Patient Updates

02/04/2021  Some boaters called in a report of a turtle swimming in uncoordinated circles at the top of the water. Staff of Sarasota Dolphin Research Program were out on the water and retrieved the animal and named it “Heath”. Upon admit at Mote, the animal had a physical exam and blood work. There is evidence of an older healing boat strike to the back of the animal’s carapace. Turtle is lethargic and has a heavy epibiota load indicating it may have been floating for quite some time. The animal’s blood glucose was very low, likely because it hasn’t been eating recently. Heath was adminitered dextrose intravenously, given subcutaneous fluids, and injectable antibiotics. Turtle is now in a rehab. tank in very shallow water.

02/06/2021  Heath is still very lethargic and has shown no interest in eating sea food, lettuce, or sea grass yet.

02/09/2021  Heath ate some squid today.

02/11/2021 Heath is eating all sea food offered and even ate some lettuce today! He is still being kept in shallow water because he is still positively buoyant.  

03/30/2021 Heath continues to have buoyancy issues. Weights were attached using boat epoxy to the back of turtle’s carapace to help achieve neutral buoyancy. Heath was moved to a large rehab. pool where the water depth can be increased significantly.

04/21/2021  Heath’s appetie decreased significantly so turtle was pulled for blood work and exam. Boat strike wounds continue to heal, but animal’s white blood cell count has increased, so started on an oral antibiotic. Also, cut back amount of food being offered to ensure animal isn’t becoming too satiated. Buoyancy issues are improved with the addition of weights attached to the carapace.

05/01/2021 Heath’s appetite is much improved. Continuing to slowly incrrease the depth of the large pool to monitor bouyancy.

05/29/2021 Heath continues to do well. The large rehab. tank is now at full depth and she is able to swim to the bottom even though one of the two weights fell off.

06/21/2021  Heath was released by Mote staff off a boat in the 10,000 Islands!