The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.

Dash Gets Better!

On December 10, 2012, The Turtle Hospital received a new patient found by Biscayne National Park Rangers Katie and Christina. Along with fibropappiloma tumors, this juvenile Green sea turtle was also entangled in monofilament. Thanks to the park rangers, ‘Dash’ was retrieved for rehabilition although he kept ‘dashing’ out of their reach. They were successful in removing the fishing line and getting transportation for Dash to The Turtle Hospital.

‘Dash’ arrives, note size difference between front flippers.

It was clear that the left front flipper had been tangled for some time due to bruising and swelling. Turtle Hospital staff was worried the flipper would have to be amputated due to the lack of circulation for so long. When put in a hospital tank, Dash was unable to use the flipper to swim and instead it hung limp.

Several different tactics have been taken to hopefully bring circulation back to the flipper and avoid amputation. Of most importance is cold laser therapy that is performed by Dr. Gerri Diethelm of Marathon Veterinary Hospital. Among other things, this therapy stimulates the red blood cells and reduces swelling.

Dash also receives daily flipper massages along with a topically applied medication that promotes circulation. A rather simple but effective treatment has been increasing the water current too. This forces Dash to get plenty of exercise in his hospital tank and in recent weeks he has finally started to use the flipper to swim!

Note the extreme reduction in swelling and bruising in just three months time! Fibropapilloma tumor removal surgeries have been occuring throughout rehabilitation as well, Dash has had two surgeries and is now tumor free!

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