Good news

The storm was really nothing at all – we have worse thunderstorms on any given day in the summer! That’s good because it means no damage and no loss of power so we are back to normal here today.

Joy has been ignoring a lobster in her tank for weeks now even though we stopped feeding her “easy” food. Finally today we chased the lobster around the tank which seemed to stimulate Joy to go after it. Once she got a hold of it, the lobster did not stand a chance. Joy ate aggressively which is a good indicator that her weak jaw problems seem to have resolved. Some final blood tests, a check up by the vet, some flipper tags and she will probably be out of here in the next couple of weeks.

The time for Joy’s rehab was longer than most of the turtles we get – about 9 months. But that was not unexpected. The last turtle we had with a similar condition to Joy was Vito (a 200 pound adult male loggerhead). In his case we had to surgically place a feeding tube in his neck because we could not open his paralyzed jaw to feed him (well, that and it is not easy to haul a 200 pounder out of the tank and put a tube down his throat several times a week!) We used that tube to feed Vito the same highly nutritious pet food that Miracle is getting. Eventually he regained the use of his jaw and was released just over 9 months after we got him.

Vito with his esophagostomy (feeding tube in his esophagus)

vito3.jpg

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2 Responses to Good news

  1. Jim says:

    Nice to see Vito again! He was the first sea turtle I ever saw at Marinelife Center, as he was in the front tank on my first visit. Months later, it was great to see him crawl into the sea after his rehabilitation.

  2. Sandy says:

    Hey Jim,

    One of my first jobs as a volunteer was helping to tube feed him before the esophagostomy. Not an easy task! It took a bunch of big guys to get Vito out of the tank and then prop him on his shell at an angle, pry open that huge jaw and place a tube in the esophagus. He was just not getting enough nutrition that way because we could only do it a couple of times per week due to the labor intensive nature of the procedure.

    The surgical placement of the tube was his and our saving grace. We presented a poster on the esophagostomy procedure at the International Sea Turtle Symposium the following year. Vito is a poster boy!

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