Stinkpot

PATIENT:  Eastern Musk Turtle, #11-1219 LOCATION OF RESCUE:  Waynesboro, VA CIRCUMSTANCES OF ADMISSION:  Fish hook in mouth ADMISSION DATE:  June 8, 2011 OUTCOME:   Released June 14, 2011 On Wednesday, June 8, a small Eastern Musk Turtle -- also commonly called a stinkpot -- was rescued in Waynesboro, Virginia.  The turtle had a fish hook and line protruding from its mouth.  The rescuer scooped it up and brought it to the Wildlife Center. These freshwater turtles can be found throughout Virginia, and as the name implies -- when disturbed, they sometimes emit a strong foul-smelling odor from two musk glands under the carapace [upper shell].  As if that's not enough of a defense mechanism, musk turtles are also known to readily bite! Dr. Miranda Sadar examined the feisty little turtle and tried to get an assessment on exactly how the hook was situated.  She sedated the turtle and while waiting for the drugs to take effect, spent some time picking about 20-30 leeches off of the turtle.  Once the turtle was sedated, Dr. Miranda used an endoscope to visualize the fish hook – which was a double hook.  She was able to manipulate the hook to pop one end out of the left side of the turtle’s neck.  After cutting off one hook, she was able to push the other part out of the the turtle's esophagus and out of the mouth.  The hook caused a mild amount of bleeding. The stinkpot was started on antibiotics and pain medication and woke up later that same evening.  The turtle’s injuries will continue to be monitored for several days before release.

June 14 update

After finishing up a course of antibiotics and receiving a final exam by Dr. Miranda, the Eastern Musk Turtle was released on Tuesday, June 14.

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