Next, the sea turtle had her blood drawn. This was exciting for the Aquarists here at VLM, because this may tell us whether or not she is actually a girl (we have been referring to our sea turtle as a female, but sea turtles are not sexually dimorphic). The blood was drawn from the top of the turtle's neck. At this point, we placed a wet towel over her head to ensure that she remained calm when the vet was around her face. The blood was drawn and placed in a vile that will be shipped to a laboratory for analysis; a report will be sent to our vet tech Linda Addison that will indicate any potential nutritional deficiencies and hopefully the results of its hormone levels will reveal the sea turtle's sex.
Lastly, the vet wanted to perform an ultra sound on her. Since she was remaining so calm, we figured it would not be an issue to look further. He first rubbed jelly onto her neck and looked at all of her sinuses, which all looked clear and healthy. He then placed the probe underneath the back flipper, which helped him look at her intestines and other internal structures.
|The sea turtle being placed into the tub by Aquarium Curator, Chris Crippen.|
|The sea turtle being dropped down by winch, where Aquarist Jon Meade met her.|
|Jon and Chris placing her on the scale to check her weight.|
|Dr. George performing a visual inspection.|
|She receiving an ultrasound from our vet tech, Linda Addison.|
|Dr. George telling us everything looks great!|
|Our sea turtle being calm while getting her check-up|
|She was a good sea turtle!|
Everything looked great and she is a healthy sea turtle! After the procedure was done, we lifted her back into the tub and used to winch to lift her back into the aquarium. Once the tub was placed back in the water, she swam out and back into the exhibit. She was a good patient and exhibited little stress! Good job VLM sea turtle!
By: Sarah Peake, Aquarist