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Archie a green sea turtle

Name: Archie

Species: Green

Date admitted: May 11, 2018

Stranding location: Sebastian Inlet

Status: In treatment

Admission notes: Archie is a turtle we previously rehabilitated for a boat strike and FP and released in January 2017! As excited as we are to see her, it’s not good she’s back in rehab, this time due to a buoyancy issue.

 

UPDATES

May 18, 2020: Archie had a couple of sessions of stationary training. She is not fond of the new target, a red triangle. We were able to get her to respond to it a couple of times, where she touched the triangle and stayed still long enough for us to pass our hands over her carapace for a few seconds. We are hoping that, with time and patience, Archie will be comfortable enough to stay at the target while we do a quick “physical exam” to look at her flippers and body.

May 4, 2020: Archie has shown us her prowess with target training and now we will begin station training her. The goal behind station training is to allow her to be comfortable with staying in one spot and be touched for quick examinations.

April 20, 2020: Archie is a master at target training! We will soon be adding other elements to training such as using a clicker.

April 13, 2020: Archie has been spot-on the target for feeding time! This turtle has learned the triangle shape and is enthusiastic during feedings.

April 2, 2020: At first, Archie was hesitant about the target we use for target training, a yellow triangle. To associate positive reinforcement with it, we held the triangle in the water during her feeding time. Now we have taken the next step and just hold in the water and wait for her to come touch it with her nose. There was a lot of hesitancy from Archie at first, but we have successfully had a few sessions of great targeting.

March 30, 2020: In addition to target training, we plan on trying clicker training with Archie. Training will give this non-releasable turtle a variety of skills to learn and allow them to become more comfortable with feeding methods and veterinary care.

March 12, 2020: We are working on plans to start target training Archie! Any aquarium would be lucky to have this turtle already, but after she is trained to a target, she is going to be a hot ticket. Target training is great for both the turtle and their caregivers. It provides another type of enrichment for the turtle and is an easy way to feed, perform physical exams or (if needed) administer medications.

March 5, 2020: With much debate amongst veterinary staff, we concluded that Ms. Archie is not a suitable candidate for release. We presented Archie’s case to FWC and they agreed that her level of buoyancy and history of re-stranding deems her unreleasable. She will be placed on the FWC list of unreleasable turtles until an aquarium is found that is a suitable home for her. While we always aim to release our patients, we are thankful and excited that Archie will have another opportunity to thrive in an aquarium. Although we are unsure of which facility she will be going to, we have a good feeling that she will have familiar faces visiting her in her new home, as she has won us all over with her story, perseverance and unique personality.

February 10, 2020: We are still working on a good weight therapy for Ms. Archie. She is still continuously excited to eat and make a mess for the volunteers! This turtle comes out of her tank for 15 minutes three times per week to bask in the sun. We are hoping to improve her Vitamin D levels.

January 16, 2020: Archie spent most of today sporting her new weighted vest! We are still working on a good amount of weight, but she seems very willing and patient with us as we help her. This turtle did not panic and was very calm during the first trial (calm enough to swim down and nap!) She still needs the assistance of some of her EEDs to stay down, but her back end is now sitting lower. We can see her making small adjustments to maneuver with a weighted back end.

January 3, 2020: Archie came into the hospital yesterday for their quarterly radiographs and bloodwork. Measurements were also taken for this turtle’s weight therapy “suit”. We will begin sunning Archie for 15 minutes three times per week to increase their UV exposure.

December 20, 2019: Archie continues to do well and we are getting closer to trying weight therapy.

December 9, 2019: This turtle is settling back in after her three-week deep water trial at the Florida Aquarium. Video documentation and clinical observation will be reviewed by our veterinary team. A determination for this turtle’s ability to be released will be made in the near future.

December 2, 2019: Ms. Archie’s last updates from her working vacation showed that she was eating very well and still managing to rest on the bottom of the tank, back end up.

November 15, 2019: Ms. Archie is continuing her working vacation until November 26. Updates say that she is eating well (not surprisingly) and is still managing to rest on the bottom of the tank, back end up.

November 7, 2019: Ms. Archie is currently at the Florida Aquarium Dolphin and Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center and will stay there for three weeks. The goal of this trip is to gauge just how bad her buoyancy issue is and determine if it will keep her from being released one day. So far, the staff there has told us that she has been successfully sitting on the bottom of the tank with her back end still sticking up.

October 24, 2019: Ms. Archie is still a ham, loves her lettuce and keeps the volunteers busy!

