Turtle Likely Hit By Car, Sustains Trauma to Shell

A red-eared slider showed up in a box at the medical clinic of the San Jose Animal Care Center with a note indicating that it had been injured. I opened the box to examine the turtle and determine a course of action.

The turtle was a good size and the damage was obvious. It had sustained trauma to the carapace (shell) around the tail.

There was an area where the carapace was missing a large chunk, just over the tail, and a few other fractures in the carapace in that region.

Turtle with Injured Shell

Turtle with Injured Shell

While there was no way to know for sure what happened, it looked as if this turtle’s shell had an encounter with the tires of a vehicle.

This is the type of injury that for most of my life I have tried to prevent by helping turtles cross roads.

I knew turtles that sustained injuries like this could survive and have their shell repaired so to speak, but our shelter does not yet have the ability to provide that care.

Given that this is not a wild turtle, but an invasive non-native species, the Wildlife Center would not be able to take it and treat it.

With that in mind, I dry-docked my new turtle patient (e.g. kept the turtle out of water) and reached out to rescue groups for help.

Dry-Docked Turtle with Injured Shell

Dry-Docked Turtle with Injured Shell

Within no time (less than 24 hours), there was a rescue group whisking the turtle away!

I am continually impressed by the capacity of the rescue groups that work with the San Jose Animal Care Center to jump in and act when it matters, to help animals of all species no matter what their size or issue. I truly am grateful to work at a shelter that has such a wonderful supportive community!

Posted on July 27, 2014, in Shelter Vet Tails and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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