Urgent Care :: Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:57 am   Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

Sad news :( Today, I accidentally dropped my turtle during a routine cleaning of the tank. He was dropped from about 2 feet height.

Initially, I thought he was fine, because he dropped belly down, like a vertical thud, I didn't register any tumbling, so I put him back into the water. About a minute later, I noticed a red spot by his right claw. I have not seen turtle bleed before, so I went to check and indeed, he was bleeding. :(

I immediately separated him and his pal and put him in a separate tank filled with water just enough to cover his head. Then I dropped 15 drops of Betadine into the water. By this time, he seemed to have stopped bleeding as there was no more blood pooling beside the claw. I thought his blood clotting was god speed as the bleeding had stopped literally within 2 minutes of injury.

He remained in the Betadine solution for 20 minutes. He was very calm and relaxed. I decided that he might be ok then, so I brought him outside to get some warmth. It was very sunny but due to his injury, I put him in a shade. Then he began crawling around in the basking tub like he always does and the bleeding started again. All the while, he was just like his normal self, behaving as though nothing had happened...

I brought him back indoor (28ºC), ran some tap water over him and dropped some Betadine over his wound. I pat dry him, put him in a dry plastic tub and then placed it at a dark corner in my room. He became very calm again probably because of the foreign environment. He was not moving much, which was great as movements would have caused further bleeding. He chilled in there, slept a bit, for about 6-7 hours. By the end of this, I took some pictures:

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IMG_5563.JPG

I did not pick him up for the photos, so these were the best I got. It can be seen that the middle nail was snapped and no longer in alignment with the rest of the nails.

After this, it was his meal time. I put some water in the tub and gave him a lettuce leaf the size of his shell, shredded small so he did not have to tear it with his claws, and 6 Mazuri turtle pellets, and some Koi pellets. He was very cautious during feeding, because of the new environment I guess, but he ate them all leaving nothing behind. Then, I poured away the feeding water, took him out to take some more pictures.

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IMG_5580.JPG


IMG_5581.JPG


His claw looked really poorly! I was shocked and surprised by the extent of the injury, I had no idea how this could have happened as it did not look like a nasty fall at all. I feel so guilty to have done this to him... :( :(

My plan for him for the next two days is
- Betadine bath twice a day, the rest of the time is dry docking
- Betadine drops on the wound before dry docking
- Silver Sulfadiazine cream on the wound every night
- Meals as usual, maybe more Mazuri (protein for healing?)

What are you suggestions? Does this warrant a vet visit? Then again, a vet visit would be pretty pointless for me as in my area, there isn't any herp vet and I would say you guys know a lot more than them.

Please help, thank you!!
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cheesyturtle
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:38 am   Re: Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

You have a good plan on those two areas of concern. I would modify just a little. Yes keep them clean so no infection sets in as you are doing. A quarantine tank would be good to use for awhile just in case an infection shows up , observe well to protect the other turtle from any shared infections , that’s if they can only share the same tank. To offer better healing time I would dry dock over night ( keep temps right) then place in a quarantine tank during the day so it can eat , hydrate , play and be a turtle. Keep it simple , turtles use there claws for everything…
I would place a dry towel in the dry dock and keep dry dock on the small side so not to move around a lot. This will help prevent father damage especially to the nail area. This will heal good and he will be well again ! Dry docking is best for wound care and keep it clean. Over night give's more heal time and he should sleep at night with less moving around.
That fall may not seem a lot to us giants but a turtle it’s big. In the next few days observe well for any other signs for internal problem.
You done good homework , keep it up !
A herp/reptile vet visit would tell you what's being done is good. X rays and a hands on visit to look could tell if other possible internal problem but myself think he should be ok from 2' especially with no other warning signs. A vet visit would be more peace of mind for you , your call. Do as you are doing and observe well. You are a good parent !

Is this Cheeky or Cheesy ? Both must be much larger now.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:08 pm   Re: Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

litefoot wrote:You have a good plan on those two areas of concern. I would modify just a little. Yes keep them clean so no infection sets in as you are doing. A quarantine tank would be good to use for awhile just in case an infection shows up , observe well to protect the other turtle from any shared infections , that’s if they can only share the same tank. To offer better healing time I would dry dock over night ( keep temps right) then place in a quarantine tank during the day so it can eat , hydrate , play and be a turtle. Keep it simple , turtles use there claws for everything…
I would place a dry towel in the dry dock and keep dry dock on the small side so not to move around a lot. This will help prevent father damage especially to the nail area. This will heal good and he will be well again ! Dry docking is best for wound care and keep it clean. Over night give's more heal time and he should sleep at night with less moving around.
That fall may not seem a lot to us giants but a turtle it’s big. In the next few days observe well for any other signs for internal problem.
You done good homework , keep it up !
A herp/reptile vet visit would tell you what's being done is good. X rays and a hands on visit to look could tell if other possible internal problem but myself think he should be ok from 2' especially with no other warning signs. A vet visit would be more peace of mind for you , your call. Do as you are doing and observe well. You are a good parent !

Is this Cheeky or Cheesy ? Both must be much larger now.


Thank you so much for your speedy reply!! Your reassurance means so much to me, I can sleep better now. :D

This is Cheeky :mrgreen: :D Both of them have grown, but in different ways. Cheeky got longer (close to 3' 8) ), Cheesy got thicker and wider. The difference is very intriguing! I wonder if it's due to the different gender.

Yes, my main worry is infection as well because for us humans, keeping the wound dry is so important to prevent an infection, and I have no idea how to apply the same principle to an aquatic turtle that lives in water...