October 17, 2019: Plans for Ms. Archie’s move are on hold for the time being.

October 7, 2019: Archie is doing well and we are still in communication with another institution in regards to a transfer.

September 26, 2019: We have started giving Archie “sun time” to help bring calcium levels back up. We move her to a different tank during the day that gets steady exposure to sunlight.

September 12, 2019: After a very long fight with osteomyelitis, the infected bone in Archie’s front flipper has finally healed! She is officially off all medications!

August 23, 2019: Archie’s potential next home is working out FP protocol to prepare for her transfer!

August 15, 2019: We continue to work on Archie’s next step in her rehabilitation journey at another facility.

August 1, 2019: Archie continues to be treated for osteomyelitis in her front flipper and is an excellent patient.

July 26, 2019: Archie was spotted with her floating butt fully on the bottom of the tank! She received an ice block enrichment but was not too impressed.

July 18, 2019: Archie continues to be a ball of fun and is in great spirits. We have seen a small amount of buoyancy come back after removing her from the GI medications.

July 15, 2019: We continue to look for a possible next home for this turtle.

July 5, 2019: We are still on the lookout for a possible next home for Archie.

June 21, 2019: We are looking at partnering with another facility to send Archie somewhere where she will be in a larger tank to observe her buoyancy issues.

June 13, 2019: This turtle came off her last GI medication, so we are continuing to monitor her buoyancy.

June 7, 2019: Ms. Archie came off of one more GI medication, so we are continuing to monitor her buoyancy. She is also back in the bigger FP tank now.

May 24, 2019: Archie continues to be the lovable goofball that she is. We have recently taken her off of one of her three GI medications to see if there will be any changes in buoyancy.

May 17, 2019: This turtle recently started doing playful “zoomies” around her tank; causing a ruckus is not abnormal for Archie!

May 9, 2019: We are still waiting for Ms. Archie to be clear of her osteomyelitis.

April 24, 2019: Archie’s last bloodwork and radiographs looked awesome. We are still waiting for this turtle to be clear of their osteomyelitis.

April 12, 2019: Ms. Archie was out for blood and radiographs this week and we hope to have those results back soon. This turtle has also been spending time in the smaller tank in hopes of receiving more sunlight.

April 4, 2019: We are still rotating Archie to a smaller pool during the day to get her some more sunlight.

March 28, 2019: Ms. Archie started an occasional rotation to a smaller pool during the day to get some more sunlight. We have a suspicion that her plastron inflammation could be due to lack of enough sunlight in her normal big pool. We will be gradually working her up to more and more sunlight to prevent sunburn.

March 21, 2019: Ms. Archie’s plastron is looking better after a few belly scrubs to knock off old tissue.

March 13, 2019: Ms. Archie just came out for bloodwork today, so we were able to get a good look at her. We noticed some dermatitis on her plastron that we will be cleaning with Chlorahex and honey. We think this might be due to the fact that her back end is buoyant and she cannot rub her belly on enrichments to sluff off the scutes on her stomach, which is causing some irritation.

February 21, 2019: Ms. Archie is always such a delight to work with. This turtle is really easy going and responds to treatments well. We are still waiting for their osteomyelitis to fully heal.

February 13, 2019: Ms. Archie continues to be her awesome little self: spunky, a great eater, always interested in her enrichment devices and great at taking her GI medications (it does help when they’re administered in yummy pieces of fish.) She was pulled for blood evaluations this week and everything seems to be heading in the right direction!

February 6, 2019: Ms. Archie is eating well and continues to utilize her enrichment devices.

January 29, 2019: This turtle continues to heal from osteomyelitis. She is eating well and enjoying all of her enrichment opportunities!

January 23, 2019: Ms. Archie is still eating and using the enrichment in her tank. She continues to heal from osteomyelitis as well.

January 17, 2019: Ms. Archie was recently out for bloodwork and x-rays, and we hope to have those results soon. As always, this curious turtle loves utilizing her enrichment devices. She is also eating well!

January 2, 2019: Ms. Archie loves to use her enrichment devices. We utilize mats that hold her lettuce along the bottom of the pool to encourage her to dive and work on her buoyancy.

January 2, 2019: Ms. Archie continues to be her spunky little self. She is always active, a great eater and constantly shows off her gastrointestinal motility. Ms. Archie is still combatting buoyancy issues, but she is yet to give up on this battle.

