Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Undergoes CT ScanWritten on December 10, 2014 by Sommer Aweidah Hospital: Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

Turtle #382 has been intubated and anesthetized in preparation for the CT scan.

Turtle #382 has been intubated and anesthetized in preparation for the CT scan.

Woburn, Massachusetts –  Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital and radiologist, Dr. Jennifer Brisson, DACVR work with the New England Aquarium to support their efforts in rehabilitating and returning to the wild, the sea turtles that wash up on the shores of Cape Cod Bay every year. This year the need for additional support and veterinarians is higher than ever. At Mass Vet we are pleased to provide the equipment and expertise needed to assist with the important work of rehabilitating and rescuing the survivors.

Last week members of the New England Aquarium Turtle Hospital medical team brought turtle number 382 to Mass Vet for a CT evaluation of abnormal gas accumulation in coelom (the body cavity within the shell). The procedure went well, though further diagnostic and medical intervention will be needed to resolve the condition.

In an average year, over the past decade, approximately 90 critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles wash up on the beaches of Cape Cod. This year, over 1,000 turtles have been found, more than 750 of which were rescued alive, and are in the process of being rehabilitated.

Kathleen Morrison, CVT of Mass Vet and the team from the New England Aquarium work together to ensure #382 is aligned correctly for the CT.

Kathleen Morrison, CVT of Mass Vet and the team from the New England Aquarium work together to ensure #382 is aligned correctly for the CT.

The rehabilitation process is vital to the survival of this critically endangered species of sea turtle. Every rescued and released Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle directly impacts the global population and their ability to evade extinction.

The rescued sea turtles are emaciated in many cases, and suffer from extreme hypothermia, dehydration, pneumonia, and shell or bone fractures. They are rehabilitated and nursed back to health by the animal health team at the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital in Quincy, MA. In most years, 80% – 90% of the rescued turtles are returned to health and released back into the wild.

If you would like to assist the New England Aquarium with their important work, you can do your part here by volunteering or donating:

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For more updates and ongoing information, follow the New England Aquarium Marine Animal Rescue Team Blog 

 

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