need help rescued box turtle

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Vicky

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Hi,
I have two issues actually but the first. I did a bad thing yesterday and when wandering into a really, really disgusting pet store, broke my rule and actually purchased an abused animal. I couldn't help it, he looked like he was cooking (they had him in a tiny enclosure, way too hot with nowhere to get away from the heat lamp and I'm sure they aren't monitoring the temp.) I did report the shop, and I am documenting his condition in photos which I plan to turn over to the appropriate office (heck I'll give it to some animal rights people if the authorities don't care,) but in the meantime, I don't think I can get him to the vet until next week. All they had in the shop were pellets, so first thing, I offered him some fresh blackberries which he devoured.

I'm fixing him a fresh salad with earthworms that he'll get after his chamomile bath, but I'm astounded at how bad he looks. His nails were so long they were curled around and he couldn't use his feet normally, his beak is HUGE, I've never seen one so overgrown. And he has no tail.
Aside from all that, he seems active and alert and really thrilled to be able to go outside and in normal enclosure with dirt and plants. He's in quarantine right now and I haven't decided what I'm going to do with him.

I already have two three-toeds which live indoors all winter and in an outdoor enclosure on my deck during the summer, so I have an idea of how to take care him. I worked in an animal shelter and can trim nails, have trimed birds beaks, but never a turtle and I'm taken aback by his condition. Is the tail missing likely from injury? And while he looks like a three toed, he's twice as big as my guys. Should I try to gently file his beak down or wait till he sees the vet?

Any tips for from people that have done box turtle rescue?
 

dmmj

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If he is eating I would leave the beak to the vet unless you have done it before it can be tricky. I would also soak him(?) he is probably dehydrated.
 

Vicky

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I'll try to post pics later today or tomorrow. Hubby has to hold him because my auto-focus is broken. The chamomile bath was the soak. I've done it in the past with my two, it's just chamomile tea added to the bathwater, my female just loves it. :) And if you have a stressed animal, it makes them feel a little better.
Ironically, my friend, who is really heavily involved in animal welfare pointed out this store has been reported many, many times, so all the animals did have at least pellets and a small dish of water. Of course they think that's enough and are oblivious to the condition of the animals. They also had a cockatiel with an obviously broken wing.

I was wondering abotu MBD, but he was supposedly eating pellets.......would the overgrown beak also be a symptom of this? I'll definitely get a vet report to give to the authorities.

They've got a huge amount of reptiles and they also had a Russian tortoise in the tank next to him. First thing I asked was "Are these turtles dead?" and the response was "I don't know, I'll check." So matter of factly. The stupid kid was just going to put him in a bag until the store owner explained he needed to go into a box.


maggie3fan said:
The curled nails and no tail usually mean MBD.
 

dmarcus

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What a horrible place for an animal to end up, I hope someone steps in and does something..
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Vicky:

Welcome to the forum!!

May we know where you are?

Thank you (on behalf of the little turtle) for rescuing this animal!

It may be a gulf coast box turtle. They look a little like 3-toes except they're bigger.
 
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