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.
July 29, 2020: Snork is very happy to have an entire 12-foot pool to herself! She explores every inch of it. We have been offering collard greens to help boost magnesium levels in our patients, but Snork is not very fond of them… at all. We will hide a collard leaf inside a bouquet of romaine, hoping she will accidentally grab a couple of bites and we’ll come back to find the romaine eaten around the one leaf of collard. Luckily for her, Snork will not be offered collard greens much longer as she will hopefully be released within the following week!
July 13, 2020: Snork moved into a 12-foot pool! This is the deepest size pool that we have at the facility and she is doing great! Snork is sharing a tank with Cookie and Turtilla and has been showing extra interest in getting to know her neighbors beyond the barriers. This is the first time Snork has shared a pool with other turtles since her arrival, so she is quite curious.
June 22, 2020: Snork continues to do great. We have been talking about her next move and we may wait until Melo is released to put her in that turtle’s 12-foot tank. Snork has a very curious personality. If you are standing near her tank, she will pop her head above the surface of the water to check out what you’re doing! She always needs to be “in the know”.
June 2, 2020: Snork is a great patient! This turtle is a very good eater and uses all of her EEDs. Snork went for a CT scan last week to make sure that her lungs still look good. The results were so good that this turtle may be upgrading to a bigger pool soon!
May 18, 2020: Snork came out for her monthly workup and everything, so far, looks great! This turtle has been enjoying her new pool. She has many enrichment items, and enjoys them all! When we clean her tank, we must keep at least one toy for Snork to hide under in the water, or else she panics a little. Snork has been giving staff and volunteers a hard time during tank cleanings as she shows a lot of interest in the scrub brushes we use!
May 4, 2020: Snork graduated to a six-foot pool! This turtle took the transition very well and is enjoying stretching her flippers out.
April 20, 2020: Snork is looking more and more at home in her bigger pool. She can still only spend time in it during the day, but you can tell that she is enjoying all of the enrichment and places to scratch her shell on!
April 13, 2020: Snork is doing very well in the deeper pool. Around midday, she can be found hiding her head in the PVC enrichment and catching some “zzzs!”
April 2, 2020: Snork went swimming in a deeper pool! During the day, we move Snork from her shallow kiddie pool (which floats in a bigger pool) to a 12-inch pool. She seems to enjoy stretching her flippers out in the deep pool and being able to swim. This is the first time that Snork has been in water deeper than 6 inches since her intake on December 26. We will take very slow steps to get her into deeper and deeper water, still being cautious with the lung tear.
March 30, 2020: Snork is progressing well. We will continue to keep this turtle in a shallow pool to give her lung plenty of time to heal. This turtle will be swimming in a deeper tank in the near future.
March 12, 2020: Snork’s CT scan results from last week came back with lots of good news! The bulla in her lung has resolved and the sight where the tear had been looks great. We will give this turtle another month in a shallow pool and then try giving her deeper water slowly.
March 5, 2020: Snork continues to spend time in a shallow pool to prevent any stress or pressure on the body, which helps to heal her lung. She loves her food and any toy that she can scratch her shell on! Snork will be receiving a CT scan to check for air in the coelom and the bulla in the right lung.
February 10, 2020: Snork is doing so well! On January 22, our veterinary team went into the celomic cavity to repair another minor tear in the same area of the lung as the previous one. For a few days after, Snork still wore her “snorkel” incase the tear opened again, but she stayed deflated and the snorkel was eventually removed. We have not seen any air build-up in the body cavity since! Snork has a great appetite and has been staying in shallow water to prevent any stress or pressure on the lung.
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.