Pets & Vets: Sea turtle receives skull surgery at NC State

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Pets & Vets: Sea turtle receives skull surgery at NC State

These photos show how a team of 10 veterinarians successfully completed an experimental skull surgery on a green sea turtle.
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Aug 16, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

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A team of 10 veterinarians successfully completed an experimental skull surgery on a green sea turtle July 19 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. The turtle was in desperate need of the operation to close a three-inch gash to the head that had exposed the protective membrane sheathing its tiny brain.

Photos by Rebecca Kirkland; NC State University

The young green sea turtle was conveniently named Holden after being found on North Carolina's Holden Beach, apparently the victim of an accident with a boat propeller.

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Julie Hempstead, an ophthalmologist, checks the eyes of Holden.

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Holden is put in position for a CT scan by Maria Serrano, DVM, prior to an experimental surgery to repair the wound that exposed the protective membrane sheathing its tiny brain.

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Greg Lewbart, DVM, professor of aquatic, wildlife and zoologic medicine at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., and a team of DVM students and members of the CVM Turtle Rescue Team performed the experimental surgery on the turtle.

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Holden is now recovering at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, where veterinarians are monitoring his progress. He will eventually be released.

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Greg Lewbart, DVM, professor of aquatic, wildlife and zoologic medicine at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., right, and third-year DVM student and member of the CVM Turtle Rescue Team, Bethany Walters, examine Holden.