Tortoise with Open Wounds

sunshine_hugs

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Okay, so I know I have a predator after my tortoises. Even after I went to great lengths to secure their sleep box, something got in an killed 2 more while they were locked in there overnight.

So, I've started locking them all in plastic bins with secure lids, at night. I always put them away before dark.

Last night, I was out and couldn't get home as it fell dark. I arrived home about 30 mins after dark, and immediately went to put the torts away....the predator had already gotten at one of them (I think I actually scared it off, as it didn't actually kill the tort).

I've been setting traps, and getting nothing but little mice, and I'm pretty sure it's NOT a mouse doing this.

Anyway, my question...the predator ate both of the torts front legs, down to the bone. He still has his feet....it's like he was completely tucked in his shell, and something was biting at his legs. It also chewed up a couple spots on the back of his shell pretty badly (it's now white and oozing).

I washed him, cleaned the wounds the best I could, and have been keeping him dry, in a clean bin with no substrate in it (I don't want anything in his leg wounds). I'm also keeping him extra warm.

I currently have a small dish of drinking water in there, but it's not big enough for him to soak in.

We have one exotics vet on the island, and I'm trying to get into see her today (she actually called in sick this morning, but is supposed to be coming in in the afternoon)....I'm just wondering what I should do for him until he's seen by a vet.

I honestly have no idea if they have the equipment / knowledge to treat him here, but I'm hoping so.

Any advice on what to do for him would be wonderful.

I'm at work right now (with my tortoise), but won't be able to get pics until I'm home.

Thanks so much!
 

Yvonne G

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Tortoises are surprisingly resilient. He should be able to recover from his wounds. But the thing is he will need antibiotics to kill any germs that may be cooking in there. And use the antibiotics until they're gone. Don't stop because you think the tortoise is ok. Use them up.


You need to get a Have-A-Heart trap. This is a trap big enough to catch a larger predator and not mice or rats. Put meat as the bait...either cat food, or sardines, something smelly.
 

wellington

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I think until you catch what it is, you should keep your torts inside day and night. That way you can't have another, couldn't get home in time situation.


I am also sod sorry for the loss of your torts and the mangling of the other. Hope he pulls through.
 

sunshine_hugs

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Thanks guys. So, keeping him warm, clean & dry is all I can do for now?

And I have already moved all of them into bins full time, but have been keeping them on my balcony right now....will they be alright inside if we don't have the proper equipment for them (lights, etc)? That stuff is just not available on the island.

He seems to be using one of his front legs at the moment, the other (where the most bone is showing), he's just keeping tucked in his shell.

I'm just really hoping the vet comes in today, and we're able to get him some meds.

Oh, and we have traps set for possums (big, live traps), rats, and mice....all baited with meat...I've been using cooked chicken, but will try sardines tonight.
 

Yvonne G

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Yes, keep him warmer than normal, even if you have to position a regular light over the bin. Make sure no flies can get to the wounds. You can clean them out just like you would a wound on your own skin, using human first aid.
 

nickpanzee

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Definitely use raw meat as bait.

Do you have access to hotwire? If so, I would put that up at the top and bottom of any perimeter fence you have.
I would sit still and quiet outside a bit before dusk with a weapon of some sort (shovel or what ever you have) just sit still and wait. It may come to check things out. Whatever it is won't leave your tortoises alone since it sees them as an easy food source. It'll keep coming back. I've learned that by keeping chickens for 20 years.

I hope your tortoise is okay and I hope you don't lose any more to whatever it is. :(
 

sunshine_hugs

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Thanks everyone! He's at the vet right now....they are flushing the wounds, and giving him an antibiotic injection. He still seems interested in food, so I'm hoping that's a good sign.

Great idea about sitting outside a bit before dusk. Whatever it is, seems to know to avoid the traps, somehow. I'm not sure about hotwire on the island, but I'm going to ask around to see if that's an option...it's something I can import if I can't buy it here, but it will just take a month or so to arrive.

One more question. I normally soak him daily. Is this something I should stop doing while his wounds are open? It's not a problem to keep the temps up, and flies away.

The vet that he saw today is NOT an exotics vet, and has only worked with tortoises at Petsmart in the U.S., a while back. He was pretty upfront about the fact he doesn't know much about torts (he was consulting about the treatment over the phone, with the exotics vet, who's home sick today). He just wasn't able to answer many of my questions (like about soaking him, and whatnot).
 

thetortoiseguy

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You could build them an indoor enclosure as well as outside as a temparary enclosure while you try and catch this evil thing
 

sunshine_hugs

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I just still can't get over how fierce this predator is. All torts are being kept safely inside....they will get supervised outdoor time every day. I just feel guilty keeping them inside right now...they're used to having quite a bit of roaming space.

Hopefully we catch this thing quickly.

Anyway, Pickles (the one that was attacked), is home from the vet. I was very happy with the care he got here. The vet was great. He goes in tomorrow morning to change the bandages.

Here's a couple of pictures. They're bad quality, but you can see where the front of his shell was chewed.





 

Yvonne G

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Aw...he's just a little baby!

305560bbh1s5585h.gif
 

AnnV

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Poor little guy with his little bandages. ♡♡♡
I am betting it is mice. They can do a lot of damage. They are in my barn and chew things up quite a bit. Nothing live, but they have ruined some of my saddle pads.
I have seen 'mouse chew' on tough leather saddles that is quite extensive. Thankfully they have never chewed any of my leather as they have plenty of other food sources with the horse, chicken, and cat food around. But they have strong teeth and can get through amazingly small spaces.
 

sunshine_hugs

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Mice is the only thing I've actually seen, and the only thing I'm catching. I know the predator is small, according to the chew marks....I just had no idea a mouse would be capable of something like this (eating a live animal).

I'm just so thankful that, so far, it looks like Pickles is going to be alright. It will be a long recovery, but with proper care, he should be alright. ❤
 

LisaTurtle

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Poor little Pickles. He sure is a little cutie. Glad he's gonna be ok.
 

sunshine_hugs

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I'm still shocked that it could be mice (which I know we have around the yard). I was starting to feel guilty about killing them in the traps!!

Great news is Pickles is still eating! I was excited to see him finish off a hibiscus flower. He usually uses his front legs while he's eating....he seemed to struggle a bit, not wanting to use them. I'm thinking I'll cut his food up into small pieces at the beginning, to make sure he keeps eating.

Go Pickles!
 

AnnV

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Re: RE: Tortoise with Open Wounds

sunshine_hugs said:
I'm still shocked that it could be mice (which I know we have around the yard). I was starting to feel guilty about killing them in the traps!!

Great news is Pickles is still eating! I was excited to see him finish off a hibiscus flower. He usually uses his front legs while he's eating....he seemed to struggle a bit, not wanting to use them. I'm thinking I'll cut his food up into small pieces at the beginning, to make sure he keeps eating.

Go Pickles!

:D:D:D:D
 

luvpetz27

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Glad to hear pickles is ok!! I was praying for the sweetie pie! :)
 
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