Shell repair? - (dog bite puncture wounds)

IAHermanns

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Jun 17, 2024
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Des Moines, IA
Hello,

Last month my 6 year old hermann’s got chewed up a bit by my parents new puppy who got loose off his chain. Luckily he’s alright but he has a few small bite marks/puncture holes in his shell. Should I try to repair these with tiny fiberglass patches to cover up the punctures or just leave them be? Will the holes ever heal/fill in on their own?

Thank you for any advice or past experiences anyone can share.
 

wellington

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Ugh, the dog damage again. Please, never let a tortoise be in an area that a dog is in. It will never go well for the tortoise.
As for the wounds, post a pic of them. Be sure to keep them clean and flies out of them. If they are small enough, no patch is needed depending on their location. They will fill in, but it will take a long time.
I would've sure to clean them and wipe with some iodine just once and then keep a close eye on them.
Pictures would help a lot though to see if more needs to be done.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Hello,

Last month my 6 year old hermann’s got chewed up a bit by my parents new puppy who got loose off his chain. Luckily he’s alright but he has a few small bite marks/puncture holes in his shell. Should I try to repair these with tiny fiberglass patches to cover up the punctures or just leave them be? Will the holes ever heal/fill in on their own?

Thank you for any advice or past experiences anyone can share.
Hello and welcome to the forum! I’m sorry to hear this has happened, it’s unfortunately all too common a story therefore always advised to make sure dogs have zero way of being able to access your tortoise. Hopefully future instances can be avoided with your tortoise secured in their enclosure.

I have no personal experience with how to treat an injury like this, but I know it’ll definitely need thoroughly cleaning with iodine, I’m not sure about the patches you’ve mentioned but hang tight for some of the more experienced members to advise on exactly what products to use here. Wellington has already advised you well here!

Photos of the injury would be good too, it’ll help advising on how to treat

I don’t suppose we could get a photo of your enclosure? It’s always good to see how new members are keeping their tortoise👍
 

IAHermanns

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Des Moines, IA
We definitely learned our lesson. Never thought the puppy would break loose and hop a 30 inch fence :(. Was a traumatic day.

I just applied neosporin so you can’t really tell how deep the punctures are at the moment. Only one of the 6 holes is deep enough where you can see a tiny bit of red still (muscle maybe?) I got him to the vet and on antibiotics for a week when it happened a month ago. I just am wondering if I should leave the deepest hole alone or maybe cover it up with a tiny piece of fiberglass so dirt and debris doesn’t keep getting in it.

The deepest hole is the farthest hole to the right on the first picture.

Edit: The enclosure where it happened was a temporary one I use when I’m visiting my parents home. I’ll see if I can find a photo
 

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Littleredfootbigredheart

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We definitely learned our lesson. Never thought the puppy would break loose and hop a 30 inch fence :(. Was a traumatic day.

I just applied neosporin so you can’t really tell how deep the punctures are at the moment. Only one of the 6 holes is deep enough where you can see a tiny bit of red still (muscle maybe?) I got him to the vet and on antibiotics for a week when it happened a month ago. I just am wondering if I should leave the deepest hole alone or maybe cover it up with a tiny piece of fiberglass so dirt and debris doesn’t keep getting in it.

The deepest hole is the farthest hole to the right on the first picture.

Edit: The enclosure where it happened was a temporary one I use when I’m visiting my parents home. I’ll see if I can find a photo
Oh goodness he was got good bless him😭
Hopefully Yvonne can advise you further on treatment here, I can’t talk to how severe the damage is so hopefully someone more experienced can help you!

As for the temporary enclosure you had him in, I can unfortunately see how pup jumped over, those runs aren’t the most secure, I can see a bouncy new pup getting in, but like you say it’s a lesson you’ve learnt. If he has to set up there often I’d definitely recommend building a more permanent, secure outdoor space, maybe the photos below could give you some inspiration. If you use something like chicken wire, I’d place either a safe type of timer or bricks that stand higher than the tortoise inside the bottom of the enclosure, so that he can’t rub his legs on it or get hurt👍

What’s his permanent home like out of interest?🙂
 

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IAHermanns

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Location (City and/or State)
Des Moines, IA
Oh goodness he was got good bless him😭
Hopefully Yvonne can advise you further on treatment here, I can’t talk to how severe the damage is so hopefully someone more experienced can help you!

