Desert Box Turtle - Shell Damage Please Help

Craig12

New Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2022
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2
Location (City and/or State)
New Mexico
A desert box turtle wandered into my back yard. I live in the middle of a New Mexico city in a neighborhood with small townhouses and small yards. There's really nowhere for him to live around here except in someone's yard and it's luck of the draw with that I suppose. So I've been leaving a water dish out which he soaks in daily. I also feed him bugs, he will come to my back porch when he wants to eat. My big question is about his shell. It's obviously in bad shape. I don't know if this is some sort of infection, or possibly damage from something like a dog (both of my neighbors have dogs). It does look like the back right part of the shell has a puncture that's healing/healed that could be from a dog tooth. Is there anything I can do to help him get his shell healthy? Do you have input on what is wrong with it? I'm worried about the little guy and would like to help if I can. The photo where his head is out further and he looks drier is from the day he showed up. The 2nd photo is roughly about six weeks after showing up. Thanks in advance for your help. IMG 0342 IMG 0506
 

wellington

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Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I know nothing about these guys. I would normally say let him go where you found him if its native to your area. However being there are dogs around you and he does look to have already had a possible run in with one, I would suggest setting him up in an area of your yard dedicated to just him and give a proper home.
Others who know more about them hopefully will be on soon
@Yvonne G
 

Craig12

New Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2022
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
New Mexico
Thank you. Yeah my initial thought was to leave him be, it is native, but then I realized there's really nowhere for him to go. I was pretty sure he'd either get ran over in the street or attacked by a dog. He did start sheltering behind my shed. I've put some hollow logs back there for him now and leave a water bowl there too. He roams around at will.
 

Boxedinmyshell

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
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2
Location (City and/or State)
Illinois
See if you have a reptile rehabber in your area. Looks like there might be some bone exposed. This turtle likely needs medical attention. A rehabber would know what to do.
 

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