Species: Loggerhead Sea Turtle
(Caretta caretta)

Arrival Date
: August 27, 2018
Stranding Location: St. Lucie, Florida

Initial Weight
: 185.9 lbs.
Current Weight: 180.62 lbs.

Issue: Boat Strike


Marge is an adult female loggerhead patient that was found in the St. Lucie River. She has boat strike wounds on the front part of the carapace and on the top of her head. The wounds involve bone, muscle and soft tissue. Surgical debridement was necessary to remove debris and allow the wounds to heal. Honey will be used to prevent further infection. Laser therapy will be used to speed healing. Over 90% of boat strikes in the past year were fatal. Marge has a long recovery ahead.


Sea_turtle_icon(green) This turtle is progressing well and responding to therapy as desired.

Sea_turtle_icon(yellow)There is a minor issue that we are working to resolve.

Sea_turtle_icon(red)More details to follow.


02/26/2019 - 

We are deeply saddened to report that as of Tuesday, February 26, Marge is no longer with us. The boat strike injuries were too severe and caused neurological issues resulting in Marge having few reflexes. It was decided that humanely ending the turtle\'s suffering was the best thing for it, so it was humanely euthanized this morning. Anecropsy was performed to evaluate the conditions and to collect samples to better understand the pathology of what had occurred. From the necropsy, it appeared that the brain and entire spinal cord were effected, beginning at the prop wound on the carapace and extending both directions.

Last week, Marge was able to donate blood to patient Valentina, which will ultimately save the turtle's life. While the loss of Marge is sad news for our team and all of our supporters, we learn something from every case we see and hope that Marge's story will someday help us treat other patients with similar injuries.


02/20/2019 -Sea_turtle_icon(red)  Marge will only eat when hand fed. Reflexes seem to be diminishing, probably due to more neurological issues.

02/13/2019 -Sea_turtle_icon(red)  Marge is back to eating more regularly.

02/06/2019 -Sea_turtle_icon(red) Marge is now eating occasionally.

02/04/2019 -Sea_turtle_icon(red) No improvement noted. New antibiotics have been started.

01/25/2019 - Sea_turtle_icon(red) The turtle is still not eating despite all treatments.

01/17/2019 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow)Marge is refusing to eat again.

01/10/2019 -Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Marge's white blood cell count is going up again, so the antibiotics have been changed.

01/03/2019 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Marge has been eating better the last few days.

12/26/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Marge has been moved to a larger tank to give the turtle more room to swim. Since moving the turtle, it has quit floating and is now floating and is now resting on the bottom. Appetite is still variable.

12/19/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Marge was sedated this week and the wounds debrided. In addition, we performed some temporary "cosmetic" surgery to open the turtle's eyelids more.

12/12/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Marge's appetite continues to be variable.

12/05/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Marge's appetite has been variable over the last week.

11/28/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) CT scan and neurologic exam revealed that Marge has damage to the seventh Cranial Nerve and has resulting facial nerve paralysis. Turtle is being observed to determine if it will heal on its own

11/14/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow)  Dr. Colitz examined Marge's eyes and found nothing wrong with them. there does appear to be some nerve damage to the nerves controlling the eye muscles. Marge is going for a CT scan.

11/07/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Veterinary ophthalmologist is set to examine Marge on Saturday.

10/24/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow)  We are planning to have veterinary ophthalmologist examine Marge's eye in a week or so.

10/17/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow)  A procedure has been done for the area with the deepest hole in the carapace and it seems to be healing.

10/10/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow)  Marge continues to improve slowly.

10/04/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Marge is showing very slow improvement. Parenteral nutrition has been discontinued.

09/26/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Marge is showing more interest in food and is now opening both eyes to retrieve food from the tank bottom.

09/19/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow)  Marge is showing some interest in squid, but is not eating much. Antibiotics have been changed and a surgical debridement was performed today.

09/13/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Marge is showing a few signs of slight improvement and is in somewhat deeper water, allowing the turtle to swim around more.

09/05/2018 - Sea_turtle_icon(yellow) Marge is still not eating consistently, so the turtle was started on parenteral nutrition. The turtle is slightly stronger and is moving around the tank more than before.

08/27/2018 - New patient

Leave a Comment