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Tammy

Tammy

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

Tammy was turned in to Valley Chapter in July 2015. Her caretakers, who were also members of the chapter, were downsizing and moving to a retirement community, where reptiles were not allowed. Having to give her up was devastating for them, but the move was necessary. They had her for 45 years, after her original caretaker gave her to them when he moved from the neighborhood. His moving was a good thing for Tammy, as he had drilled a hole in the shell above her right rear leg, and tethered her with a chain in an unfenced yard. As was predictable, the chain had gotten wrapped around her leg and broke it, and she received no vet care for it. It did not heal properly, and she not only walked with a limp, but on the bone itself during each step. She never let it keep her from doing anything, but she did not exercise a lot. As a result, as she got older, she didn’t have the muscle tone that is needed for passing eggs. She had never been with a male tortoise, but tortoises can develop and lay infertile eggs like chickens do.

Tammy spent a lot of time at the vet during these periods when she could not pass the eggs, and it was a miserable time for her, although they eventually did pass. When she came in to us, it was the time when she would be laying eggs, and she started trying to dig "test nests" at her foster location. She couldn’t use her right rear leg well enough to get a nest dug, and we took her to the vet to verify that she was gravid. She was carrying 15 of them!!! She’s a large tortoise, but that was still a lot of eggs to try and pass. The vet said they should be surgically removed, rather than put her through the agony of trying to pass them. We asked if he could spay her while he was inside, which would eliminate the annual vet visits and considerable discomfort for her. He performed the surgery the following day, and she was released a week later. She has done well, and is getting much more exercise than in the past, with no annual egg-passing issues and vet visits. While she has a great appetite, eats well, and is getting exercise, she is still considered "special needs" because of the bad leg, and needs a yard with a lot of grass. Some soft dirt is OK, but not a lot of rocks and other hard surfaces. A small patio that could be covered with an outdoor rug would be very helpful.

When she walks, she steps on her foot, then her leg rotates over and she "walks" on a portion of the bone that did not heal properly. Walking on the rough surface of pavement would create a sore on it that could easily become infected. She needs to be monitored and the leg checked regularly.

Jan. 2, 2021 Update

Last summer, Tammy's blood work showed some things we couldn't pinpoint going on inside; she was puffy around all 4 legs, had gotten dehydrated, and needed to be tube fed with Pedialyte electrolytes. Adopting her out is on hold for now.

Tammy

Tammy

Tammy

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

Tammy was turned in to Valley Chapter in July 2015. Her caretakers, who were also members of the chapter, were downsizing and moving to a retirement community, where reptiles were not allowed. Having to give her up was devastating for them, but the move was necessary. They had her for 45 years, after her original caretaker gave her to them when he moved from the neighborhood. His moving was a good thing for Tammy, as he had drilled a hole in the shell above her right rear leg, and tethered her with a chain in an unfenced yard. As was predictable, the chain had gotten wrapped around her leg and broke it, and she received no vet care for it. It did not heal properly, and she not only walked with a limp, but on the bone itself during each step. She never let it keep her from doing anything, but she did not exercise a lot. As a result, as she got older, she didn’t have the muscle tone that is needed for passing eggs. She had never been with a male tortoise, but tortoises can develop and lay infertile eggs like chickens do.

Tammy spent a lot of time at the vet during these periods when she could not pass the eggs, and it was a miserable time for her, although they eventually did pass. When she came in to us, it was the time when she would be laying eggs, and she started trying to dig "test nests" at her foster location. She couldn’t use her right rear leg well enough to get a nest dug, and we took her to the vet to verify that she was gravid. She was carrying 15 of them!!! She’s a large tortoise, but that was still a lot of eggs to try and pass. The vet said they should be surgically removed, rather than put her through the agony of trying to pass them. We asked if he could spay her while he was inside, which would eliminate the annual vet visits and considerable discomfort for her. He performed the surgery the following day, and she was released a week later. She has done well, and is getting much more exercise than in the past, with no annual egg-passing issues and vet visits. While she has a great appetite, eats well, and is getting exercise, she is still considered "special needs" because of the bad leg, and needs a yard with a lot of grass. Some soft dirt is OK, but not a lot of rocks and other hard surfaces. A small patio that could be covered with an outdoor rug would be very helpful.

When she walks, she steps on her foot, then her leg rotates over and she "walks" on a portion of the bone that did not heal properly. Walking on the rough surface of pavement would create a sore on it that could easily become infected. She needs to be monitored and the leg checked regularly.

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