Box Turtle and Tortoise Discussion :: found injured eastern box turt...

A general forum for those with an interest in land-based turtles.

Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:07 pm   found injured eastern box turt...

i live on a rural road out in the woods and right next to the river so i'm constantly on the lookout for turtles, and i find plenty of them on the road both aquatic and land....so i was driving to work this morning and i spotted a box turtle right at the edge of the road...i almost didn't stop cause i was running late by like 20 minutes but i decided to stop anyway, just in case some jerk decided to intentionally hit it or something...

it was good i did as he'd already been hit and was bleeding a bit....i ended up taking him to work with me hoping i could bring him somewhere where he could be cared for properly but no one ever called me back...i apparently am supposed to take him to the local zoo (they have a rehab place there, crazy i know) but i was advised by the one person i did talk to to get confirmation first from the head of the rehab there to make sure they even take turtles...like i said, no one ever called back, so i've got him at least thru tonight as i'm going to try to call again tomorrow (could easily have him longer though--from past experience w/ this, it took a couple weeks for people to contact me from a rescue org)...

i'm preparing at the moment to keep him for a while because i have a strong suspicion it's gonna take a while for anyone to get back to me but here's the details about the little guy (or girl)

he's right at 4" and injuries are predominantly on his plastron--multiple abrasions to the shell and a couple to his skin with one entire scoot missing/scraped off w/ raw skin/immature shell? exposed...his head was also apparently injured mainly his right eye i think, which is also where the blood i found was coming from i believe...he's not bleeding anymore (only was for the first hour or so) and seems to be moving around okay at the moment....i did put some water in the box i had him in earlier but i'm not even sure it was deep enough for him to drink...

i've already read the sticky on recommended habitat and feeding, which shouldn't be too much of an issue to put together as i've got a kiddie pool i could move inside for a bit till he heals....i do NOT want to keep him long term, i'm just concerned about letting him loose right now with so much raw exposed shell/skin and the injured eye in particular could be troublesome in spotting predators.....

my questions are
1) what kind of substrate would be recommended w/ the consideration that the plastron has so many exposed areas at the moment or do you think it matters??....i'm just concerned about infection...

2) any ideas on how long it will take for him to heal up??....my RES takes months and it's august now, so i'm hoping it would not take nearly that long...

3) anything i can do to speed up the healing process???

4) anybody had experience w/ turtle head injuries--like should i wait a certain amount of time to feed him or anything??

my other dilemma i will mention, as i'm sure several folks will recommend taking him to the vet, is that turtles are illegal to have as pets in tennessee....the one woman i did speak with connected with the local nature center mentioned something about someone making examples out of people that keep them as pets when i mentioned that i had a pet turtle and so had some general idea about what i should be doing with it....i said i wouldn't mention it to anyone else, but it did freak me out a bit--last thing i need is some crazy fine for caring for a pet i've had for years now....so anyways, i'm not sure if the herp vets here have rules about reporting people and i'm not willing to risk it (i originally got my pet RES in CT, where it is legal to own, btw)

so wow, really long post, but anybody got comments, suggestions?? i'm happy to get some help in the matter....thanks!! (oh, and no, i cannot post pics--all i've got is a camera phone and the pics are atrocious and would be worthless to post)
1 RES--patsy (7" ~ 10-11 yrs old)
2dogs
1 cat
1 baby girl : )
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mackadocious
 
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Location: chattanooga, tn

Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:38 pm   

According to what I've read, use damp towels for substrate. I'm sure it will need to be changed frequently. I'd also keep the area dark, try to get it to rest. Not sure about the healing process, but it will depend on the severity of the damage. For food, I'd try anything as long as it is eating.

I would think anonymously leaving it at a vet would be OK as long as they are capable of receiving it.

http://www.gctts.org/RehabbingTurtles/index.html
http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlif ... turtle.htm
http://www.herpvetconnection.com/tennesse.shtml
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steve
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:53 pm   

that's a good idea--hadn't thought about just dropping it off....i'll have to make some more phone calls tomorrow when i'm at work....will do with the damp towel though, that makes sense....and thankfully, he doesn't seem to worried about escaping at the moment....he was freaked when i picked him up initially but every time i've checked on him since he hasn't hidden from me or even pulled his head inside, though he was more agitated afterwords--i could hear him moving around more....
1 RES--patsy (7" ~ 10-11 yrs old)
2dogs
1 cat
1 baby girl : )
User avatar
mackadocious
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Jan 22, 2007
Location: chattanooga, tn

Post Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:02 am   

just an update...i did finally get in touch w/ the rehab dept at the zoo and was able to drop off the little guy for thorough care...
1 RES--patsy (7" ~ 10-11 yrs old)
2dogs
1 cat
1 baby girl : )
User avatar
mackadocious
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Jan 22, 2007
Location: chattanooga, tn


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