White flesh

EppsDynasty

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Just got home......Yes Yes Yes The Dr kinda wondered why we were there (was the feeling my wife and I got). Said that the shell is healing well, continue with supporting and let it do on it's own what it needs to. Said the Plastron healing will be a slow process and to be patient. Dr. recommended using Acrylic for nails to bond a support device to the Plastron. Said 2 part epoxy would work but be careful, certain brands heat up...alot. As long as the epoxy doesn't get above 120 degrees Fahrenheit it won't damage the shell, (I'm guessing a short amount of time at heated temp.) Jo Jo's eye IS AN EYE.......... O Yeah O yeah. Limited vision is the Dr. opinion and I do agree. I have been setting up experiments to test her eye. Such as lining up food from left to right then placing her in the middle, to see if she notices the food on the left.....not once, always to the right. She does see shadows and movements out of the eye. This should make life a little easier for her than blind. Artificial Tears for lubrication and see what happens. Dr. doesn't know if maybe an eyelid will appear, there is something there. I'm not sure it's an eyelid though.
So off to buy supplies we went..... Home depot for an aluminum flat bar. Aluminum won't rust is lighter than Stainless Steel and easier to work with. Tomorrow I'll make the 2 "bars" we will use to support. Sallys Beauty Supply for Acrylic nail .....stuff. We chose the acrylic because of it's ability to be removed and redone. The 2 part epoxy is there for good, well until it is shedded off. Is shedded a word?
As for the shirt......I read that tortoises use their sense of smell to determine food from other stuff. I have always used scent imprinting on our animals. Let me explain....When we got our new puppy she rode home surrounded by one of my shirts, then we used an old shirt as a bedding. This is to get the dog used to the smell as a "comfort". Our pig LOVES my Carhart jacket to be placed over her or one of my sweaters when shes cold, stressed, scared or a host of other times. When Jo Jo is given the opportunity to go "hide" in one of my shirts she does. If a shirt is placed into her enclosure it won't be long and shes in it. Hopefully it is a "comfort" to her and it brings her a little less stress.
Again Thank You all for going on this journey with us, and being there when we needed ya!
 

TammyJ

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So glad it all worked out well! You are awesome people.
 

zolasmum

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So very very happy that the vet was good and helpful, and that all your care for JoJo has worked out so far.
I should think the vet must have been very impressed at how much progress you have achieved. It's great that the eye is definitely functioning - even a bit will make life much easier for her, after all.
YoU are wonderful parents to the little creature - how very fortunate she was found. Did the vet have any idea how old she might be?
All very best wishes - and I'm sure everyone will want you to keep us informed. in detail.
Angie
 

zolasmum

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Just got home......Yes Yes Yes The Dr kinda wondered why we were there (was the feeling my wife and I got). Said that the shell is healing well, continue with supporting and let it do on it's own what it needs to. Said the Plastron healing will be a slow process and to be patient. Dr. recommended using Acrylic for nails to bond a support device to the Plastron. Said 2 part epoxy would work but be careful, certain brands heat up...alot. As long as the epoxy doesn't get above 120 degrees Fahrenheit it won't damage the shell, (I'm guessing a short amount of time at heated temp.) Jo Jo's eye IS AN EYE.......... O Yeah O yeah. Limited vision is the Dr. opinion and I do agree. I have been setting up experiments to test her eye. Such as lining up food from left to right then placing her in the middle, to see if she notices the food on the left.....not once, always to the right. She does see shadows and movements out of the eye. This should make life a little easier for her than blind. Artificial Tears for lubrication and see what happens. Dr. doesn't know if maybe an eyelid will appear, there is something there. I'm not sure it's an eyelid though.
So off to buy supplies we went..... Home depot for an aluminum flat bar. Aluminum won't rust is lighter than Stainless Steel and easier to work with. Tomorrow I'll make the 2 "bars" we will use to support. Sallys Beauty Supply for Acrylic nail .....stuff. We chose the acrylic because of it's ability to be removed and redone. The 2 part epoxy is there for good, well until it is shedded off. Is shedded a word?
As for the shirt......I read that tortoises use their sense of smell to determine food from other stuff. I have always used scent imprinting on our animals. Let me explain....When we got our new puppy she rode home surrounded by one of my shirts, then we used an old shirt as a bedding. This is to get the dog used to the smell as a "comfort". Our pig LOVES my Carhart jacket to be placed over her or one of my sweaters when shes cold, stressed, scared or a host of other times. When Jo Jo is given the opportunity to go "hide" in one of my shirts she does. If a shirt is placed into her enclosure it won't be long and shes in it. Hopefully it is a "comfort" to her and it brings her a little less stress.
Again Thank You all for going on this journey with us, and being there when we needed ya!
I forgot to ask -how did JoJo cope with the long journey ? - and how is she today? I hope you managed to sleep last night, after all that stress. You were going to ask the vet to debride her plastron, for the shell to re-attach -did she think it would gradually do so perhaps in time on its own?
JoJo looks so very sweet on your shirt !
All best wishes
Angie
 

