Digital imaging plays and important role in turtle rehab

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Digital imaging plays and important role in turtle rehab

  1. 1. CU ST OMER C A S E “Agfa HealthCare’s CR 30-X system met all our requirements: it gave us the functionalities and speed we were looking for, at a reasonable price. And it has excellent image quality: the images are really clear and detailed.” Dr. Terry Norton, DVM, Diplomate ACZM, Director and Veterinarian for the Georgia Sea Turtle CenterGeorgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island, Georgia, USADigital imaging plays animportant role in turtlerehabilitation and careGetting under the shell: the Georgia Sea Turtle Center
  2. 2. CU ST OMER C A S E 2“Wildlife conservation is about more than one program or one organization," says Dr. Terry Norton, Doctorin Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and Director of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC). “If we want to impactturtle populations in a big way, we need programs that address the range of issues being faced – today andfor the future.” That’s a challenge the GSTC, a department of the Jekyll Island Authority, takes on using afour-pronged approach, with programs that cover rehabilitation, education, research and monitoring.A natural nesting habitat collaborates with the University of Georgia, the University ofJekyll Island, where the GSTC is located, lies off the coast West Indies, Ross University and more. About 120 rescuedof the state of Georgia. This barrier island has 10 miles turtles come into the Center each year, including(16 km) of beach, as well as inland marshlands, and is a loggerhead, green and Kemps ridley sea turtles – evennatural nesting site for loggerhead turtles. “Sea turtles face land-based diamond-back terrapins, which often geta variety of problems that impact them individually and as struck by cars while seeking a place to lay their eggs ina population,” Dr. Norton continues. “This can be anything May through July.from swallowing a fish hook, to being hit by a boat propeller,to the loss of their habitat.” Before the GSTC was set up, Education ensures the futureturtles, tortoises and terrapins in the area were treated at The GSTC runs a host of educational programs, both forvarious vet clinics and facilities, but it was clear that there visitors and for local children. “They are our future, and thewas a need for a dedicated facility. future for the sea turtles,” comments Dr. Norton. “We have children from disadvantaged areas in Georgia who don’t even“We first started discussing the idea in 2001,” know they live near the ocean, let alone about its ecosystem.explains Dr. Norton. “And in 2007, we opened up the The sea turtles are their local heritage. By helping to educateGSTC.” The 15 full time staff members are joined by these kids and raise their awareness, we are giving them anAmeriCorps and individual volunteers who participate opportunity to take on the challenges to the turtles, and thein the many projects and programs. The GSTC also ecology itself, in the future.”Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA
  3. 3. CU ST OMER C A S E 3 “X-ray is one of our most important diagnostic tools… Every live turtle that comes in gets a series of X-rays. We wanted the most state-of-the-art technology available.” Dr. Terry Norton, DVM, Diplomate ACZM, Director and Veterinarian for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center Adults are not left out, either. “We have programs for teachers, a very important volunteer program and network, and of course the Center itself, where people can visit and learn about the turtles and our efforts.” Inhabitants of another world As sea turtles are essentially aquatic, and humans essentially terrestrial, there is a basic and physical barrier that has limited how much could be learned about them. Despite that, much research has been carried out in the past 30 or so years, and the work continues. The GSTC took over the turtle monitoring program for Jekyll Island, which has been running since 1972. Since 2007, the Center has monitored 422 sea turtle nests of three different species and tagged 149 nesting females, including a green sea turtle and the first Agfa HealthCare’s leatherback to visit Jekyll Island in over 10 years. contribution Other GSTC research programs include sea turtle nutrition and diet, nesting behavior• CR 30-X computed and human impact studies, to name a few. Dr. Norton is closely involved in research into radiography solution. Debilitated Loggerhead Sea Turtle Syndrome. In 2003, there was an increasing trend of 2• Integrated MUSICA image emaciated loggerhead sea turtles with small barnacles on the skin stranding from Florida processing software, providing to North Carolina, and ongoing research is exploring the potential causes. consistent image quality and high contrast detail, without Agfa HealthCare X-rays offer another view any manual intervention by As the GSTC’s veterinarian, Dr. Norton is very involved as well in the rehabilitation of the veterinarian. injured or sick turtles, and the center’s CR 30-X computed radiography (CR) system from• Easy-to-use NX operator Agfa HealthCare plays an early and critical role in this. Among the first things Dr. Norton workstation, with a touch does to diagnose and treat turtles brought into the GSTC is to take images. “X-ray is one of screen and intuitive interface. our most important diagnostic tools. Every live turtle that comes in gets a series of X-rays, including dorsal-ventral, horizontal AP and lateral views. Initially, we look for fish hooks,
  4. 4. CU ST OMER C A S E 4 Did you know … gas or air in the intestinal tract, etc. Some turtles require regular X-rays for us to assess • Sea turtles are born on land, their condition; for example if a turtle is constipated, we will regularly X-ray it to check but once hatched they spend on the progress of the blockage. We even use X-rays when we are inducing a gravid turtle, their entire lives in the ocean, to make sure all of the eggs have been laid. It’s really an all-around tool for us.” except when females come on land for nesting. Since these images are so critical to the turtles’ care, choosing an X-ray solution for the • Because of this it can be new center in 2007 was key. “We wanted the most state-of-the-art technology available, difficult to estimate a sea which meant digital. And we also needed those horizontal beam views. A turtle isn’t a cat turtle’s exact age. Researchers or dog; you can’t just position it on its side. Agfa HealthCare’s CR 30-X system met all our estimate that some sea requirements: it gave us the functionalities and speed we were looking for, at a reasonable turtles can live as long as price. And it has excellent image quality: the images are really clear and detailed. Since 80-100 years. But only about 2011, Todd Pickler from Midlands X-ray has been servicing the system, and we are now 1 out of 4000 hatchlings will very pleased with both the solution performance and the service.” live to be a reproductively mature adult. Stewards for the environment • Satellite tracking transmitters Dr. Norton explains that turtles can stay at the Center for rehabilitation anywhere from are attached to former patients one month to three years. If a turtle for some reason cannot be released, the GSTC tries of the GSTC when they are to find a new home for it. But the real pleasure comes from returning a turtle back to the released back into the ocean. ocean. “We are here to be stewards of the environment,” Dr. Norton concludes. “That’s a The transmitter sends a group effort: it takes a lot of people and dedication.” • signal to a satellite when the turtle comes up to surface to breathe, allowing its movements to be tracked.Agfa and the Agfa rhombus are trademarks of Agfa-Gevaert N.V. Belgium or its affiliates. MUSICA is a trademark of Agfa HealthCare N.V. Copyright 2011 Agfa HealthCare NVBelgium or its affiliates. All rights reserved. All information contained herein is intended for guidance purposes only, and characteristics of the All rights reservedproducts and services described in this publication can be changed at any time without notice. Products and services may not be available Published by Agfa HealthCare NVfor your local area. Please contact your local sales representative for availability information. Agfa HealthCare diligently strives to provide as B-2640 Mortsel – Belgiumaccurate information as possible, but shall not be responsible for any typographical error. 5SOXD US 00201106www.agfahealthcare.com

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