Turtle Tuesday: A Second Chance for Blade

Published August 26, 2014

by Jenn Dittmar, Manager of National Aquarium Animal Rescue

Blade is a current sea turtle patient that was admitted due to cold-stunning (hypothermia) in late 2013. 
blade

We’re happy to report that after months of monitoring his health, employing an aggressive antibiotic therapy to resolve the sepsis, and starting physical therapy to improve limb motion in his front flippers, Blade has made an impressive recovery and is ready to be returned back to the Atlantic!

In June, husbandry and veterinary staff took Blade to the Veterinary Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group (VOSM) for an arthroscopy procedure to view and clean any unhealthy tissue in the shoulder joints.  While scoping Blade’s front limbs, we were also able to get samples of tissue to diagnose the type of infection in the joint. 

blade

Several days after the procedure we began offering Blade live food items, including blue crabs, mud crabs, and small bivalves. Blade had not been eating for several weeks leading up to the arthroscopy and was losing weight, so we were overjoyed when we received a call from a volunteer to tell us that Blade had excitedly eaten a small blue crab just days after the surgery! 

From that day forward, Blade’s appetite has returned and he has been eating a full diet of crabs, razor clams, shrimp, squid, and capelin. Additionally, he has exhibited better range of motion in his front flippers, and he’s able to move against the current in his rehab pool. 

In the last few weeks, Blade has passed his exit exam with flying colors and is in line for a satellite transmitter that will allow our team to track is journey south to warmer waters. 

Stay tuned for more updates on Blade’s release and watch this short re-cap of his time with National Aquarium Animal Rescue: 


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Jenn Dittmar

Manager of National Aquarium Animal Rescue

National Aquarium - Jen Dittmar

About Jenn Dittmar

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