EppsDynasty

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I forgot to ask -how did JoJo cope with the long journey ? - and how is she today? I hope you managed to sleep last night, after all that stress. You were going to ask the vet to debride her plastron, for the shell to re-attach -did she think it would gradually do so perhaps in time on its own?
JoJo looks so very sweet on your shirt !
All best wishes
Angie
She did well with the car ride ....there and back. The lady at the beauty supply asked "What brings you in today." "A tortoise" I replied, looking into a very confused face. We of course started talking about Jo Jo and the journey we were on. I call this a journey due to all of the unknowns and answers I don't have. The sales lady was answering the phone when we walked in, and started to explain how sick her daughter was. After she helped us we explained where we lived and what it is we do. She started to tell us how much her daughter would love to see the Torts and turts. Of course I gave her a card and told her "Call us first, and bring your daughter we'll let you guys come see all the animals." Jo Jo the Tortoise ambassador!
The debriding process she determined was not needed. We toke Jo Jo without her support so the vet could see the crack and we wouldn't be wasting time. Stiff, thats the way her plastron was, not very mobile like it was when we received her. We have been VERY diligent in keeping her supported and not allowing the broken plastron piece to move AT ALL. When the vet tried moving the shell it barely moved...."What the he**" was my first reaction. Why isn't the shell moving? Well we have never tried to move her plastron since day 2 of having her. Seems like it worked, the plastron is healing and getting "Stiff". I must say @Yvonne G did say in the beginning "It might need debriding." She is a Trusted source of info, a true blessing to not just our family but to ALL our animals. EVERY tort we treat, save, help out is a direct result of @Yvonne G 's passion for them. She brought us to the Tort. table and now we have ALL kinds of help, friends and TRUSTED information.
Jo Jo owes all of you a very heartfelt Thank You. It is truly you guys that have helped her make it this far. Her life will be filled with Food, Fun and most of all LOVE.
 

EppsDynasty

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O YES......almost forgot.... ARTIFICIAL TEARS, thats the order from the vet. What is artificial tears made of ......? Anyone know? ............Well it's Mineral Oil and Vaseline.. !
Picture this....me and my wife in the Eye Care aisle of Walmart each grabbing different brands and reading the ingredients. "This 1 says Mineral Oil ... This 1 to" Fellow shoppers wondering what in the world are these people doing. "This 1 says Boric Acid, no way" "This 1 says Hyaluronic acid, no way."
Moral of the story @Yvonne G saying her choice was mineral oil was spot on. I was a close second with Vaseline, since it's the second ingredient.
Hope this helps with Tort. Eye Care for someone in the future.
 

zolasmum

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Thats all absolutely great news . By the way, Zola's eyes started looking a bit sore at one point, and the guy where we got Zola said he always used Viscotears Liquid Gel, which one can get at any pharmacy, and is quite cheap, on his tortoises. You just drip a blob on the eye, and being a gel, it stays on longer than liquids. Maybe that's similar to what you are using.
It's wonderful about JoJos plastron beginning to heal - seems like you have been doing even better than you thought ! I am so glad.
All best wishes from Angie
 

EppsDynasty

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Thats all absolutely great news . By the way, Zola's eyes started looking a bit sore at one point, and the guy where we got Zola said he always used Viscotears Liquid Gel, which one can get at any pharmacy, and is quite cheap, on his tortoises. You just drip a blob on the eye, and being a gel, it stays on longer than liquids. Maybe that's similar to what you are using.
It's wonderful about JoJos plastron beginning to heal - seems like you have been doing even better than you thought ! I am so glad.
All best wishes from Angie
Every " Gel " we found (here in the U.S.) was a white petroleum base. Viscotears contains 2.0 mg/g of the active ingredient, carbomer (polyacrylic acid). The liquid gel also contains the inactive ingredients cetrimide (as a preservative), sorbitol, sodium hydroxide and water. Any one that had ingredients including acids or Propylene Glycol we stayed away from. It just didn't sound good for an eye. The US allows propylene glycol but it is banned in the UK for it's harmful side effects.
SIDE NOTE.....Propylene Glycol is the most commonly used "Oil" for Vape products, the ones everybody is sucking on when you go out. Most people know of the Nicotine products but have no idea of the products that contain CBD or THC. These vape juices are deadly and are the NEW way of smoking.
Back to Ingredients... When the vet used her light to look at Jo Jo's eye she was amazed at the complete structure of an the eye and responsive. For this reason we just were not sure if those weird ingredients were safe for a tortoise eye.
 

