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Management of 30 Cold-Stunned Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles (​Lepidochelys kempii​)

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Thirty juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles (​Lepidochelys kempii) ​were found cold-stunned in Cape Cod Bay between 11/18/17 and 11/21/17. The turtles were transferred to the New England Aquarium for initial management where they were treated with oxytetracycline and fluids and had their temperatures raised slowly to 75 F. Once stable, the turtles were flown to the National Aquarium on 11/26/17 for continued management and rehabilitation. All turtles were given a cursory clinical assessment and treated with ceftazidime before passing a swim test. After initial triage, each turtle underwent a full examination including ocular exam, mapping of any epidermal lesions, three view radiographs, coelomic ultrasound, blood culture, complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panel, and blood gas. Comorbidities included anemia, leukocytosis, inverted calcium:phosphorus ratios, sepsis, epidermal lesions, generalized keratitis, corneal ulcers, pneumonia, and coelomic fluid. Two turtles were persistently positively buoyant and were taken for computed tomography (CT). The only significant findings were dilated loops of intestines in two turtles and both improved without treatment.​ ​ Four turtles were released on 1/17/18, with the remaining twenty six considered to be good release candidates in the upcoming months.

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2018-01-31

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Sea Turtle -- Cold-Stun; Kemp’s Ridley -- Sea Turtle; Endangered-- Rehabilitation -- Rescue

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case study

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