December 27, 2018: Ms. Archie is constantly showing off her capabilities by using her tank enrichments to stay submerged. She will continue on GI medications to help combat her floating backside.

December 21, 2018: Small improvements have been made on this turtle’s buoyancy this week! Ms. Archie was observed on multiple occasions laying on the bottom of the pool. Although her backside was stuck up, her front half was resting on the bottom without struggling. Keep it up, girl!

December 10, 2018: Veterinary staff is still optimistic that Ms. Archie could be released once her osteomyelitis has cleared up. Despite her ailment, she continues to show off her swimming skills, zooming around the tank like a NASCAR racer to catch her dandelion greens.

November 29, 2018: Ms. Archie is still working on her buoyancy and is using her PVC enrichment devices. Though we are still treating her osteomyelitis, our veterinary staff is optimistic that she could be released once this has cleared up.

November 15, 2018: Ms. Archie is now in a deeper pool to work on her buoyancy. This turtle received an amazing new enrichment device to help her with this issue that includes weighted shelves for her to wedge under.

November 9, 2018: So far, Ms. Archie seems to be up for the challenge of the deeper tank as she scoots along the bottom for her food.

November 5, 2018: Ms. Archie is getting in a deeper tank next week to see if she can work out her buoyancy issues.

October 29, 2018: Ms. Archie continues to make great progress despite her floating challenges. Her osteomyelitis is still on the mend. Healing from this bone infection is a very slow process, but she is up to the challenge. Ms. Archie loves her tripod scratching post and is working out her buoyancy issues by trying to get under the PVC enrichment in her tank, which allows her to gain strength to stay under the water longer.

October 19, 2018: This rotund turtle continues to make great progress despite her floating challenges. Ms. Archie’s osteomyelitis is still healing and continues to be FP free. Vet staff would like to see her bone issues resolve before taking the next step.

October 5, 2018: Ms. Archie’s vet staff determined no growths needed to be removed during her full checkup. Since altering her diet, the turtle’s bloat has reduced some. The osteomyelitis bone infection in her flipper is healing well.

September 15, 2018: Ms. Archie’s osteomyelitis bone infection is slowing improving. Unfortunately, she has developed a small FP tumor growth that will need to be removed. Archie will be given a full checkup by veterinary staff this week.

August 25, 2018: Ms. Archie’s osteomyelitis bone infection continues to improve.

August 10, 2018: Ms. Archie continues on the path to recovery with the osteomyelitis bone infection in her flipper. We rechecked her blood this week and X-rays of her flipper show some improvement.

July 30, 2018: We conducted X-rays to monitor the infection in Archie’s front left flipper and it’s on the path to healing!

July 23, 2018: The bone infection in Archie’s left front flipper is being treating with a medication and since we know Archie eats everything in sight, she has no problem taking it!

July 15, 2018: Archie continues to have buoyancy issues and we’ve unfortunately discovered a bone infection in her left front flipper. She’s taking an oral antibiotic to treat it.

July 9, 2018: We’re sad to say Archie’s buoyancy issues have returned and she’s spending a lot of time at the surface of her tank. She can dive for food, but pops right back up after taking a bite.

July 2, 2018: Archie is doing well and we’re still communicating with FWC to determine whether or not she will be releasable.

June 20, 2018: Ms. Archie is not floating anymore! She’s still receiving medicine for her GI issues but no longer has to take her antibiotic injection.

June 9, 2018: Archie is still buoyant but is able to swim around the water column a bit easier. She is on a couple different medications to help treat the buoyancy issue. She absolutely loves playing with her PVC itch-toy—she scratches her carapace on it so vigorously, two of them have already broken! We have also caught her climbing on top of the toys just like our little turtles do.

May 26, 2018: The buoyancy issue hasn’t resolved so we are starting Ms. Archie on a few different GI medications. If those don’t work, we’ll take her for a CT scan. We’re encouraging her to dive by leaving PVC toys at the bottom of her tank.

May 19, 2018: Ms. Archie is doing okay; she is still floating in water and radiographs show her GI tract is full of air. We’ve started giving her anti-gas medication and hope to see improvement soon. She’s eating well and passing fecal so those are good signs!

May 12, 2018: Archie originally came to us in May 2016 and we released her in January 2017 after healing from a boat strike wound and FP surgery. Her main issue is buoyancy. She was found near the location we released her but was unable to dive. If the buoyancy issue does not resolve this time, it could end up making her a non-releasable turtle.

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