Big Charlie

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Every " Gel " we found (here in the U.S.) was a white petroleum base. Viscotears contains 2.0 mg/g of the active ingredient, carbomer (polyacrylic acid). The liquid gel also contains the inactive ingredients cetrimide (as a preservative), sorbitol, sodium hydroxide and water. Any one that had ingredients including acids or Propylene Glycol we stayed away from. It just didn't sound good for an eye. The US allows propylene glycol but it is banned in the UK for it's harmful side effects.
SIDE NOTE.....Propylene Glycol is the most commonly used "Oil" for Vape products, the ones everybody is sucking on when you go out. Most people know of the Nicotine products but have no idea of the products that contain CBD or THC. These vape juices are deadly and are the NEW way of smoking.
Back to Ingredients... When the vet used her light to look at Jo Jo's eye she was amazed at the complete structure of an the eye and responsive. For this reason we just were not sure if those weird ingredients were safe for a tortoise eye.
The acids they put in eye drops are safe for the eye. They adjust the ph of the solution, which is important so it will match the ph of your eye. Boric acid is commonly used as an eye wash and feels very soothing. I have to use artificial tears all the time. Most artificial tears will also contain ingredients to adjust the salinity so it will match real tears. For a tortoise, mineral oil and vaseline will work to keep the eye moisturized but it is hard to see through those ingredients, which is why I rarely use them. If I do, I'll only use them at night.
 

zolasmum

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That's very interesting - I was thinking myself that vaseline and mineral oil would make a sort of film over the eye, which would make vision poorer - though in JoJo's case that wouldn't be a huge problem - and in fact the film might actually be protective , since she doesn't have a working eyelid.
 

EppsDynasty

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Here we go...... FB247DE8-7C65-445C-BA6D-5251222DF0C7.jpeg B33BFB1A-1C6C-42B6-9E35-05B95205DFA9.jpeg
I started out with Aluminum flat bar (metric conversion is 2.5 centimeters wide and 3 millimeters thick). You can see in the pic that I cut the bar in half. Drew a line down the middle then cut on 1 side of the line. This was done to give me 2 different sizes (width), if it's cut right down the middle you just made 2 of the same size. I wanted different widths to see what would be best for Jo Jo. I then set the pieces up against her Plastron to measure the length needed. The 2 resulting pieces were then "shaped" to eliminate all sharp edges, or corners that would catch while she's on the run. To the sharp eyed people here, Yes they are not exactly the same length. Her plastron isn't straight nor equal on both sides. The longer piece weighs 6.5 grams (6500 miligrams) and the shorter one weighs 6.4 grams (6400 miligrams). This is a small difference of weight considering she weighs about 600 grams. We then had to "smooth" out the pieces with 800 grit sandpaper. We did this to decrease the surface area for bacteria to grow. We wanted the pieces as smooth as they could be. So to recall what we've got is 2 pieces totalling 12.9 grams or 2.15% of total body weight. That 4 lbs (1.8 kilograms) on a 200 lbs. (90.7 kilograms) person. Don't think that's to bulky or weigh to much for her to adapt to without strain, on her little legs.
Today we'll try the acrylic bonding of supports. Of course pictures will be taken.
 

EppsDynasty

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The acids they put in eye drops are safe for the eye. They adjust the ph of the solution, which is important so it will match the ph of your eye. Boric acid is commonly used as an eye wash and feels very soothing. I have to use artificial tears all the time. Most artificial tears will also contain ingredients to adjust the salinity so it will match real tears. For a tortoise, mineral oil and vaseline will work to keep the eye moisturized but it is hard to see through those ingredients, which is why I rarely use them. If I do, I'll only use them at night.
I completely understand all of that BUT whats the PH of a Desert Tortoise eye? Is it the same as a human eye? I don't know. The artificial tears you use work because you have an eye lid, she doesn't so any "water" like liquid just runs off her eye. She has to have something that "sticks" to her eye. Does anyone know of testing on torts for Propylene Glycol....what about Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium.... how bout this.....
In addition to Artificial Tears products, FDA is also now warning consumers and health care professionals not to purchase or use Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment due to potential bacterial contamination. This is an over-the-counter product, manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited, intended to be sterile........... What about this........

