Two of our Green sea turtle patients, L+L and Starfish, recently went through surgery here at the Turtle Hospital. The surgery was to remove Fibropapilloma tumors from their soft tissue (flippers, neck, eyelids, etc.). Fibropapillomatosis, which mainly affects juvenile Green sea turtles, is a virus which causes tumor like growths. Although the tumors are completely benign, they are often debilitating leaving the affected sea turtle blind or weakened. There is no cure for the virus, however the external tumors can be surgically removed and typically do not regrow.
Right now both turtles are tumor free and undergoing two weeks of antibiotics. Once two weeks is up L+L and Starfish will be put in a larger holding area with other Green sea turtles once sharing their same problem. Here they were wait one whole year to insure that no more tumors grow on them. Good Luck L+L and Starfish!
UPDATE: 4/24/11 Both L+L and Starfish have been moved out of their rehab tanks and into a section of our 100,000 gallon natural tidal pool to wait out their 1 year anniversary with our other Fibropapilloma turtles. If all goes well and they do not have any regrowths of the tumors these two turtles will be released in March of 2012!
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