PLEASE HELP ASAP - ATTACKED BY DOG

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Carol S

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I am so hysterical I can hardly type. My juvenile
Russian has been attacked by our dog. The gate did not latch and the dog got in the enclosure. The dog chewed on the sides of his shell and I can see his tissue beneath. What should I do until he goes to the vet tomorrow.

Please help.
 

Yvonne G

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Just stay calm and treat it as you would treat a badly skinned knee on one of your kids. If you can see tissue, but there isn't a hole into the interior of the shell, its probably not too bad an injury.

The vet will give you some antibiotics for the tortoise, but first aid will go a long way. Clean it, dry it and apply antibiotic ointment.
 

Laurie

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Keep him clean and warm, maybe put him in a hospital tank with some dampened paper towels. is there an emergency vet you can get to?
 

Carol S

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I can see tissue as there is missing shell on both side approxmately one fourth inch or bigger. Should I put the antibiotic on and apply a gauze wrap.
 

galvinkaos

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My dog "loved" my desert tort, traded her for her favorite ball to lick and accidentally hurt her and I rushed her to the vet. They charged me an arm and a leg and used car bondo on her. Clean it, put antibiotic ontment on it and wrap it in gauze. and the hospital tank with paper towels until you can go to the regular vet.
 

Yvonne G

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No. The only time you want to wrap or bandage is if there is a hole to the interior of the shell. For scrapes and cuts, if you close it off, you seal in germs. Just think of the shell as the skin on your knee. When you skin your knee, even if its a bad scrape, you usually don't bandage it. Just clean it well and apply a healing ointment.
 

galvinkaos

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Good point, Yvonne. She did say that tissue is showing on both sides. Doris had a hole in the top and a crack in the bottom and she had a lot of tissue showing and they bondo'ed both.
 

Carol S

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Thank you for your help.

I put triple antibotic ointment on all his wounds. The one that really concerns me is the big piece of his shell segment that is gone and I can actually see his ?diaphragm? moving. I put the antibotic ointment on and wrapped gauze around his shell as I did not think it would be a good ideal if his insides were exposed to air. I am so upset I feel like I am going to be sick. I hope he is going to be okay. I am going to call the vet first thing in the morning. He is my very first tortoise. My daughter bought him for me for Mother's Day 3 or 4 years ago. He is so trusting as all he has ever known is love. I feel like such a bad tortoise mom as I should have double checked the latch on the gate before I came in. He was putting up quite a fight when I was putting his ointment on and wrapping his shell with gauze. I am going to keep a heat emitter on his enclosure and keep him at 80 degrees to give his immune system a boost. Can the vet mend his shell with resin or what do they usually use? I am normally so very paranoid about the care and safety of all my tortoises so I can only image how I will be now. I probably will start checking the gates to all the enclosures so many times that my family will think I have obsessive compulsive disorder. I will let everybody know how it goes at the vets tomorrow. Please say a prayer for my little guy. By the way his name is Turtle Baby.

Thanks again. :(
 

dmmj

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How the vet treats will depend on the amount of damage done. I know bondo used to be popular, but I don't think it is used much anymore, fiberglass seems to be the favorite. The vet may just let nature take it's course. (shell wise)
 

Carol S

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UPDATE:

I took him to the vet first thing this morning. The vet examined him and my tortoise (Turtle Baby) was putting up quite a fight. The vet took him in the back to clean and examine the wounds. What he did was -- one side of his shell had scutes pushed in (which the doctor said he pulled back into position and then used fiberglass for the final repair). The other side of his shell where the scute was completely gone and I can see into his body cavity has to be treated with antibiotic ointment once a day and covered with gauze. I also have to put the antibiotic ointment on his other wounds. I also have to give him one drop of oral antibiotic once a day. The vet said his injures were pretty extensive, but he has seen tortoises with much worse injuries which survive, however, he said he has also seen tortoises with less severe injuries which have died. I HOPE MY LITTLE GUY WILL BE OKAY.

When I was paying the bill my little guy was standing up with his neck stretched up looking around to see what was going on. He looked so cute.

I have to keep him in his inside enclosure on cloth towels or paper towels until he is well. Right now he is resting in his enclosure. I guess he is tired after fighting with the vet to get free (and I am sure he put up quite a fight in the back when they were patching him up).

He does not like it when I change things in his enclosure, so I am sure he is upset about the cypress mulch being gone and replaced with bath towels. I tried to put his stuff back in the enclosure like I had it before.

I offered him a red hisbicus flower but he didn't seem interested. I will feel much better when I see him eat.

Thanks again for information you gave me for his first aide. The vet said that I did everything right.

The next few days are the crucial ones. I hope my little guy pulls through, I can't stand the thought of him dying. How can I ever forgive myself for being careless and not latching the outside enclosure door. I feel like such a bad tortoise mother.

Please say a prayer for my little guy.

Carol
 

dmmj

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Don't worry to much about the appetite right now, antibiotic can throw it off (appetite)
 

AZtortMom

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I pray for a speedy recovery!
 

Masin

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Laura said:
now that he is ok,, fix the gate! high tension spring? to make sure it always closes tight.. or?

Good idea! And still double check :/
I'd be paranoid for life and have all sorts of barriers and precautions.
I hate that this lesson was a hard one to learn. Do keep us all posted! Pictures would be great!
 

Carol S

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Thanks everybody for your kind words and help. I am having a difficult time giving his oral medication.

A wonderful forum member who lives close by is meeting with me tonight to show me how to do it. The vet makes it look so easy, but yesterday when I tried I was stressing my little guy so much and he was fighting me. I was scared that I would hurt him so I really didn't get much (if any in his mouth, some on the outside which I tried to push in). I don't want to add to his stress right now. My husband was going to administer the medication once I got Turtle Baby's mouth open, but he said "stop, you are going to hurt him", so I gave up. Turtle Baby sticks his neck way out as he is fighting to get away, so my problem is stabilizing his neck and getting that tiny little mouth open. I am glad it is only one drop once a day. I know that right now it is very critical for him to have antibiotics as now is the time that infection can set in and he could become septic, etc.

He loves Mazuri and normally will eat a lot of it. I was hoping that I could get him to eat one bite which had the medication in it, however, he is not eating yet. Dr. Greek said that Turtle Baby might not eat for up to two weeks.

Turtle Baby loves to be in his outside enclosure and always seems lethargic and depressed, and not the eager eater when he has to stay in his inside enclosure so that is not helping his appetite.

My vet is wonderful (Dr. Greek in Yorba Linda). I could go by everyday and he would give the oral medication; however, I live in Loma Linda (so its a long drive), but if that is what I need to do to get my little guy well I will gladly do it.

I am so consumed with guilt. I normally am almost OCD about checking gates and checking to make sure that all my turtles in the different enclosures are okay before I go upstairs to go to bed at around 1-3 pm on the nights I work (I work the graveyard shift). I don't think I will ever be able to forgive myself. I pray that he will be okay. I am so stressed out. When I walk by his outside enclosure I feel so sad as normally be would be exploring, eating, etc and I stop by and talk and visit with him for a while. It seems so empty and sad right now.

I will keep you posted, and thanks again.
 
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