Total Parenteral Nutrition for Dummies
Ever wonder what happens when we receive a sea turtle that is underweight, or not eating well? TPN, short for Total Parenteral Nutrition, is the amazing solution brought from the world of human-medicine that helps our sea turtles recover.
Every sea turtle patient is different and often require species-specific diets! The recent rehab patient, Queen Amidala, is a great example of special dietary requirements. While most of our green sea turtle patients enjoy a variety of vegetables like lettuce and bell peppers, Queen Amidala preferred strictly algae and sea grass, which is exactly what an adult green sea turtle would consume in the wild!
To supplement some of Queen A’s nutrition, she received regular TPN treatments, which are similar to a mega multi-vitamin. These can include amino acids, fatty acids, and sugars, and there are different blends of nutrients depending on what each sea turtle species needs.
This treatment was adapted from a similar process used for humans with digestive problems.
Isn’t it amazing to see these treatments evolve from helping humans to helping these amazing animals?
Keep an eye out soon for our new Turtle Journal Newsletter for an inside look at treatments like these and so much more.