To investigate what is really going on inside we took Patty to WHOI for another CAT scan, so what did the ‘cat’ have to say about the turtle ?
There is a new shell forming under the pink tissue we call the pseudo-shell, this is good news but at this point the new shell is not uniform or sturdy enough to adequately protect Patty. In fact a large part of what makes a turtle shell protective is the hard covering of the shell which is made of keratin (like our hair and nails), and we have not seen evidence of new growth for this layer, yet.
Additional findings will be made available in Rounds Notes, but in the meantime Patty continues to eat well and as soon as the last dead bone comes off we can take her off antibiotics. As we approach the one year mark for her rehabilitation it’s also a good time to reflect on the positive effect we’ve had with Patty. Her back legs are much stronger and she is able to move around her tank. Her eye’s have cleared and she can see and find food. She has survived the loss of her shell and we have evidence of new shell growth. We are also learning about the regenerative properties of turtles in general, so indeed Patty has had a lot to teach us.