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Stonewall

Stonewall

Click on the image above to view the slide show.

Photos courtesy of the California Turtle & Tortoise Club (CTTC): Valley Chapter
Text by Karen Berry: Treasurer | Adoption Chair

Stonewall is another tortoise that required a lengthy rehabilitation. He was turned in to us in October, 2011, after showing up in someone’s driveway. He appeared to be an older tortoise, as his carapace was flattening out. One of our vets was interested in possibly adopting a tortoise and after seeing photos of Stonewall, asked to see him. He examined him and discovered a very large bladder stone that, due to its size, was going to have to be removed, rather than be monitored.

The surgery was successful and a huge bladder stone was removed. The place on his bottom shell that had been cut in order to remove the stone was covered with a fiberglass patch. He recovered well, and after a 6-month recuperation, went out for fostering to another member, who upon seeing him, felt sorry for him and adopted him instead. That, unfortunately, turned out very negatively. Stonewall would not come out of his house, and would not eat beyond a bite or two. A tortoise needs an adjustment period to get used to its new home, but this had gone beyond the normal interval. He still wasn’t eating beyond a few bites, and had sunk into a depression. The member was concerned and contacted our adoption team leader, who had cared for him after the surgery. A home visit revealed that Stonewall had apparently "fallen in love with his nurse." when he perked up and started eating after she interacted with him. So he was returned to the chapter for treatment and rehabilitation. He was examined by the vet, who weighed him and reported that he had lost a pound, which is serious weight loss for a desert tortoise, even a large one like Stonewall. He had also lost some muscle mass. He received a tube feeding that day to jump start his appetite, but had already demonstrated that he would eat as long as he was with the member who had taken care of him after surgery. Tortoises have individual personalities, and like other animals, can become insecure as they age. He was a stray and we had no idea what kind of life he’d led. He had been attacked by something in his past, as there was chewing damage to his shell, and evidence of possible suturing along the area where his neck is attached to the shell.

His long-term rehabilitation to put weight back on was complicated about a year later by some damage he did to the fiberglass patch that allowed water to get underneath it while he soaked in his water dish. The water collected under the patch, weakened it, and it had to be removed. Most of the developing shell underneath had hardened, but there were soft areas that needed to be protected. This soft area was covered with a small patch and the open area was medicated with an antibiotic cream and wrapped for security. We designed a special "jacket" fitted with a piece of thick and firm suede leather on the inside. Stonewall would have to wear this jacket if he was going to be in an area with rocks or other objects that could possibly penetrate the soft area. Even now, those areas are still slightly soft and could be damaged, so Stonewall is still being rehabilitated. Despite his need for ongoing rehabilitation, he was adopted by the team leader, who is now his "emotional support person."

Stonewall

Stonewall

Stonewall

Click on the image above to view the slide show.

Photos courtesy of the California Turtle & Tortoise Club (CTTC): Valley Chapter
Text by Karen Berry: Treasurer | Adoption Chair

Photos courtesy of the California Turtle & Tortoise Club (CTTC): Valley Chapter Text by Karen Berry: Treasurer | Adoption Chair

Stonewall is another tortoise that required a lengthy rehabilitation. He was turned in to us in October, 2011, after showing up in someone’s driveway. He appeared to be an older tortoise, as his carapace was flattening out. One of our vets was interested in possibly adopting a tortoise and after seeing photos of Stonewall, asked to see him. He examined him and discovered a very large bladder stone that, due to its size, was going to have to be removed, rather than be monitored.

The surgery was successful and a huge bladder stone was removed. The place on his bottom shell that had been cut in order to remove the stone was covered with a fiberglass patch. He recovered well, and after a 6-month recuperation, went out for fostering to another member, who upon seeing him, felt sorry for him and adopted him instead. That, unfortunately, turned out very negatively. Stonewall would not come out of his house, and would not eat beyond a bite or two. A tortoise needs an adjustment period to get used to its new home, but this had gone beyond the normal interval. He still wasn’t eating beyond a few bites, and had sunk into a depression. The member was concerned and contacted our adoption team leader, who had cared for him after the surgery. A home visit revealed that Stonewall had apparently "fallen in love with his nurse." when he perked up and started eating after she interacted with him. So he was returned to the chapter for treatment and rehabilitation. He was examined by the vet, who weighed him and reported that he had lost a pound, which is serious weight loss for a desert tortoise, even a large one like Stonewall. He had also lost some muscle mass. He received a tube feeding that day to jump start his appetite, but had already demonstrated that he would eat as long as he was with the member who had taken care of him after surgery. Tortoises have individual personalities, and like other animals, can become insecure as they age. He was a stray and we had no idea what kind of life he’d led. He had been attacked by something in his past, as there was chewing damage to his shell, and evidence of possible suturing along the area where his neck is attached to the shell.

His long-term rehabilitation to put weight back on was complicated about a year later by some damage he did to the fiberglass patch that allowed water to get underneath it while he soaked in his water dish. The water collected under the patch, weakened it, and it had to be removed. Most of the developing shell underneath had hardened, but there were soft areas that needed to be protected. This soft area was covered with a small patch and the open area was medicated with an antibiotic cream and wrapped for security. We designed a special "jacket" fitted with a piece of thick and firm suede leather on the inside. Stonewall would have to wear this jacket if he was going to be in an area with rocks or other objects that could possibly penetrate the soft area. Even now, those areas are still slightly soft and could be damaged, so Stonewall is still being rehabilitated. Despite his need for ongoing rehabilitation, he was adopted by the team leader, who is now his "emotional support person."

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