Species: Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Arrival Date: September 8, 2015
Stranding Location: St. Lucie, FL
Initial Weight: 63.1 lbs.
Current Weight: 68.85 lbs.
Issue: Respiratory infection
Current Condition: Deceased
Nikki is a sub-adult loggerhead found in the St. Lucie Power plant intake canal. The turtle was covered with barnacles and had a very pronounced respiratory wheezing. Endoscopy exam indicated infection or damage in the trachea. Tissue was removed via the endoscope on three separate occasions. The turtle is now doing better and has been placed in deeper water. We are awaiting test results that should indicate the cause of the issue. The turtle is currently receiving treatment with an antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic.
5/4/2016 – We are sad to report that Nikki has succumbed to illness and is unfortunately no longer with us. Nikki’s condition was always very critical and it is only because of our recently acquired advanced endoscope that we were able to provide life-saving care to Nikki upon her initial arrival to LMC.
Nikki’s recovery was challenging and required multiple procedures to keep her trachea clear due to her complex injury.
Recently Nikki’s condition was deteriorating. Last weekend we decided, after consulting with a group of surgical experts, to conduct a balloon dilatation procedure in a last effort attempt to open her trachea. While initial results were good, over the past few days Nikki’s trachea started to close down once again.
The possibility of resolving the issue successfully had dropped to near zero and her condition was in rapid decline. We have made the tough decision, after consulting with the specialist who helped with the procedure, to euthanize the turtle so that it would no longer suffer. A necropsy is being performed to see if there is more we can learn from this unique case.
4/28/2016 – We have consulted with several specialists and are planning to do a balloon dilation of the trachea at the injury site this week.
4/2/2016 – Nikki was doing well for a time, but is still wheezing, so we took the turtle to Jupiter Medical Center for a CT scan. The scan showed that the trachea is very narrowed at the site of the original trauma and both lungs appear to be becoming consolidated. This is a discouraging finding as it is going to be difficult to correct these two findings. We are investigating what the options are for Nikki at this time.
2/24/2016 – Nikki’s blood values have remained normal since being taken off of all medications. We discontinued the nebulization on February 3rd, and the turtle has continued to breathe well since.
2/1/2016 – Nikki’s respirations have improved while we nebulize every other day.
1/8/2016 – Radiographs show that Nikki’s lungs are much improved and we have decreased the nebulization treatments to every other day now. Its appetite has greatly improved.
12/17/2015 – Nikki is showing steady, but slow improvement in its breathing and appetite.
11/30/2015 – Nikki has had a variable appetite but has been improving the last couple of days. The white cell count is within normal range and the turtle continues to receive antibiotic nebulization.
11/9/2015 – Nikki received another endoscopy procedure to check on the progress of healing in the trachea. The injury site is healing well and no more tissue was removed. Nikki had a set-back this past weekend and had to be placed on oxygen for several hours, but the turtle is doing much better now.
10/26/2015 – Nikki continues to be treated with several medications and is doing better overall. We have not had to remove any tissue from the trachea and the breathing is remaining steady although a little noisier than the other turtles. We will continue to monitor Nikki very closely.
10/8/2015 – Nikki is a sub-adult loggerhead found in the St. Lucie Power plant intake canal. The turtle was covered with barnacles and had a very pronounced respiratory wheezing. Endoscopy exam indicated infection or damage in the trachea. Tissue was removed via the endoscope on three separate occasions. The turtle is now doing better and has been placed in deeper water. We are awaiting test results that should indicate the cause of the issue. The turtle is currently receiving treatment with an antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic.