Treatment Options - CDT attacked by Neighbor's dog

jmu114

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My 7 year old CDT, Frank, was attacked by a neighbor's dog today. The dog dug through the fence and got a hold of Frank. About 3 inches of his shell, carapace and plastron, were ripped off from the lower left side above the leg, exposing his organs. There are no skin or muscles I can see... just organs. Other parts of the shell were damaged but not serious. He still moves all his legs and head.

The emergency vet said it would be a humane thing to euthanize him as there is no way to patch him up and prognosis is poor.

We opted to get him cleaned and bandaged up and gave him pain, antibacterial and fluid injections for now.

We are going to see a specialist tomorrow.
I assume X-rays will be done.

What are your thoughts on the prognosis of tortoise with such injuries. Is there hope? What treatment options does he have? Frank was a very healthy and active tortoise before the incident.

About 7 years ago, this forum helped me save three very sick baby CDTs named Heidi, Frosty and Frank. Per experts recommendation here, I bathed them in warm carrot water and hand fed them for 4 months to bring them back from brink of death. Frank is a tough tort, largest of all 3. I hope he can survive this.
 
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ZEROPILOT

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The injuries sound extensive and I would also consider putting the animal down.
I would also file a police report and look into the neighbors home owners insurance. Nothing will be safe until the neighbors secure the dog. Paying you for your loss (And costs) will motivate them.
Best of luck to you.
 

jmu114

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This is a repeat post I placed on the tortoise health page.

My 7 year old CDT, Frank, is severely injured from my neighbor's dog attacking him sometime yesterday. The dog dug through the fence and got a hold of Frank. Frank's organs are showing through about 3x1 inches of opening where the dog bit off a section of carapace/plastron around the left lower leg. Organs appear untouched, but there is no muscle or skin to cover the area. He still moves his legs and head.

Is there hope for recovery? Emergency vet said it would be humane to put him down and prognosis was poor. I've seen severely injured tortoises recover, and I want to move forward with treatment if Frank has a slight chance to live through it. For now, I have him cleaned, bandaged and got injections for fluid, antibiotics and pain.

We are seeing a specialist first thing in the morning. You and others here have helped me save Frank and his siblings (Heidi and Frosty) 7 years ago. I hope Frank can pull though another miracle.

I hope to get your honest opinion. In this situation, is it a humane thing to put him down? Are there treatment options? If so, what's recommended?

I was feeling shocked and numb at first...now I am so sad and don't know what to do....
 

Yvonne G

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Tortoises are very resilient. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if he beats this. The open wound will need to be covered, and antibiotics administered. It will probably be pretty costly. No one would think badly of you if you were to opt for putting him out of his misery. Good luck with whatever decision you make. I feel for you.
 
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Taylor T.

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Tortoises can go though a lot. I'm pretty sure that there was an injury similar to this a while ago, and the tortoise survived. As stated above however, the choice is really yours to make.

I agree with @ZEROPILOT about the insurance.
 

Kasia

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This is a repeat post I placed on the tortoise health page.

My 7 year old CDT, Frank, is severely injured from my neighbor's dog attacking him sometime yesterday. The dog dug through the fence and got a hold of Frank. Frank's organs are showing through about 3x1 inches of opening where the dog bit off a section of carapace/plastron around the left lower leg. Organs appear untouched, but there is no muscle or skin to cover the area. He still moves his legs and head.

Is there hope for recovery? Emergency vet said it would be humane to put him down and prognosis was poor. I've seen severely injured tortoises recover, and I want to move forward with treatment if Frank has a slight chance to live through it. For now, I have him cleaned, bandaged and got injections for fluid, antibiotics and pain.

We are seeing a specialist first thing in the morning. You and others here have helped me save Frank and his siblings (Heidi and Frosty) 7 years ago. I hope Frank can pull though another miracle.

I hope to get your honest opinion. In this situation, is it a humane thing to put him down? Are there treatment options? If so, what's recommended?

I was feeling shocked and numb at first...now I am so sad and don't know what to do....
You can always hope, find an expert that can try to patch him up and ease the pain. I would surely seek another opinion. Just don't let him suffer. Tortoise will not tell you that his in pain.
 

jmu114

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Just came back from the vet. We are moving ahead with treatment. Treatment will involve flushing and cleaning the wound + patching him up with some epoxy material. Will be on a lot of pain meds and antibiotics for a while. Attached is a photo of another survivor treated by him last week.

f2415901ff85f194efb8621d497937dc.jpg
 

jmu114

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Any updates? How is Frank doing?

He came home Monday and is resting.
8dbcc8eba3ef7d16f80b306eb08935c2.jpg


02e122e6a831287d01676f34926f5f03.jpg


The doctor was able to find enough skin suture it to the shell and cover the organs. He only covered the edges of the shell with epoxy and left the skin exposed to air. Doc also said upper half of the plastron were peeled down to membrane...the shiny film you see (below neck area) is a protective layer the doc added on.

The doc said he is a she....so Frankie is the new name.
 
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Tidgy's Dad

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Thanks for going the extra mile with this.
Whatever the outcome, i think this was the right decision.
Best wishes and good luck to you both.
 

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