Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Stranding Location: Folly Beach, South Carolina
Arrival Date: 7/3/2021
Weight: 34.5 (76 lbs)
Citrine was found stranded in Folly Creek on Folly Island by Charleston Outdoor Adventure staff. South Carolina Department of Natural (SCDNR) received multiple calls a few days prior about a loggerhead who was floating and appeared lethargic. Every time they went out to look for this turtle, they were unsuccessful in finding her. Finally, Citrine stranded and was able to be rescued and reported by Charleston Outdoor Adventure staff. They waited with this turtle until SCDNR technician. Cami Duquet, arrived to pick her up and transport her to the Sea Turtle Care Center™ for evaluation.
Upon arrival at the Care Center, Citrine was alert but lethargic and was very underweight for a loggerhead of her size class. Citrine was carefully brought up to the exam room to be evaluated by vet staff. Her intake weight indicated she was extremely underweight and though she had a normal heart rate for a loggerhead, her heart beats sounded elongated, like her heart was working harder than it needed to. We pulled bloodwork and though her in-house blood gases were stable, she was severely anemic with a low blood protein level and very dehydrated indicating debilitated turtle syndrome (DTS). DTS patients have a low red blood cell count indicating anemia; they’re weak, very underweight and must be handled extremely carefully and placed on lots of foam to support them. After bloodwork results were processed, vet staff administered hetastarch, a fluid that acts as albumin in the blood and helps to draw in any fluids that are administered subcutaneously into the vasculature to aid the heart and circulatory system in pumping blood and fluids more efficiently throughout the body. A large volume of fluids were administered subcutaneously (under the skin) along with some vitamins, and she was started on antibiotics. Shortly after her fluids were administered, a heart rate was checked again, and it had dropped to a very low rate. Our vet staff was concerned that she may be starting to crash. So, some emergency drugs were administered to help increase her heart rate and she was closely monitored late into the night. Once she was out of the woods, she was left to rest comfortably in a padded foam bin overnight with staff checking in on her throughout the night.