Caring for Stranded Marine Animals
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The Turtles’ Day With the Vet

Dr. Williams examines a cooter.As part of the rehabilitation process here at NMLC, our little friends are visited by the veterinarian once a week. Each turtle is taken out of their tank and examined. The doctor weighs them, measures their shell, and gives them an overall inspection. He is checking on the firmness of their shell, as several of our smaller turtles have metabolic bone disease. He checks to see if their paws are in good condition and that there are no cuts, scrapes or broken bones. He looks over their head to see if their eyes are nice and clear and checks to see if their beaks are in good shape. He looks at their bodies to see if they have good muscle tone. Because all of the turtles are rescued, most of them need antibiotics or other medicine. Sometimes x-rays and blood tests are also needed to see if there are any underlying problems. Between the animal care team and the veterinarian, the turtles are in good hands. With time, quality care and rehabilitation the turtles will get to be released back in to the wild once they are healthy enough and the okay is given by the doctor.

Red bellied cooter being held by this post's author.

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