FDA warns consumers not to purchase or use EzriCare Artificial Tears due to potential contamination....​

So as you see just a little to many unknowns for my baby.
 

EppsDynasty

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Here’s Jo Jo…. 8EFA1E8D-0DC5-4207-998D-9493E8F9DA1C.jpeg what an experience. First sterilization of aluminum supports and plastron. Then build up acrylic on those aluminum supports. This was to make the supports be a "Bridge" over the effected Plastron areas. We did not want the supports to be against the plastron. All kinds of bad stuff would be under there for the life of the bond. 97D769E5-F7E1-4286-9AAE-3F6F8D163EF3.jpeg 8C45015C-1493-4E70-B9F0-0A047EB0CCCB.jpeg Then we had to prep the plastron by first marking area of bonding. This area then needed to be scuffed up for better surface to bond with. BA3398EC-29CD-4395-B39D-3D0BA83BF6DA.jpeg 890077E8-C982-486B-AB76-830B8C73708C.jpeg The area of bonding needed to be primed then a small amount of acrylic was applied. 35FFF65F-A122-4EDD-AF24-4C0D3D62E915.jpeg We then had to put supports in place and keep pressure till the acrylic was dried, about 3 minutes to be safe is what we did. This was when I realized that an unplanned/thought of thing was happening, VAPORS. Ever walk into a nail salon...our little thing was being smothered with air full of acrylic vapors. I had to blow air from head to tail direction to keep a supply of fresh air and push as many vapors as possible to the rear. This became very hard to accomplish since we had to push the front area of the plastron to meet the support. Her front plastron is...was tilting upwards towards her head. 4243E27A-3F24-4D65-AF91-EA1CD6E76B22.jpeg And there it is, well the first one. 9E1D48DF-D949-49F3-9097-6C054DE0AE14.jpeg Ooops pics got reversed....your all smart you'll figure it out way before I figure out how to now change it. This is where it really was hard to take pictures and help the wife so no pics on the 2nd supports placement. We needed to make sure the bonding in all 4 areas was SECURE. We made very small amounts of acrylic and coated the entire sides of the supports as well as the acrylic "pancakes." I call it this because thats what happened, by pressing them on it made 2 pancake shapes pieces of acrylic. 1 on the plastron 1 on the support. By coating them again it filled in any voids and made a more secure bond. E7260311-8C1B-42E6-8EF2-9630DF8CEE32.jpeg Here you can see the supports are well above here leg height. As well as the air space between plastron and aluminum.
I really hope this came out ok this is by far my most "advanced' post, all these pics so must frustration....but well worth it I hope this helps some tortoise in need of a little support!
 

zolasmum

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Watching the process had me in tears, but you've done a wonderful job - thank you so very very much.
You seem to have forseen everything that might go wrong, and dealt with it all so well- and you are right that some future tortoise carer will find it all magically explained in advance by you and feel able to help their own tortoise in a similar way. Brilliant !
Angie
 

zolasmum

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Watching the process had me in tears, but you've done a wonderful job - thank you so very very much.
You seem to have forseen everything that might go wrong, and dealt with it all so well- and you are right that some future tortoise carer will find it all magically explained in advance by you and feel able to help their own tortoise in a similar way. Brilliant !
Angie
And well done JoJo for being such a good and patient little tortoise. xxx
 

EppsDynasty

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Watching the process had me in tears, but you've done a wonderful job - thank you so very very much.
You seem to have forseen everything that might go wrong, and dealt with it all so well- and you are right that some future tortoise carer will find it all magically explained in advance by you and feel able to help their own tortoise in a similar way. Brilliant !
Angie
Honestly it did that to me as well, typing up the process was far more emotional than imagined.
And well done JoJo for being such a good and patient little tortoise. xxx
I'm sure Zola is the same loving hands as Jo Jo.
 

zolasmum

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Are you going to tell the vet about what you did? I can imagine how some time in the future, vets will be enthusiastically recommending the JoJo Epps method ! !
Angie
 

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