Date admitted: December 26, 2019
Stranding location: Patrick Air Force Base
Status: In treatment
Admission notes: This juvenile green sea turtle came to us lethargic, with severe bloating and unable to breathe. During intake, it was discovered that this turtle has pneumocoelom, or air in the coelomic cavity. This was happening due to a tear in one or both of the lungs. We stabilized this turtle by putting a port or “snorkel” into the coelomic cavity to let any air escaping the lungs out of the body cavity, which is essentially the equivalent to a chest tube in human medicine. On December 30, a coelioscopy was performed to see where the tear in the lung was and look at the condition of the lungs. The tear was found in the right lung and was stapled closed. There is fear that there could be another tear in the lung as we suspect air is still leaking into the coelomic cavity and another coelioscopy is scheduled. This turtle also had a CT scan to further diagnose their issues.
January 16, 2020: Snork is slowly progressing. We believe that we have managed most of the tear in this turtle’s lung, and we are giving her body a chance to heal the rest on its own. In the meantime, we will pull any extra air out of the body cavity daily as needed. Additionally, a CT scan uncovered that Snork has a bulla in the same lung, or an air-filled space that has a thin or poorly-defined wall. This means that she is at risk of tearing and creating another hole. Snork is now in a very shallow pool so that she has the options of eating and swimming. We know this turtle is a female as we discovered ovaries during the procedure close to the lung hole.