TOPSAIL ISLAND, NORTH CAROLINA
Kitty Hawk Loggerhead
(Caretta caretta)
juvenile
Age:       10-12 years
Weight:  44 kg. at release
PCV at release 38
Gender undetermined
Stranding Date:  May 1997
RELEASED JUNE 23, 1999 
THE INJURY This injury is consistent with a boat impact incident. Large pieces of the carapace are missing while other areas are held together with stainless steel  plates, pins and screws. 
She was rescued near Kitty Hawk, NC., where she had been observed struggling in the surf for some days.
The good Doctors and students at the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine performed surgery and inserted the plates and screws.
The Sea Turtle was then transported to the KBSTRRC.
Kitty in tank Kitty on exam table
Kitty - June 1997 
           Kitty - April 1998
Kitty - June 1999
THE CARE:  Kitty initially required a dressing change once a week.  During the first few months of care the wound was debrided at this time.  Later, during dressing change, the wound was flushed, treated with a triple antibiotic ointment, then covered with an artificial (human) skin called Tegaderm, which is then affixed with Super Glue.   Additionally she had stopped using  her left front flipper. She received daily physical therapy to encourage the use of the flipper, which she now uses normally.
Close-up of healing wound and
last of stainless steel plates.  9/98
 Close-up of healing wound  4/99     Healing wound at release 6/99
PROGNOSIS: She continues to heal.  During her last check-up on 6/10/98 it was determined by Dr. Andy Stamper the dressing of ointment and gauze was no longer necessary.
UPDATE: During the past year Kitty has grown almost 12 inches in length and gained over 20 pounds. The scutes are growing  in from the margins of the wound and will hopefully cover the entire white-ish areas shown in the photo above.
UPDATE 9/29/98: Dr. Greg Lewbart visited the center and gave the go-ahead to remove the final stainless steel plate and eight screws. 
Oh, that feels good.
UPDATE 6/2/99 After two years in rehabilitation kitty was given the ok for release.

Poked, prodded, measured, scrubbed and weighed

and given the ok to be released back to the wild June 1999

Moving in the right direction 6/23/99 after two years in rehab.
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7/1/99