tortoise rammed...Size does matter ***Graphic Images***

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exoticsdr

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Looked at the schedule this afternoon and saw a turtle on the books and thought that I had something to look forward to.....boy, was I right. (I was given permission, by the owner, to post pics and tell his story so the members of TFO could learn from his mistake....thanks to him).

Turned out to be a 10# Sulcatta with a shell injury caused by being rammed by an 80+ pounder. Now before everyone starts condemning the owner, the larger tort was being kept on display at a public attraction and was just moved home by the owner because another large Sulcatta had just been stolen from the site. Out of neccessity, the owner placed it into his only enclosure until he could set up a new enclosure. During the initial exam I could see a full thickness section of shell approximately 6-8" long and 2" wide completely missing and the defect was filled with dirt, feces and debris. The first three pics are of the tort pre-treatment.

2012-04-26_15-08-07_540.jpg

2012-04-26_15-07-52_539.jpg

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After alot of flushing, scrubbing with a soft brush and digging, this what we end up with. Lots of shell damage and still a significant amount of debris present at this time. You can clearly see the intact pleura which was actively moving in and out with respiration. The tort reacted very little when I was cleaning the wound but was trying to move about just like any normal Sulcatta that was being restrained when they didn't want to be. Because of the contamination, we are going to have to move slowly to allow any tissue that is devitalized or going to become devitalized time to make itself known and be taken care of, while at the same time trying to prevent the pleura from drying and becoming necrotic. We packed the wound with chlorhex soaked gauze and wrapped with Saran Wrap (of all things) with 4 times daily hydrotherapy and repacking until we can determine what our next steps are. Initially placed on Enrofloxacin orally because of it's wide spectrum and will adjust this also (if needed) over the next weeks....hope to add Silvadene Creme along the shell edges as soon as I we get a nice healthy bed of granulation tissue covering the pleura.

2012-04-26_15-18-26_586.jpg


As you can see, this is an extremely serious wound and hpefully all will work out well...the overwhelming contamination is going to be our biggest obstacle. Wish us luck. Doc
 

Jacob

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Very Nice Post, This shows what can and will happen if you keep sulcatas's together.
 

N2TORTS

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DOC ..... Amazing and thank you for sharing! ... Wishing the best for a speedy recovery and wonderful job done!

JD~:)
 

wellington

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WOW That is terrible. Hope all goes really well. Just that quick, things can go wrong and one is damaged or killed, WOW. Thanks for the post, reminder and hopefully answering all those questions of why can't I ...
Good luck, keep us posted on his recovery, fingers crossed.
 

Jacqui

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First thank you for taking the time to show us this. Plus please thank the owners for us and let them know we are all cheering for this fellow. I don't think I was fully prepared for the vast amount of damage done to this tortoise. Simply amazing and very sad. Hopefully others will now take this message to heart.
 

dmmj

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Wow graphic for sure, maybe we should sticky this so new owners can see what could happen. Either way thanks to you for posting and the owner for allowing it.
 

Baoh

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Thanks for sharing this. I avoid keeping multiple males of the same species for this sort of reason. The females can sometimes be aggressive, too, but male tend to be more ramming oriented. I hope the tortoise pulls through. It looks like you did a good job cleaning the wound. How long did it take you from start to finish?
 

ALDABRAMAN

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N2TORTS said:
DOC ..... Amazing and thank you for sharing! ... Wishing the best for a speedy recovery and wonderful job done!

JD~:)

:tort: I am on the same page as JD, Thank you for posting this thread. Great information and something for all sulcata owners to think about when housing multiple large males together.
 

Tom

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Thanks Doc. A picture is worth a thousand words...

Hope treatment goes well and thanks to the owner for allowing you to post.
 

RV's mom

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hope treatment is successful.. In the hospital setting we frequently see "open" abdomen - packed and wrapped - each day reopened, inspected/evaluated, cleaned and re-wrapped...

hope this boy has positive outcome, and as Tom says
Picture is a thousand words...


teri
 

EKLC

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Best of luck doc, he's in good hands. Keep us updated
 

Yvonne G

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I used to belong to the Sulcata group on YAHOO, and a few years ago saw pictures similar to these where a sulcata had rammed another sulcata. I could never find them to post here.

Thank you for sharing this tortoise's ordeal with us. Tortoises are extremely resilient. I hope he does well.
 

DesertGrandma

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First, Thanks to you and your client for posting these photos. Assuming all goes well, the infection is cleared up and new growth of tissue has begun, how do you plan to permanently cover that opening in the shell?
 

Katherine

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Thank you for sharing this story and pictures, we can never have enough reminders. I am glad they got him to you for treatment. I had a young Sulcata with similar injuries and it took 2 years before new shell began to close the open wound, but after a loooong recovery period she healed completely. I see you mentioned syran wrap, we ended up sealing our injury with a clear piece of plastic from a bag of lactated ringers, sterile side in. It needed periodic replacement but was durable enough not to tear and clear enough to allow us to check for obvious problems like drying and necrosis without having to remove it frequently. I hope the same outcome for this guy, they are resilient.
 

Laura

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I assume the wound was full of dirt because when a male starts ramming, the bulldoze and push and shove and this porr guy probably got shoved all around the enclosure and thru the dirt.
 
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