The Sea Turtle Healing Center cares for sick or injured sea turtles found primarily along the nearby Florida coast. While this facility is not open to the public, the effects of its work impact local sea turtle populations. An in-county facility means a shorter drive for patients, resulting in less stress and quicker treatment for distressed turtles.
Date admitted: August 27, 2021
Stranding location: Trident Basin
Status: In treatment
Admission notes: This juvenile green sea turtle was found in the Trident Basin during population studies conducted by UCF’s Marine Turtle Research Group. This sea turtle has a fracture down the front, top portion of their carapace, leaving the two sides mobile. Diagnostics also uncovered this sea turtle has Caryospora, a parasitic protozoan. Despite this, Jackal is active and has a decent body condition, and we are hoping their stay with us will be brief.
March 24, 2022: Jackal has continued to struggle with Osteomyelitis. It caused lameness of their front left flipper, to the point where it is affecting their appetite and activity level. Radiographs show that the distal humerus of the left flipper is starting to dissolve and fracture, which is what is causing the pain and inflammation. Jackal also has Osteomyelitis in their other three flippers, just not to this degree. A CT scan was performed to properly access the level of infection the other flippers are experiencing. There is a possibility the other flippers could start growing a severe infection, like the front left limb. Osteomyelitis is a very painful disease so if this happens in the remaining flippers, the most compassionate choice is euthanasia. This infection could have started from their carapace fracture, which was the initial reason for their stay with us.
February 23, 2022: We have switched up Jackal’s regime to accommodate their unruly behavior out of water. We have switched their antibiotic to one that will hopefully penetrate the infected areas better. We have also stopped laser therapy, so we don’t have to work with them out of the water as much. Since they flap and fight so much, it becomes a hazard to this sea turtle to have them out of water for too long. It’s pure turtle drama with this one.
February 7, 2022: Jackal is still receiving medication and cold laser therapy sessions for their Osteomyelitis.
January 17, 2022: Jackal was out for their monthly bloodwork and radiographs. Unfortunately, the radiographs revealed this sea turtle has three more areas showing Osteomyelitis. The first area is very large and can be felt on the front flipper, so we took aspirates and cultured the contents, hopeful a bacteria could be identified. With that information we can better treat the infection, knowing what medication would be most beneficial. The results came back negative for growth so we will start using laser therapy in the meantime. This sea turtle is still very spunky and has been keeping our poor volunteers busy with their very frequent bowel movements! They are very interested in their roommate, Amaretto, but Amaretto is not too sure about their friendship.
December 30, 2021: Jackal continues to be treated for osteomyelitis. They will be receiving laser therapy and medication for the infection. Jackal’s roommate, Luca, was released, but their spot was quickly filled by Amaretto. So far, the two have been very social with each other through the barriers and Jackal has been seen sneaking some of Amaretto’s lettuce.
December 9, 2021: Jackal has had a few setbacks. The fracture across their carapace had a pocket that has not been healing as well as we would like. This past week, Jackal showed lameness in their right flipper and was not using it to swim. Radiographs uncovered that this sea turtle has Osteomyelitis and is now being treated for that.
November 15, 2021: Jackal continues to be a fantastic patient and is close to release!
October 15, 2021: Jackal is officially Caryospora free! They have continued to be an excellent patient and the fracture on their carapace is barely visible.
September 21, 2021: Jackal has adapted well to rehab, eating most of the food given to them and acting very content in their pool. This sea turtle is active and always showing foraging behaviors, even though they are given plenty to eat! The fracture on Jackal’s carapace is healing well and stabilizing. This sea turtle is still Caryospora positive and continues to be treated for it.
Have you found a sea turtle that needs help? Visit this page or call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-206-0646.
Want to help the Sea Turtle Healing Center? Support our Zoo, or view our Healing Center’s wishlist.