As for the temporary enclosure you had him in, I can unfortunately see how pup jumped over, those runs aren’t the most secure, I can see a bouncy new pup getting in, but like you say it’s a lesson you’ve learnt. If he has to set up there often I’d definitely recommend building a more permanent, secure outdoor space, maybe the photos below could give you some inspiration. If you use something like chicken wire, I’d place either a safe type of timer or bricks that stand higher than the tortoise inside the bottom of the enclosure, so that he can’t rub his legs on it or get hurt👍

What’s his permanent home like out of interest?🙂
Yeah I still haven’t forgiven myself for letting it happen. As someone who has worked from home and single I’ve pretty much spent every single moment with him from when he was 2 weeks old to being almost 7 now and haven’t had one issue with him until this incident. Was and still am devastated his perfect little beautiful shell is messed up now.

Unfortunately I live in a pretty small apartment at the moment so this is about the best I can do until I have a house and backyard in a few years after I get done with schooling.
 

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Littleredfootbigredheart

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Yeah I still haven’t forgiven myself for letting it happen. As someone who has worked from home and single I’ve pretty much spent every single moment with him from when he was 2 weeks old to being almost 7 now and haven’t had one issue with him until this incident. Was and still am devastated his perfect little beautiful shell is messed up now.

Unfortunately I live in a pretty small apartment at the moment so this is about the best I can do until I have a house and backyard in a few years after I get done with schooling.
I’m so sorry it happened😣I can imagine it was very upsetting for you, at least you know now how to avoid future incidents.

I can completely sympathise with size being an issue for you right now, I think this size a set up will do fine until you have your own place to give him a larger secure area either indoors or out😊
If I may, there are just a few things that jump out here, that changing up would greatly benefit your beautiful guy❤️
May I ask what type of heat bulb it is you are using? Avoid any bulbs that say mercury vapour or halogen, you need an incandescent floodlight on a 12hour timer, I’ll attach a picture of the bulb, directly under the bulb should be around 95-100f and the rest of the enclosure should be in a range of 75-80, night temps can be in the 60’s. A good way to check your temps is to have both monitors and do checks with a temp gun(you can find them pretty cheap)
I would also hang some ambient lighting that lights the entire enclosure, a simple screw in led will do the trick in the colour range of 5000-6500k from the hardware store, you can create shady areas with hides etc. this lighting needs to be on the same 12hour timer.
Also as you are housing this guy indoors most the time, some indoor uv needs to be provided in the form of a t5 fluorescent tube light, preferably with a reflector fitting as to waste no uv light, I recommend the Arcadia brand 12% mounted 18-20 inches from your substrate, it comes with the reflector. Don’t use any kind of compact uv bulbs, they don’t give out enough uv over a large enough area and can actually be damaging to the tortoises eyes.
Humidity wise your fella needs about 50-60%, whilst not a super high humidity requirement, beech wood chip is far too dry and not an appropriate substrate, a better alternative is orchid bark, I’d recommend getting something to measure your humidity if you haven’t already, just aim for a damper layer underneath and a dryer layer on top, to stop the top layer getting a little too dry, mix the substrate now n then. To keep the under layer dry, do lukewarm water pours in the corners of the substrate, not loads and not too often, just check the substrate🙂
Obviously with your current set up moisture escaping onto your floor would be an issue, I’d personally recommend you build some sort of base using some timber wood, then line the whole thing with cheap pond liner, you can then also use timber to create stands to hang your lighting the appropriate level, I’ll attach how people fix the tube uv👍
I’d also get yourself a shallow terracotta saucer sitting flush with the substrate to use as your water dish, they’re considered the safest and can be found pretty cheap, then to serve food I’d use a large serving slate, does wonders keeping their beak down😊
 

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