Green Sea Turtle #19-4213

Green Sea Turtle #19-4213
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Oct 09 2019

Green sea turtles are named for the green color of the fat under its shell which comes from its diet. Once green turtles reach 8 to 10 inches in length, they mostly eat sea grass and algae, the only sea turtle that is strictly herbivorous as an adult. Their jaws are finely serrated which aids them in tearing vegetation.

This juvenile green sea turtle was found floating, acting lethargic and unable to dive properly near Marco Island, Florida. The area currently has levels of red tide reported in high concentrations.

Status Updates

Intake Exam - Oct 09 2019 5:00 pm

Veterinarians performed an exam on the turtle and found it to be very lethargic with weak movements. Radiographs showed that the turtle had ileus, a reduced function in the GI tract. Based on the turtle's clinical signs and the reports of red tide organisms in the area it was rescued, veterinarians suspect the turtle was suffering from brevetoxicosis, also known as red tide poisoning.


Treatment - Oct 09 2019 7:30 pm

To treat the suspected red tide poisoning, veterinary staff administered a dose of intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) therapy. This treatment is a novel treatment for red tide but has been used with certain drug overdoses in humans due to its effectiveness to bind the toxins in the bloodstream preventing them from further affecting the patient. The turtle will remain "dry-docked" overnight and be placed in a tank tomorrow to assess its neurologic status and determine if more treatment is needed.