Vet fixes wild turtle's broken shell, finds it in the woods years later

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Sometimes, being a vet is the best thing there is.

Good humans are hard to find nowadays.


Over the long term, you wonder how this will tend to affect the turtle’s growth. I wonder whether there would be a solvent that could be used to remove it at this point, now that his shell has healed.


What the heck is up with the water in that first pic? Is water supposed to be that color?

That’s a blurry leaf.

A cyberturtle. :slight_smile:


I can’t imagine that there’s a solvent for the fiberglass that wouldn’t also be harmful to the turtle. A wild guess on my part would be to sand it off but being careful not to harm the shell.

Still this is really cool and it brightens my day. Go turtle go.


retained scutes seems like it could be an issue. although I wonder if enough scutes could eventually slough off collectively for the fiberglass to be sloughed completely with them…

Retained scutes: “Dysecdysis” is the term to describe the condition in which an old scute is retained and not shed properly. This condition is often associated with poor husbandry, and may occur if the turtle has not been able to dry off or bask sufficiently to lose its old scutes. Retained scutes often become infected. A turtle with dysecdysis should be examined by a veterinarian.


I would be more impressed if the turtle found him, years later, in retirement, hundreds of miles away.



I once saw a pelican at a bird sanctuary with a missing upper beak – repaired with some PVC tubing cut lengthwise, and wired in place. Not the most elegant repair, but I guess it did the job. I don’t think the bird was returned to the wild, though, so they could keep an eye on it.

Kind of reminds me of that one Star Trek (original series) episode where McCoy treats the injured, rock-like Horta creature by troweling on some plaster building material onto its wound.

“Dammit, Jim! I’m not a bricklayer!” Something like that.


Not that much politics in the vet world, I’d think.

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A Dremel fitted with a grinding bit going at 32K rpm should make quick work of it.



I always thought it looked like meatloaf.

Scotty: How was the away mission, captain?
Kirk: Tonight we eat meatloaf. Alllll you can eat.
Scotty: I will delete the transporter logs, sir.


She’s great. Pretty spot on review.


I’m definitely not an interventional turtologist; but the link you provide also mentions that

Deep ulcers may need to be repaired through surgery and the application of acrylic or fiberglass material

which suggests that, at least in partial-coverage situations, fiberglass shell patching is considered to be sound practice. I wonder if there are known limits(or perhaps geometry issues, if constrained growth is a factor) to how much you can patch without risking the turtle gradually dissolving into necrotic bone pus under the shiny plastic shell?

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I like turtles


To me it looks like a hunk of pepperoni pizza that someone mushed together into a blob.

Sounds like we’re both foodies.

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