October 11, 2013 — Oyster, a 26-year-old sea turtle, had an abnormal left flipper and shoulder for her whole life. There seemed to be a progressive muscle atrophy and disuse of the flipper, so Sea Life Minnesota sent her to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) to do a computerized tomography (CT) scan on her left flipper and shoulder to learn more about the cause.
Because of the shell, it is difficult to obtain detailed images of the internal organs with a standard X-ray. A CT scan performed by VMC produced better pictures of her internal anatomy. Oyster was sedated during the scan to keep her from moving.
Oyster has lived at Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium at Mall of America for 16 years. She is a Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle — the world’s most endangered sea turtle. Sea Life provides permanent homes for damaged and disabled creatures like Oyster that need a home and would otherwise have been killed.
Results of the CT scan were not available at time of publication.
For more information: www.sealifeus.com