Species: Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Arrival Date: December 30, 2018
Stranding Location: Fort Pierce, FL
Initial Weight: 88.2 lbs.
Current Weight: 103 lbs.
Topsy is a sub-adult green sea turtle patient that was rescued offshore by the Coast Guard. The turtle was in distress, as it was unable to dive and stay under water. There are healing unintentional boat strike injuries to the carapace that most likely had occurred several months before arrival to the hospital. Bloodwork shows a systemic infection and hypoglycemia. Topsy will receive antibiotics and wound care daily. Further diagnostics will be done to determine the cause of the buoyancy disorder.
Patient requires continued treatment but is progressing well.
Minor adjustments have been made to the patient's treatment.
Patient is off all medications.
06/23/2021 - Topsy was successfully released from Loggerhead Park on June 23, 2021. View video here >
06/04/2021 - Topsy has made excellent progress and has been medically cleared for release this month.
05/07/2021 - Topsy continues to make excellent progress and several gradual reductions in the patient’s caudal carapacial weight have been made over the past month, with each reduction bringing acceptable results. Topsy’s prognosis is good.
04/02/2021 -Topsy is progressing well and its overall health has stabilized. Topsy’s external weight has been reduced and the turtle has responded well to this adjustment. Topsy’s prognosis remains good.
03/04/2021 -Topsy is responding well to a new treatment protocol and continues to make acceptable progress. The turtle’s caudal wounds are healing nicely with regular treatment. Topsy’s prognosis remains good.
01/01/2021 -Topsy is responding well to a new treatment protocol and continues to make acceptable progress. We will be monitoring the turtle’s condition closely. Topsy’s prognosis remains good.
12/01/2020 -Topsy is responding well to treatment and continues to make acceptable progress. We will be monitoring the turtle’s condition closely. Topsy’s prognosis remains good
11/01/2020 -Topsy is doing very well after removal of the first implant. We are allowing her additional time to heal before we move ahead with the second implant procedure. Overall, Topsy is in excellent health and its prognosis remains good.
10/01/2020 -- We have decided to remove Topsy’s Inconel implant, to be replaced with smaller, surgical stainless steel implants in the near future. The new implant will be far less bulky, will be made of surgical stainless steel, and will require a much smaller incision, thus improving the chances of overall success. Refining new surgical techniques requires adaption, and we decided that this was the most appropriate time to remove the existing implant, give the tissue some time to heal, and then proceed with the improved implants. Topsy also received a xenograft today that is made from specially processed cod skin, which is intended to accelerate healing while minimizing scar tissue formation. Topsy’s prognosis remains fair.
09/04/2020 -Topsy’s surgical wound continues to heal as expected. Topsy was returned to a full tank early in the week and is swimming, resting and surfacing normally about 75% of the time. An additional small weight as attached it its caudal carapace this week in order to accelerate the behavioral modifications needed to return to normal sea turtle behavior. The turtle also underwent radiography this week and the study revealed no new findings (except for the presence of a metallic implant). Topsy is scheduled to go to Jupiter Medical Center next week for a CT study. Overall, we are pleased with its progress to date. More About Surgery>>
08/27/2020 -- Topsy had successful implant surgery Monday and is being monitored closely during recovery.
08/20/2020 -- Topsy is off all medications and is scheduled to have surgery next week.
08/13/2020 -Topsy's white cell count has increased slightly and is being monitored closely.
08/06/2020 -Topsy's white cell count remains normal and the turtle continues to dive and swim normally without the external weight.
07/30/2020 -Topsy's white cell count has normalized and the turtle's buoyancy continues to be normal without the caudally-placed weight.
07/23/2020 -Topsy's white cell count has increased slightly and the turtle's buoyancy remains normal without the caudally-placed weight.
07/16/2020 -Topsy's white cell count is remaining normal. In addition, the lead weight was removed and so far the turtle is remaining neutrally buoyant.
07/09/2020 -Topsy’s white cell count has normalized under the turtle’s new treatment regimen, and its implant surgery is being planned.
07/02/2020 -Topsy's white cell count has increased slightly and the turtle is being monitored closely.
06/25/2020 -Topsy's white cell count has increased and a new treatment regimen has been added.
06/19/2020 -Topsy's white cell count has increased slightly.
06/11/2020 -Topsy's white cell count is now normal.
06/05/2020 -Topsy's white cell count is decreasing with the new treatment regimen and she is awaiting surgery.
05/28/2020 -Topsy's white cell count is decreasing with her new treatment regimen but she is not quite ready for surgery yet.
05/22/2020 -Topsy's white cell count has gone back up, so the treatment regimen has been changed and surgery has been delayed again.
05/15/2020 -Topsy's white cell count is down to normal.
05/08/2020 -Topsy's white cell count is remaining normal.
05/01/2020 -Topsy's white cell count is normal.
04/24/2020 -Topsy's white cell count remains stable.
04/17/2020 -Topsy's white cell count remains slightly elevated.
04/09/2020 - Topsy's white cell count has leveled off.
03/26/2020 -Topsy's white cell count has gone up slightly, but no change was made.
03/19/2020 -Topsy's white cell count is continuing to come down.
03/12/2020 -Topsy's white cell count is still not quite normal.
03/05/2020 -Topsy’s white cell count is now coming down. Surgery delayed one more week.
02/27/2020 -Topsy’s white cell count has quit going up, but has not come down yet. Surgery remains on delay.
02/20/2020 -Topsy's white cell count has gone up, so antibiotics were changed and surgery is temporarily delayed.
02/13/2020 -We received the custom implants this week and will make a decision on surgery early next week.
02/06/2020 - We are waiting on the implant to be manufactured.
01/30/2020 -We are maintaining Topsy on 7oz carapace weight and have ordered an implant to be made. FWC has given the "go ahead" to proceed with the implant surgery. It is hoped that the surgery can be performed in the next couple of weeks.
01/23/2020 -We have reduced the weight on Topsy to 5oz and the turtle is mostly on the bottom but not always. We will target a weight for implant between 5 and 7 oz.
01/16/2020 -We have reduced the weight on Topsy to 9 oz and again to 7 oz and the turtle remains flat on the bottom.
01/09/2020 -We have reduced the weight on Topsy from 16 oz to 13 oz and now to 11 oz and the turtle remains flat on the bottom.
01/02/2020 -We have reduced the weight on Topsy from 16 oz. to 13 oz. and the turtle is still resting on the bottom. We plan to reduce it again to 11 oz. in the next few days.
12/26/2019 - Discussion with FWC has been slowed by the holidays, but we expect to keep pursuing weight implantation.
12/19/2019 - We have been discussing implanting weights for Topsy with FWC.