juvenile Hawksbill turtle (RB.EI.028), admitted 13 November 2018, COMO Cocoa, S.Malé Atoll, Maldives
Weight / Length: 12.0kg / 50.5cm (on admittance);
Cocoa was found at COMO Cocoa (S.Malé Atoll) and transferred to our turtle rehabilitation centre. She was very dehydrated and suffering from buoyancy syndrome (floating on the water surface, unable to dive).
Cocoa did not eat for the first few days, but she started to perk up after receiving antibiotics and fluids. She remains in a weakened condition and is only eating intermittently. We hope she starts to gain some strength soon.
Updates 31 December 2018
Cocoa was transferred to the Olive Ridley Project team today, and the subsequent X-ray revealed she is suffering from pneumonia and gas distension of the gut.
Updates 12 January 2019, from the ORP
Cocoa appears sick and is very buoyant. When she arrived we performed X-ray and ultrasound examinations and discovered she has left-sided pneumonia and severely thickened and distended guts. We cannot see plastic or a foreign body stuck at the moment, but it is a possibility. We will continue to scan her to monitor her guts for any changes. We are also doing a “barium study” of her gut. This is where we feed her something that shows up on X-ray so we can watch it pass through and find any blockage that may be making her guts so large. Debilitated sea turtles can take up to 50 days to pass food from their mouth to cloaca, so we will have to X-ray her over many days.
After a couple of weeks at the Rescue Centre, Cocoa appeared to be doing better and started eating. She is very underweight so we started feeding her up over a few days, but then she stopped eating again. We performed a repeat ultrasound and found that some parts of her guts looked better; less thickened and moving a bit better. However, there is one section now that looks like it could be blocked. She is on drugs for her gut and pneumonia and we have surgically placed a feeding tube to ensure she gets food every day.