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I’ve read so many horror stories in the past couple weeks that I can hardly believe this happened to us. Currently my tortoise has been living in a temporary home and I bring him in and outside to get some sun and proper temperatures while I set up his enclosure, and to get some good running time in I usually monitor him in the closed off flower bed that we have to make sure he doesn’t eat anything he’s not supposed to, and that the dogs stay away from him.

However, today I was a complete fool. I went in to get my temperature gun to make sure the areas he was in were okay for him, and the dogs were so quiet I didn’t even register that they were outside. I couldn’t see him in the enclosure when I got back out and looked around and saw one of the dogs standing over him. This is probably one of the most stressful and heart breaking things I’ve ever felt. I am so beyond disappointed with myself and I’m not sure what I should be doing now to help him.

I immediately got him and put him in his box, and he was so stressed he’d pooped so much. They had gotten the corner of his shell, and honestly when I found him it looked much worse than it does in these pictures, but maybe I was just freaking out.

I had so much trouble finding a vet that could take him, but when I brought him in they said he was okay and didn’t even charge me or have a proper visit, they just said that because he’s active and alert and there’s no major injuries or punctures that I would just have to keep it clean and make sure he continues using all of his limbs as normal and eating/drinking/pooping as normal.

I just got home from the vet and I hadn’t had a chance to clean him off in the frenzy of getting there, so just now I took a soft clean tshirt of mine and got it wet and was cleaning the dirt/poop off of him. I have him soaking right now in a shallow planter dish and I’m making sure the wound isn’t soaking. There was blood as you can see in the pictures, but he wasn’t bleeding more than what you can see. Similar to a scrape on a human.

I was expecting much more, so now I’m really conflicted. I’m going to browse around the forum and look for any posts that could answer my questions but I wanted to post this first so I could maybe get some replies while I’m searching.

1. How should I keep his wound clean? Does it need to be dressed?
2. I know the damage won’t be fully repaired, but how long does it typically take for these kinds of things to heal?
3. Is there anything I should look out for that’s possibly concerning? Any signs of stress? Possible signs it’s not healing properly?
4. Should I stop soaking him for the time being?
5. The injury is quite close to his leg and he gets himself in a lot of awkward side positions when he tries to climb things, how can I make sure he doesn’t injure his leg?
6. I was planning on properly taking him to the vet for a regular check up anyways this week since I don’t actually know the state of his general health (we had just found him in our backyard a week or so ago) but should I be so concerned that I should see if I can see another vet for him tomorrow?

Please let me know if you need any additional pictures or information and thank you so much if you post!!
 

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Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas, NV
I'd also like to mention that when I called the vet they said it would be the price of an emergency check up... I don't really care about that, so I just went in. They took him back for a minute, checked him out and said they didn't want to charge me for an emergency check up because the doctor would say the same thing. I asked some of the questions I posted here, but they essentially just said to keep him clean and monitor him for any changes, so I'm asking for a second opinion because I'm so frazzled that I feel like there has to be more I should actively do.

He's still quite messy so I'm thinking about going out and getting a soft bristle tooth brush to clean him with, I really don't want it to get infected, but I want to make sure there isn't anything I immediately need to do before I go...
 

ZenHerper

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So sorry you've all gone through this! Dogs see us pick things up with our hands, and they want to pick those things up and handle them as well.

OK. Continue routine soaks...to keep treating the stress hormones effect on the kidneys and other body systems. Clean water, and monitor to replace it when soiled. Make sure drinking water is fresh and topped up as needed.

Use some neosporin on the bruised spots.

You can use a nail file on the jagged spots...gently stroke in one direction to work off the points.

Keep him on clean, damp fir bark chips. Humidity will help proper shell healing.

Torts heal slowly, but this is basically cosmetic. The chipped out piece will always be missing, but will only need to be inspected and filed for roughness from time to time.

Let us know what else you need!
 
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas, NV
So sorry you've all gone through this! Dogs see us pick things up with our hands, and they want to pick those things up and handle them as well.

OK. Continue routine soaks...to keep treating the stress hormones effect on the kidneys and other body systems. Clean water, and monitor to replace it when soiled. Make sure drinking water is fresh and topped up as needed.

Use some neosporin on the bruised spots.

You can use a nail file on the jagged spots...gently stroke in one direction to work off the points.

Keep him on clean, damp fir bark chips. Humidity will help proper shell healing.

Torts heal slowly, but this is basically cosmetic. The chipped out piece will always be missing, but will only need to be inspected and filed for roughness from time to time.

Let us know what else you need!
Thank you so much for your reply. I know the dogs didn't mean to do any harm and it actually seemed like they were just being curious and gentle even though he was hurt, but they definitely aren't typically allowed anywhere near him.. Lesson learned I will always make sure they're not around.

For the neosporin, could I put this directly where the injury is or should I only use it if I see bruising? I read something about cleaning it up with a diluted iodine solution.. but I want to verify with others before I use anything I'm not sure about.
 

ZenHerper

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Tortoises that are otherwise healthy and kept in Optimal conditions have immune systems tailor-made for this kind of incident. They live on the ground and would burrow for a good number of days after something like this in the wild. Ordinary dirt is no problem.

I'd use the neosporin on the bits that are deeply scaled away and open to the blood vessels. A wee dab will smooth over a good area - you don't want a gooey mess back there, just enough to keep things moistened and less prone to bacterial overgrowth. The ointment base will do most of the work. Iodine is drying, so I'd be more cautious about using it.

You've got the chewed bit pretty cleaned up. I'd let him rest and leave his tail to clean off naturally in soaking.
 

KarenSoCal

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I think ZenHerper has you covered on the injury. I would be really gentle with a toothbrush...torts' shells are sensitive, so I wouldn't brush the raw area.

I'm sorry this has happened, but thankful that it isn't nearly as devastating as it could have been.
 
Joined
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Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas, NV
I think ZenHerper has you covered on the injury. I would be really gentle with a toothbrush...torts' shells are sensitive, so I wouldn't brush the raw area.

I'm sorry this has happened, but thankful that it isn't nearly as devastating as it could have been.
You've had quite an adrenaline shot...a couple glasses of water over the next few hours will help you with metabolizing that away.
Thank you both so much, I'm also so thankful that this was all that happened. He's burrowed right now and hiding away so I'm heading out right now to get neosporin and the softest tooth brush I can get, but I'll let him relax and soak clean the rest tomorrow morning. Thank you again!!
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
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So this happened to a tortoise you just found a week ago? Adds to the frenzie of trying to find his real owners, while you are stressing over this.
 
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