Last month Dr. Mader performed surgery on Karsten’s jaw removing two hooks; one from his beak and another from his throat. Although it must have felt good to have those hooks gone, Karsten is still letting us know he is not completely recovered from the shock of swallowing two J-hooks.
He is very inactive and cannot feed on his own due to having lock jaw. Although Karsten shows an interest in eating, he is unable to open his beak to grasp the food. The image below shows Marie and Christina working Karsten’s jaw; they open his beak using the ropes and tube feed him his daily squid amount. He does not move around much either. We do not want him to stiffen up so every day he gets physical therapy where we assist his movement in deeper water and hold his head up when it is time for air. Slowly but surely Karsten will be back to his active Loggerhead self, he just needs some extra love, time and attention… which we will happily provide. Already he is moving more and more everyday!
Karsten Update: September 19, 2011
These days Karsten is swimming around in a full tank of water and doing great! Karsten is off of all medications and is waiting patiently until the day his jaw can open wide enough to chew food on his own. We are still currently force feeding Karsten and working on the jaw exercises. However, don’t let the sweet and innocent face fool you. He wants to bite and chases us around the tank so that he can try to eat our shoes. Currently he can open his jaw about one inch and we estimate about another month to go until he will regain full range of motion to chew and bite on his own!
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