On August 11, Judy Dahms of the Marathon Marina called us concerned about a small turtle floating and blowing bubbles in the seaweed near the marina docks. Judy, who affectionately named him Izzy, was also worried about an injury to the shell. When Izzy arrived at the hospital, we were all shocked at the open wound on his carapace.
It is likely that Izzy has been struck by the propeller of a boat that sliced through the left side his shell, crushing his shell and cutting through the tissue and bone that attaches the left flipper to his shell; the wound is open and tender. Izzy also has a fracture to the skull and a broken left front flipper. To treat his injury we are taking a number of approaches. We have debrided and removed all dead bone from the wound. Also, every morning we clean out the wound and add honey to all affected surfaces. Not many people know that honey is a natural antibiotic with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and sugars, which all aid in the healing of wounds. Honey can speed the healing of tissues damaged by infection and trauma. We also want to keep Izzy out of the water so we have created a sprinkler system that allows him to stay wet but not have to use any energy floating and breathing in a tank.
Izzy has not shown any interest in eating, which is understandable. Many turtles prefer not to eat after a serious trauma or injury. He still needs his nutrition so we have begun tube feeding him daily a smoothie rich in protein and nutrients.
Please check back with us in a week or so for an update on Izzy’s upcoming surgery and recovery.
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