Euthanize or treat?

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Paul White
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Location: Amarillo, Texas

Euthanize or treat?

Post by Paul White » May 28th, 2012, 12:26 am

I keep/kept my red ear slider in a 5' stock tank outside; I had figured him being fairly safe, but I was wrong. Nelson (one of my dogs) got him and has chewed off a good part of the shell. I'm going to be taking him into the vet tomorrow, but frankly we don't have any great herp vets in Amarillo. I'm not too up on turtle vet care; has anyone had any experience with this sort of damage? The front 1/4 of his shell is essentially gone; is he saveable do you think? If his odds are godawful I'd rather euthanize now, than prolong a painful existence and spend boodles of money only to have him die in a week or two :(

This may be a moot point if he doesn't make the night :X

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gbin
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Re: Euthanize or treat?

Post by gbin » May 28th, 2012, 6:26 am

I don't have much personal experience keeping turtles (and none as an adult), but I've seen turtles that had quite a bit of their shell replaced by manmade patches (of I don't know what kind of material), and also turtles that lived with quite a bit of their shell simply gone from past injuries. I've seen others with various missing limbs. They seem to be pretty tough creatures. I'd see what the vet has to say if it were my animal.

Sorry to hear about the holiday mishap, Amigo. :(

Gerry

VICtort
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Re: Euthanize or treat?

Post by VICtort » May 28th, 2012, 8:31 am

Dear Paul,
I have seen some remarkable recoveries from major trauma, i.e. dogs and road crossings. However, it may come down to economics, and your time to save this traumatized animal could be substantial. You might do well to save the $ it would take for intensive vet care and invest it in a more canine proof and improved turtle facility? I am guessing an aquatic turtle would be even more problematic than a land dwelling tortoise due to environment for healing?

As a keeper of both tortoises and Labrador retrievers, I found it imperative to condition my Labs to show no interest in Chelonians, or Crotalus for that matter. You can condition a dog to leave them alone, but it takes some time, diligence and consistency, and a trainable dog (some breeds are easier than others). (PM me if you have an interest in that)

Other folks would be better served to just build a canine/predator proof turtle enclosure to assure a safer future. Canines and raccoons damaging turtles/tortoises is alarmingly common. I am sorry for your troubles and hope you find a solution. BTW, I have seen some articles where DVM's made amazing "saves" on prop cut/traffic victim turtles and tortoises, using epoxy and fiberglass (?) to build shells and repair cracks. How this works out long term with a growing shell I am not sure. It does not sound like your turtle was very large, less than 1/2 grown so future growth needs to be considered.

Good luck, Vic

VICtort
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Re: Euthanize or treat?

Post by VICtort » May 28th, 2012, 8:35 am

Dear Paul, OOops, I just re-read and I have no idea how large your turtle is, thus my speculation on being 1/2 grown and likley to grow a lot may be off base. Maybe you have an old timer and long term pet, and that makes the decision all the tougher. good luck, Vic

Paul White
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Re: Euthanize or treat?

Post by Paul White » May 28th, 2012, 8:37 am

I hadn't realized this but my vet is closed on memorial day :( The answering machine didn't mention it but when I drove there after getting fed up calling there was a sign on the door. It'll be tomorrow and I'll see how Suetonius is doing at that point. He's in a holding tank in my snake building.

I *think* I have a lid envisioned but I'm not sure. If he doesn't make it, I'm not getting another turtle (unless someone in my area wants to get rid of thiers). I like them but I'm really attached to this guy and I won't feel like getting another one if he passes.

Suetonius is about 10, so he's probably full grown. Not a huge turtle, about 7-8" around, but for a male that isn't too small. My wife got him for me as a gift when we had started dating--she just knew they were cute and that I liked animals (again, this was years ago...she's learned about impulse buys!). He's a neat guy but amazingly cranky...TBH, I'm surprised he didn't bit the crap out of the dog.

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gbin
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Re: Euthanize or treat?

Post by gbin » May 28th, 2012, 9:27 am

To follow up on VIC's comments, I found a remote-controlled shock collar to work very well for quick, thorough aversion training of my otherwise-go-after-everything German shorthairs.

Best of luck with Suetonius, Amigo! (What's the story behind its name?...)

Gerry

Paul White
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Re: Euthanize or treat?

Post by Paul White » May 28th, 2012, 11:26 am

Suetonius was a Roman historian known for writings on various Roman leaders. I was taking an intro Roman history course when my wife bought the turtle (at the time I was a history major).

Paul White
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Re: Euthanize or treat?

Post by Paul White » May 31st, 2012, 4:09 pm

Vet's optimistic. Doing a basic anitbiotic course (swimming in turtle water with wounds=risk of infection) and trying some shell reconstruction. 100-200 dollars including visit. PHew, relief. Thinks he'll make it but it'll be a couple days before he's back home.

repaphin
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Re: Euthanize or treat?

Post by repaphin » May 31st, 2012, 4:18 pm

im glad to hear that!

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