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Russians Legs chewed to bone NEED HELP!!

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by tortelini, Jan 16, 2009.

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  1. tortelini

    tortelini Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi everyone!
    I have a 3 year old Russian named Wilson. Last night while we were at boy scouts my sons rat escaped and chewed Wilson's legs up really bad. I had no idea this could happen. The rat is a new addition and will be leaving today! :( I am in need though of some good advise. I took him to the vet immediately and he prescribed silvadine, .01 ml Baytril every other day, and a Nolvasan solution bath every other day. Is there anything else that I can do??? Is there any hope of recovery?? I don't want him to suffer because we love him and don't want to lose him. That would be too selfish!!
    I will take pics today after I clean him up!
  2. egyptiandan

    egyptiandan New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    Unless the exposed bone is covered with muscle or skin, the bone will die. Is the bone still exposed? Which legs are affected.

    Danny
  3. tortelini

    tortelini Member 5 Year Member

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    Both front legs have bones that are exposed!
  4. egyptiandan

    egyptiandan New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    Most likely he will lose both front legs, if the bone is exposed. Can you post a picture?

    Danny
  5. mousling

    mousling New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    I won't say 'don't worry' as I know that's impossible. But I will say that missing legs does not have to mean the end of a tortoises life. The tortoise I grew up with was rather viciously attacked by a bigger more aggressive male that chewed off both front feet and the little pokey out part desert tortoises have under their heads in the front. He learned to cope and couldn't dig well after that. Good hides will be extra important.

    This is terrible and I'm sorry you're having to deal with it, but there is hope. :/
  6. tortelini

    tortelini Member 5 Year Member

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    I took a million pics but didn't get a really good one that shows what I see when I look at him. Here's the best of the best!

    The vet said to leave them as is for a week. Do they need to be bandaged?? He also ate a little tonight~Hurray for the small miracles.
  7. oswego tort lover

    oswego tort lover Member 10 Year Member!

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  8. JustAnja

    JustAnja New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    Hopefully you are keeping him on clean newspaper or papertowels, the bath towel could actually put little fiber particles into the wounds.
  9. twtraudio

    twtraudio New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    OOOOOUUUUUCCCCCHHHHH ! Best wishes with his recovery.
  10. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I had a desert tortoise, Mildred, whose owner's dog chewed off a front leg. The vet cleaned up the wound, cut back some of the bone, then stitched the remaining skin over the opening.

    I hope your little guy makes it ok. The thing to worry about is infection. Be sure to follow the antibiotic regimen your vet has him on. Like Danny, I worry about some of the bone being exposed. Can't really tell from the picture, as the sinew around the leg also looks a bit like bone. Maybe its not exposed as much as we think. Your vet sounds like he knows what he's doing.

    Yvonne
  11. tortelini

    tortelini Member 5 Year Member

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    No, I don't have him on a towel :)....I bought him a large rubbermaid tub and covered the bottom with newspaper. I cleaned it with veterinary disinfectant and have pre-boiled all of his soak water.
    Well, thanks for the support and info, we're hoping for the best. Have another appt with the vet next week to see what progress there is if any!
  12. galvinkaos

    galvinkaos New Member 5 Year Member

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    Ouch. I am thinking of him and you and you both have my prayers.
  13. I understand you are doing everything you can, and getting lots of great advice...but...please don't keep him on newspaper with wounds like those so open. Use soft unprinted paper towels...newsprint could contaminate those wounds...also please keep us posted. I personally would keep the wounds covered with Nolvasan cream...why don't you ask your vet about that? Along with Danny, I am concerned with leaving bone exposed...
  14. mousling

    mousling New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    I talked to my dad today, he said the vet had him use an antibiotic ointment and keep the area clean. You may want to ask the vet about that. :) Good luck and my thoughts are with you both.
  15. sushisurf13

    sushisurf13 Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    Poor little guy, listen to your vet and hope for the best. You'd be surprised at how tough these litle guys are.
  16. jlyoncc1

    jlyoncc1 New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    Sorry to see the poor little legs on your guy! Hope he recovers well - will be thinking about you!
  17. Chase

    Chase New Member 5 Year Member

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    That's so sad! I would have raged on the rat that did it... I would have probably done something very evil >:eek:
  18. Meg90

    Meg90 Active Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    How is he doing? Is he active at all? Has he been eating? How do the wounds look? Were you supposed to let them dry out, and see if they scab up? (updated pics would be nice)

    From the looks of it, those wounds do not look like they will close up on their own. It will be too difficult for his cells to net up, and create scar tissue because of their size.

    Are you considering amputation? Did your vet mention anything about it?

    I feel very sorry that this happened to you. It must have been horrible to come home and find your little one in such a state. I bet your son was upset...poor kid. (how long had you had the rat?)

    But after seeing the picture, I cannot even imagine what kind of pain your tortoise is in. I understand that you want what is best for him, but I don't think that just treating him for infection is what is best.

    Now, this is my OPINION. I am not trying to be a downer here.

    If it was my tortoise, I would look into amputation, I would do this first, because it would relieve his pain to some degree. Anyone who has ever badly cut their hand, or burned themselves knows what kind of inescapable pain it is. And this tortoise cannot even take a painkiller to dull it. If the legs were stitched, and he was still on antibiotics, he would be in much less pain.

    If amputation would not be a viable option, I would humanely euthanize him. His skin, and muscle were eaten away. His bones are exposed. He may seem fine, but could even pass from shock from such trauma. It would be better to let him go, without forcing him to live in constant pain before it happens.


    Now, that's just my opinion. I have never seen wounds like this on an animal heal....
  19. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I'm always amazed at just how resilient tortoises are. I rescued a pond turtle who had a 25 cent piece-sized hole in her carapace. You could see the organs moving. She had to be dry-docked 23 hours out of each day, and I had a water-proof transparent film (Tegaderm by 3M Co.) over the hole while it healed. It took several months, but eventually proud-flesh formed over the hole, first forming at the edges then growing from there to cover the whole hole. After the proud-flesh, it hardened and now, a couple years later, all you notice is a slight indentation in the carapace with no scute pattern on it. Nature is a wondrous thing. And animals are much better able to "tune out" pain than we are.

    Yvonne
  20. tortelini

    tortelini Member 5 Year Member

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    Chase~I think I could have been very evil too had I not noticed the Wilson was still moving before I got my hands on the rat. I made my husband remove the rat and didn't look at it again. I am sooooo angry!!!

    Meg90~He acts pretty normal, very active, eating daily since the incident. Vet said to keep them moist at all costs and wait! I have an appt this coming week to assess the bone issues. Amputation was not discussed at the first appt but with all the input here I will be asking when I see the vet next! My thoughts were the same as yours about euthanizing if he was suffering, but the vet assured me that as long as he is still eating and being active he's doing good enough to continue treatment. They actually thought he lost his left eye also, but today the swelling is gone and the eye seems fine! :) The rat had been with us for a couple of months. We got it when it was a baby and never had issues with it getting out. They weren't even housed in the same area of the house :( I actually hadn't even thought of the possibility of something like this happening.

    To all that had kind words of encouragement~ A BIG thank you!
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