To say that things have calmed down here at The Turtle Hospital would be an overstatement in the very least. While “Good Hope” does seem to be improving slightly, she is still receiving continual care from the Rehab staff as we stay connected with experts in the sea turtle world throughout her rehabilitation process.
On September 9, Good Hope laid 3 more eggs in her tank, but no more have been laid since then. Even though her condition is improving, her progress is characterized by baby steps. Still too weak to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the eggs, we are relying on nature at the moment to allow those eggs to pass. As reptiles, sea turtles have extremely slow metabolisms which increases the risk of complications during sedation or anasthaesia even moreso than for mammals. Further, as marine reptiles, sea turtles are conscious or voluntary breathers–they have to “think” to breathe, unlike humans. Thus, we have to breathe for them anytime they are put under. Taking all of this into account, Good Hope is at an extremely high risk for surgery to remove the eggs, considering her critical condition. Hopefully, these baby steps will all add up in due time and somehow, via nature, labor induction or surgery, we’ll be able to get the eggs out and get Good Hope back in the sea.
Our focus is 100% on Good Hope’s survival, though it would be nice for some of the eggs to hatch successfully as well. We have begun to tube feed her so that she can receive the calories necessary for wound healing. Additionally, we have switched from over-the-counter supermarket honey to a wound care “super glue” called Bioadhesive gel. This helps to block out bacteria as well as to allow healthy cells and tissue to granulate in.
Thank you to all of you who continue to keep Good Hope on your minds!