I am definitely keeping them in separate tanks until Cheeky gets some solid recovery. Cheesy is a curious one and she was sniffing around the blood earlier... Wouldn't want her to see Cheeky's funny looking claws!

Keeping the dry dock small is a brilliant idea! I had a hard time thinking how to stop him from crawling about, apart from keeping him scared in a dark place. This turtle just cannot sit still. :x

What are the warning signs for internal problems? These guys are tough but I want to double check just to be sure! Thanks again. :D

Revised plan:
- Dry dock overnight; be a turtle in the day (mental health! :D )
- Betadine bath twice a day
- Betadine drops on the wound before dry docking
- Silver Sulfadiazine cream on the wound every night
- Smaller dry dock to restrict movements, smooth towel
- Meals as usual, maybe more Mazuri (protein for healing)
- Check for warning signs for internal problems
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cheesyturtle
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:18 pm   Re: Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

The biggest problem may be stop eating. Also watch for breathing issues , the lungs sit on very top in aquatic turtles. A fall can jolt lungs easy them causing internal bruising. Any bleeding from the mouth. Other than those main one's I think a 2' fall for Cheeky's size should be ok.
Watch that small wound on neck too for infection.

Update photo's of both when things calm down.

Sounds like a good plan for Cheeky's issue. Dry docking confuses a lot of people reading different ways. That's only true because each case is different but idea is the same. Your revised plan is a good way for Cheeky ! All will be good. A vet may only offer a antibiotic shot as prevention but you dry docking and treating does the same. I never like too many antibiotics used , humans and turtles become resistant to them if truly not needed. He/she also would say you have a good plan.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:44 am   Re: Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

Thanks for the tips! I will watch out for those.

Today, after almost 24 hours since his injury, I finally brought Cheeky out of darkness, dryness and isolation, haha. His wound already looked better!

I put water in his tub and threw in small strips of lettuce. Initially, he was very depressed and he just sat there looking very pensive, head and limbs retracted, not moving or eating. Then I tempted him with a Mazuri pellet, then another one. Slowly, he came out of his shell. Then I placed Cheesy together with him briefly, just so he knows he's not alone!

It didn't take long for him to come back to his normal happy self, and he's now eating lettuce off my finger! Yay! :D He's loving the water and swimming a lot.

I wish there is a treatment that does not come at a cost of turtles' mental health. They must feel so scared being isolated in a dark small tub! :?
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cheesyturtle
 
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:03 am   Re: Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

That's being a good parent to our loved ones , Cheeky knows too !

Much better with a wound this way. In the light of day would be to active and may cause more harm. When it scabs over try not to remove it when cleaning , that's were the cells form new skin just like humans.

You can offer some treats during this he normally would only get once a month too :D

Get some sleep yourself too ! Doing good !
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:20 pm   Re: Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

It has been a week and a bit. Here's a summary:

On the first 4 days, Cheeky was kept dry in a dark place most of the time, except during feeding and Betadine bath time.

Day 1 was the day of injury. No bleeding as long as he did not move.
On Day 2, there was a drop of blood below the injured claw after a couple of hours of dry docking (and not moving).
On Day 3, there was also some blood drop, but much less.
On Day 4, there was no blood drop but there was some coagulated blood around the injury site.
On Day 5 and thereafter, Cheeky got to spend his day time in the water and dry off only at night. There was no more bleeding.

His behaviour has been completely normal for the past week. Eating and pooping as usual. The wound looked OK.... Therefore, I did not bring him to a vet.

I also took some pictures today. It looked like a laceration. Does it need some sutures to bring the broken skin together so it can close and heal? Is there such thing as sutures for turtles? Or will the wound heal by itself? :? Any thoughts would be welcome, thanks!

1.jpg

The second and third finger were skewed due to the injury.

2.jpg

The middle finger had come off the knuckle :(

3.jpg

The wound would open up depending on the angle he presses on his claw.

4.jpg


5.jpg

Poor thing. What have I done... I wish this hadn't happened :(

The plan for the next week would be the same - Betadine bath + stay in the water during the day; dry dock + Betadine on wound at night.
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cheesyturtle
 
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:37 pm   Re: Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

Looks like Cheeky got a little rough with it and it's opened up more from the first photos. Last week it was closing some. I would let a vet decide if that nail should come off to achieve better and faster healing. Cheeky will do well without it.
I took in a three legged rescue years ago from the center for personal care and she done all her turtle things OK in time. The hard part was returning her to her owners.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:08 am   Re: Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

End of Week 3 update:

The dangling nail naturally fell off Cheeky's claw three days ago after almost 6 hour long of basking! There was no bleeding at all and the wound did not look raw, so he has probably been preparing for this to happen for a while :D

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2.jpg


There is a budding pinkish nail-looking thing by where the old nail fell off, could this be a new nail coming or just the remnants of the old?

1.jpg


Cheeky seems to be recovering incredibly well on his own, I am thinking he should be fine without a trip to the vet. I will keep observing closely. Almost half the length of the tear has come together, new healthy skin and tissue has formed on where it used to be red and raw. I can't help but marvel at his ability to heal himself! :P


His healing progress (Day 1 - Week 1 - Week 3):
4.jpg

Well done Cheeky! :mrgreen: :D
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cheesyturtle
 
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:48 am   Re: Torn nail due to a fall. Really worried, please help!

Thanks for the update with Cheeky , look's good.
The ability to heal is amazing in turtles , just takes time and "lots of patience" on our part.
A vet would/may of closed it and may of removed the torn part to heal faster.
Done a good job for Cheeky ! Just keeping any infection out is the hardest. Good job.
If enough of the nails root is still there it will grow back in time.
Give Cheeky an extra treat for his part.
litefoot
 
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