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Green sea turtle spicy Hawaiian gets chiropractic care.

Feel better soon, Spicy Hawaiian!

Did you know that sea turtles can receive chiropractic care? One of our patients, Spicy Hawaiian the juvenile green sea turtle, has been receiving this treatment!

Spicy Hawaiian was actually our first sea turtle patient this year. They came to us with symptoms of lethargy, stiffness and inappetence. Spicy’s bloodwork showed that they had been dealing with overexertion. It took a long time for this turtle to be less rigid and our Healing Center staff had to monitor their bloodwork closely. Thanks to fluids, medication and rest, Spicy recovered and was released in March.

Unfortunately, Spicy Hawaiian was found in April with similar symptoms and was brought back to our Healing Center. Our veterinary team is now exploring the possibility that Spicy has also come into contact with a toxin of some sort. A toxicology report is pending for this turtle.

Two veterinarians examine a green sea turtle.

Dr. Kyle Donnelly (left) and Dr. Ashley Mincey examine Spicy Hawaiian.

Spicy’s rigidity, especially around his neck, has taken a toll on their muscles to the point that our veterinary staff noticed some of his muscles atrophying. We also performed a surgical muscle biopsy that revealed muscle necrosis. We decided to add chiropractic care to Spicy’s treatment, bringing in Dr. Ashley Mincey of Wild Life Chiropractic.

Once a week, Dr. Mincey assesses Spicy Hawaiian, particularly their neck and shoulders. Spicy Hawaiian has been experiencing rigidity for some time, and their brain is compensating for this by finding workarounds to keep Spicy moving – even if those movements or positions aren’t ideal. During the assessment, Dr. Mincey can feel how much a joint is moving – and if it isn’t moving, what direction it’s avoiding.

“Then we put together an impulse to get that area to open back up again so that the brain gets the same stimulation from each side and stays balanced,” Dr. Mincey said.

Green sea turtle spicy Hawaiian gets chiropractic care.Dr. Mincey uses a chiropractic tool called an activator to deliver those impulses. She uses it on Spicy’s neck, shoulders and front flippers.

Chiropractic care always comes back to balancing the nervous system, Dr. Mincey said. Using lighter touch tools like the activator helps stimulate the brain, which takes the information that a previously problematic area of the body is able to be used. This helps the brain stop overcompensating and instead balances the body out.

We hope this chiropractic treatment will help Spicy Hawaiian regain more movement. We’ll keep you updated on their progress.

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.