The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.



Arrival Date: June  27, 2024

Patient Profile

Name: Harlow

Species: Loggerhead 

Weight: 144 pounds

Reason for visit: Debilitated 

Location Found: Little Torch Key


Status Report

06/27/24: A family out fishing for the day on Little Torch Key found something more than just first that morning. They spotted a large Loggerhead covered in barnacles floating at the surface of the water severely unwell. This family made the call for help to The Turtle Hospital to get her rescued. Named Harlow after their daughter who helped in spotting the distressed Loggerhead. Upon arrival at The Turtle Hospital, Harlow received various diagnostics to determine her health status which revealed her blood sugar levels were very low. Rehab staff started her on intravenous fluids (IV) with dextrose to assist in bringing up her blood sugar levels. Due to her severe critical status and high stress levels Harlow was placed in a shower bed for her first day here at The Turtle Hospital along with minimal handling to help her become more calm.  Harlow while a very large Loggerhead, she is significantly underweight, but she is safe now with her rehab team who will work around the clock to ensure Harlow receives the best care during her recovery here at The Turtle Hospital. 

(A shower bed is a therapeutic procedure the rehab staff performs when a very stressed and sick sea turtle arrives. The patient is placed in a shallow pool with a shower spraying water over to help calm and reduce stress while hydrating their shell and skin.) 

06/28/24: Today Harlow is adjusting to her hospital tank, due to her size she is in an oblong tank to provide her with enough room to rest and recover. Since Harlow is still very critical she will receive around the clock care to monitor her fluctuating blood sugar levels, additional bloodwork and intravenous fluids as just some of the many supportive care. If Harlow’s blood work does not improve she may need to receive a blood transfusion. This will help give her body the extra boost it needs to improve. At this time our permanent resident of our Fab Five Ms. Medea is on standby and ready to help donate blood should Harlow need it. Rehab team are continuing to remove more of the many barnacles attached to Harlow’s shell, while this is not particularly painful for her, it can be a bit uncomfortable and cause more stress. Her rehab team will break up these sessions in the coming days as they work to remove them all and help her recover. Harlow though has been a wonderful patient for the rehab team, sitting patiently during her treatments and is a very strong eater. This is great since Harlow has a good amount of weight she needs to put on. 

(Sea Turtles can donate blood to each other, but must be the same type. Green Sea Turtle to Green Sea Turtle, Loggerhead to Loggerhead, and so on. Blood Transfusions can be done for various reasons in animals just like in humans to help improve their wellbeing when they are very sick.)

Stay up to date with the latest news of the Turtle Hospital by following our Facebook or Instagram online.