How’s Scallywag? A New Year’s Update on Our Adopted Turtle in RehabAnna Ciulla
Remember Scallywag? He’s the juvenile green sea turtle that the Beach House Alumni Program adopted last year after he was found floating in the surf, having sustained multiple bites and the loss of a front flipper in a nasty run-in with a big shark.
Since his arrival at our local, Juno Beach-based Loggerhead Marinelife Center in December 2016, Scallywag has been making steady progress in therapy, thanks to the help of some committed caregivers. We wanted give you a New Year’s update on how he’s doing…
Getting Treated for Trauma
Upon his admission to rehab, Scallywag was immediately dry docked and started a wound therapy regimen. He was in bad shape after all: the shark bite wounds had penetrated his outer body cavity, exposing his lungs.
By the end of his first week in rehab, though, our boy was already making strides in his recovery. His first week’s progress report said he was eating well— and that he was even managing some daily swim and exercise.
Critical Wound Care – and Removing the Bandages
Then, a couple weeks later came the big day when Scallywag’s wound bandages would be removed, followed by a few days of close monitoring (while being dry-docked) for any related complications.
Once he passed that test with flying colors, Scallywag was moved back into the water full-time, so that by March 2017 he was able to discontinue wound therapy.
Over the next few months and into the summer, his caregivers closely monitored his white blood cell count, being careful to adjust his treatment plan accordingly. With an increase in his white blood cell count, they would add a new antibiotic or switch medications, all the while tracking his weekly progress.
By October 2017, Scallywag’s bloodwork was approaching normal and he had tapered down to only one antibiotic.
November 2017 marked another milestone: Scallywag got tagged. Think of it as the turtle equivalent of a driver’s license. Once Scallywag is healthy enough to be released from rehab and set loose again on the open ocean, that tag will help to identify him and provide key details about his post-recovery life and habits.
Preparing for Life After Rehab
As for that big, climactic day in the near future when Scallywag will be released—so far, so good. The green turtle icons on his web page form a consistent string, tracking gradual but steady progress. (Green apparently means “the turtle is progressing well and responding to therapy as desired.”)
Just before Christmas and the holidays, Scallywag was taken off antibiotics, his bloodwork having returned to normal, and he was placed in a bigger tank. Life after rehab is around the corner.
For weekly updates on how Scallywag is doing, check out his patient web page.