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Turtle Assistance Day 8

Aug 27 2010
by Daniel Gray, DVM

Hello everyone!

Below is the text for my Day 8 post. If you saw the previous post you can see that I’m having trouble with the software concerning how to post pictures in a non random fashion. I’ll post pictures for this post later when I iron out my computing inadequacies. Here is the text portion:

Today was a very productive day! We worked with many turtles today by doing a few treatments but we drew a lot of blood samples in preparation of sending out many of our turtles as we talked about yesterday. We drew blood to see their levels of hydrocarbons, their red cells, white cells, and blood chemistries. We weigh them and make sure they are growing, we measure their carapace (top shell) length and make sure they are big enough to send out. After treatments began, myself and Dr. Pelton were called away to necropsy (autopsy) a pair of dolphins. These dolphins were sadly found deceased while the search boats where out looking for turtles. The Audubon center is tasked with providing necropsies on these animals to see how they died (oil, pneumonia, parasites, etc.). Because of their size and complexity each dolphin took three of us about 3 hours each to perform the necropsies. Considering we have to wear protective gear and the building is warm and humid it was a very hot sweaty affair, not to mention smelly. Dolphins that have died out at sea do not exactly smell like nicely scented candles when being examined. Nevertheless we got the job done and have sent the samples off for analysis. After the dolphin necropsies were complete we turned in for the night to clean up and rest up. We start early tomorrow to prepare turtles for transport! Rumor has it we will soon catch the live dolphin we have currently and collect samples preparing for his release! This will be very exciting.

Today we feature the green turtle the second most numerous turtle we have residing with us. These turtles are the spunkiest and liveliest and give us the most problems when blood drawing and treating. The refuse to sit still making it very difficult, however when picked up they swing their back feet back and forth and look like they are dancing. We need that smile before we try to draw blood on the fidgety critters!

Here is the view of a Green turtle plastron

Here is the head first shot of a Green Turtle

Side view of a Green turtle

Top view of a Green turtle

Here is a Green Turtle with two black injuries to the plastron

Talk to you tomorrow.