Use of ozonated oils have been shown to be extremely effective in cutaneous wound treatment due to their antimicrobial, revitalizing, and healing properties.1 The contact between the ozonated oil and the injured tissue generates hydrogen peroxide and lipoperoxides. These by-products are responsible for oxidation and consequent destruction of microorganisms2,3 and the release of cytokines and growth factors that stimulate the healing process4. The successful use of ozonated oils has been documented both in human5,6 and veterinary medicine7,8,9. This report is the first to document outcomes of ozonated sunflower oil application in the treatment of skin lesions in a juvenile green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). The sea turtle was referred to rehabilitation in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, through the Beach Monitoring Project and presented with fibropapillomas, a hook in the middle portion of oesophagus, and nylon fishing line entanglement abrasions around the anterior limbs. The initial supportive care consisted of fluid therapy (0.9% sodium chloride), Amikacin Sulphate (Teuto Brasileiro S/A, Anápolis, GO, BRA) antibiotics IM every 72 hours, and tissue cleansing and debridement of the limb wounds. The animal then underwent sedation and local anesthesia (2% Lidocaine - Bravet, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, BRA) for hook removal via esophagostomy and excision of the fibropapilloma from the left anterior limb. The turtle remained in salt water following surgery. Ten days after surgery, suture dehiscence occurred which formed an open surgical wound that became dirty and infected. Treatment of the open wound consisted of manual debridement followed by topical application of ozonated sunflower oil every two days. This resulted in improvement of the healing process, observed by scar tissue formation around the edges of the wound and blood vessel formation in central portions, although adhered necrotic tissue remained. After two months in rehabilitation, deep debridement of the skin lesions was performed under local anesthesia. The turtle was maintained in a dry enclosure for 3 consecutive days and ozonated sunflower oil was applied TID. After this treatment protocol, the skin lesions showed evidence of rapid tissue repair including granulation tissue production, neovascularization, and re-epithelization. Following this rapid improvement of the healing process, treatment with ozonated sunflower oil was continued once every 2 days. Two weeks later, the sea turtle was deemed suitable for release and was released prior to complete healing of the wounds. Throughout the rehabilitation period, no side effects related to the ozonated sunflower oil were observed. In the present case, a significant improvement in the wound’s appearance and healing progress was observed with the topical usage of ozonated sunflower oil. This corroborates other scientific studies that have shown the cost and treatment effectiveness of ozonated sunflower oil for infected and difficult to heal wounds.10 Although this case presents a single treated individual, the outcomes are promising, and it demonstrates that the ozonated sunflower oil therapy may be an excellent option for skin injuries in sea turtles maintained in rehabilitation facilities.
The authors wish to thank CTA Serviços em Meio Ambiente and BW Veterinary Consulting for technical assistance. The Beach Monitoring Program performed in Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo states is a requirement established by the federal environmental licensing division of the Brazilian environmental agency (IBAMA).
* Presenting author
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