Entanglement occurs when a marine turtle becomes trapped within anthropogenic materials such as debris or fishery gear, inducing strangulation of anatomical parts such as flippers or the neck, causing deep lacerations, maiming, amputation, or choking. Often, severely entangled flippers in captured or stranded turtles are removed surgically. Turtles with flipper impairment have difficulty in swimming, diving, and feeding. Our aim was to use color Doppler ultrasound and multi-detector computer tomography to evaluate residual vascularization or neovascularization in severely entangled flippers of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) to assess viability of flippers, even in the absence of limb sensation. We studied 12 turtles with either unilateral (n=8) or bilateral (n=4) involvement. A total of 14 flippers were severely entangled and two flippers were spontaneously amputated. Only two of the 14 entangled flippers had to be removed surgically. For 12 entangled flippers, after surgical curettage, the treatment protocol was based on the use of a plant-derived commercial dressing. The animals were monitored and treated for 1-3 mo, until the soft tissue defects were completely healed by secondary intention. Interestingly, in the treated animals the healing flippers steadily recovered motility and sensation, restoring the complete functionality of the flipper. Vascularization of the limb was found to be critical to prevent amputation of entangled flippers, preserving the flipper and its functionality with conservative therapy and avoiding amputation as much as possible. Our study showed that in cases of entanglement, amputation does not need to be performed immediately but can wait for nonviability to declare itself following conservative therapy and should be reserved as a last-resort treatment.
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|Titolo:||ASSESSMENT OF RESIDUAL VASCULARIZATION OF THE LIMB AS A PROGNOSTIC FACTOR TO AVOID SEA TURTLE FLIPPER AMPUTATION|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|