food every so often. Zoe continues to be tube fed and will be until the turtle starts to eat a large, consistent amount of food daily.  Recently, we noticed two large sores on the turtle’s plastron which we took a culture of and are waiting for the results. Zoe continues to be on multiple antibiotics daily.

1/23/2012 -
Zoe’s activity level continues to improve and continues to eat small amounts of food every so often. Zoe continues to be fed A/D prescription dog and cat food, with an enzyme to help digest the food, twice daily until the turtle eats on its own consistently.  Zoe’s bloodwork results showed a persistent high white blood cell count which indicates infection, so the turtle has started a new series of antibiotic injections given every 72 hours.

1/16/2012 -
 
Zoe’s activity level continues to improve and has shown signs of interest in food given. Zoe is back to being tube fed two times per day. We discontinued the V.A.C and have seen great improvements in the fractured areas. We will continue to offer food alongside of the tubing in hopes that Zoe starts to eat more food on its own.

1/9/2012 -
Zoe’s activity level continues to improve, but still has no interest in any fish given. Zoe is now being tube fed three times a day because inadequate weight gain. The turtle is continuing to receive gastrointestinal medication with the tube feeding. Zoe also continues to use the V.A.C therapy to help promote healing in the injured areas.

1/4/2012 -
Zoe’s activity level continues to improve, but still has no interest in any fish given. The turtle continues to be tube fed A/D prescription dog and cat food twice daily, mixed with an antibiotic and gastrointestinal medication to help aid its digestion through the feeding tube. Zoe also continues to use the V.A.C. therapy to help promote healing in the injured areas.

12/28/2011 - Zoe’s activity level has greatly improved, but still has no interest in any fish given. The turtle continues to be tube fed with A/D prescription dog and cat food twice daily, mixed with an antibiotic and gastrointestinal medication to help aid its digestion. Zoe also continues to use the V.A.C therapy to help promote healing in the injured areas.

12/21/2011 -
We continue to flush and clean Zoe’s wounds and reapply new bandages with the negative pressure wound vacuum as needed.  The turtle’s activity level has greatly improved. We continue to skewer feed Zoe, but the turtle still has no interest in any food offered.  Zoe also had the feeding tube put back into place. The tube is surgically implanted into the turtle’s neck, down the esophagus and extends down into the stomach. Zoe will be fed A/D prescription dog and cat food twice daily and will be mixed with an antibiotic and gastrointestinal medication to help aid its digestion.

12/14/2011 -
We continue to flush and clean Zoe’s wounds and reapply new bandages with the negative pressure wound vacuum as needed.  The turtle’s activity level is steadily improving. We are still attempting to skewer feed Zoe, but unfortunately she has no interest in any food offered. Zoe’s feeding tube was also removed last week by Dr. Mettee, due to a blockage in the tube, and will be out until further notice.

12/7/2011 -
We continue to flush and clean Zoe’s wounds and reapply new bandages with the negative pressure wound vacuum as needed.  The turtle’s activity level is slowly improving and is still staying in the tank overnight. We are still attempting to skewer feed Zoe, but unfortunately she has no interest in any food offered. Zoe has had a feeding tube surgically implanted through its neck into the esophagus extending down into the stomach and is being fed A/D prescription dog and cat food mixed with antibiotics to keep fighting infection and help Zoe’s digestive system move food along properly.

11/30/2011 - We continue to flush and clean Zoe’s wounds and reapply new bandages for the negative pressure wound vacuum as needed.  The turtle is stronger in the water and is now able to stay in the tank overnight. We are attempting to assist feed Zoe multiple times a day but unfortunately at this point the turtle is showing no interest in food.  If Zoe’s appetite does not improve we will need to begin tube feeding the turtle to supply the nutrition needed for the healing process.  Zoe is receiving antibiotics with fluids and vitamin injections.

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