Patient Status: Released June 20, 2017
Date Found: May 9, 2017
Location Found: Offshore of Citrus County, FL
Reason for Rescue: Fibropapilloma tumors
WEIGHT: 2.96 kg (6.53 lbs)
SCL (STRAIGHT CARAPACE LENGTH): 28.5 cm (11.22 in)
EXAM FINDINGS: Alert and responsive; good body condition. Small tumors on all extremeties, neck, and eyes. Small amount of epibiota (barnacles) on carapace (shell).
INITIAL TREATMENT: Received vitamins, antibiotics, and fluids.
On May 9, 2017, the Inwater Research Group located an emaciated, lethargic, floating turtle covered in fibropapilloma tumors and barnacles floating offshore of Citrus County, FL. They collected the animal and delivered it to Clearwater Marine Aquarium for triage and care.
Fibropapillomatosis is a virus that is most common in juvenile green sea turtles and is rarely seen in other sea turtle species. The virus causes cauliflower-like tumors to grow on the turtle’s soft tissues. This virus is very contagious so once a turtle with this virus comes into our facility, it is quarantined in our Intensive Care Unit. Although the cause of this virus is still unknown, you can help by keeping our oceans clean of trash and chemical pollutants.
NAMING THEME: Cereal
DID YOU KNOW? Fibropapillomatosis is one of the most common causes of strandings for green sea turtles here at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
5/10/17 – Started on a daily regimen of antibiotics, glucose checks, fluids, and Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN).
5/12/17 – Swim tested in shallow water, started increasing deep water time each day.
5/13/17 – TPN discontinued.
5/18/17 – Offered food, and ate all of it! Began to slowly increase daily diet.
5/19/17 – Now able to remain in shallow water all day and night.
5/26/17 – Starting to increase time spent in deeper water.
5/30/17 – Discontinued injectible medications.
5/31/17 – Surgery performed to remove all external tumors.
6/11/17 – Started on oral medications.
6/15/17 – Pebbles cleared to be released!
6/20/17 – After 43 days in rehab, Pebbles was released at Fred Howard Park, Pinellas County, FL. We wish Pebbles the best back out in the ocean!
All marine turtle footage taken in Florida was obtained with the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to marine turtles. Footage was acquired while conducting authorized conservation activities pursuant to FWC MTP-17-172.