General Care Discussion :: Vet Visit

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 1:55 pm   Vet Visit

Hi all. I'm the person who posted about a month ago about my turtle possibly having shell rot. I don't know if anyone remembers, but it doesn't matter. I finally was able to take her to the vet. I'm a little upset right now because I'm not satisfied about the results. I waited about 30 minutes to be seen, and mind you the vet is not close to where I live, for the vet to tell me everything I know already. The only thing he did was give me a medicine called chlor hexiderm flush. I'm upset because he didn't even focus on the areas of her shell that I'm most concerned about. I kept showing him the abrasions between her scutes and pointed out that she has a funny odor. She also had some skin abrasions, but luckily those have healed somewhat. A majority of the things he told me to do were things that I suggested to him. I left feeling very unsatified. He came to the conclusion that she in fact does not have shell rot. The only thing he suggested I do is use the medicine once a day, and then keep her out of the water all day, and then put her in the water at night to rehydrate which was my idea in the first place. He came highly recommended on another website as well as being listed as a Herp Vet in this forum. I'm definitely not going to take her to him again. Hopefully she will get better with what he prescribed, but if not, I'm going to definitely take her somewhere else.
chrysnyc
 
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 2:16 pm   

If you're unsatisfied with the vet you took your turtle to, it's wise to seek out another (not all doctors are good either).

What it sounds like the vet gave you was Chlorohexidine, which is the generic term for Nolvasan, a very effective anti-microbial agent. How severe is the shell rot? Was the vet any more specific about what to do? In severe cases, a turtle can be dry tanked (out of the water) with access to water for feeding and rehydration. I've heard of turtles being given two 30-min periods in the water during the day (feeding during one of them), and remaining in the dry tank the remainder of the time. In addition to proper lighting, I'd also give your turtle something to burrow under if he wants to while he's in the dry tank--being out of the water like that is stressful.

You weren't given any silver sulfadine cream (used after cleansing with the chlorohexidine, especially if the shell rot is advanced)? Keep us posted on his progress.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:19 pm   

Well, the vet said to keep her out of the water during the day basking, and at night put her in the water to sleep. He said to maximize the basking and to make sure to clean her shell daily with the chlor hexiderm flush. I'm hoping you're right Marisa about the effective anti-microbial agent. I have no comparisons to base my opinion of the severity of the shell rot. To be honest I don't think it's too severe, but I wanted to make sure to catch it before it gets severe. She has small shell laceration (that's what I meant in my first post) along the inside edges of the marginal scutes, and one very tiny hole in the plastron. I'm about to go out, so I will definitely look for something for her to burrow under. I was wondering should I put a bowl of water in the tank with her just in case so she can drink? No, I wasn't given any silver sulfadine cream just the chlor hexiderm flush.
chrysnyc
 
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:34 pm   

I've used the stuff, and it's good. There's an informative description of really bad shell rot and what was done about it at http://www.redearslider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=376 You can see what it can get to be like if untreated. It's good you're treating the shell before the condition got worse.

I'd leave the bowl of water out. You could use a clean cloth/towel for your turtle to burrow under.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:09 pm   

Thank you Marisa. Sally (my turtle) is nothing close to that. In one of the pictures, I can see the same lacerations on the inside edge of the marginal scutes that I was trying to describe. I notice a lot of people use betadine solution for shell rot. I was thinking about using it, should I? I'll follow the vet's instructions, and monitor her progress for now. According to the vet I should notice a difference in month or so. If I don't, I'll try other means possibly a new vet.
chrysnyc
 
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:28 pm   

If you have the chlorohexidine, I'd use it. Betadine can work as well, and I think it's often used because Nolvasan/chlorohexidine is harder to get--either by prescription or by searching on-line (and if you buy on-line make sure you get the kind for cleansing wounds, not the general disinfectant). Betadine used to be the treatment of choice, but more recently Nolvasan (chlorohexidine) as been favored, because unlike Betadine, which can kill healthy tissue along with the rot, chlorohexidine does not.

I'd try the chlorohexidine for a reasonable amount of time, and if you aren't satisfied, find a herp vet you can trust and have your turtle seen again.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:03 pm   

Thank you again Marisa I'll do that. Today I did the wash as I'm supposed to, and some of the scutes had loose edges, so I lifted them up a bit and noticed it's not pretty under there. I'm a little worried that this thing might be worse than I expected. The shell actually looks worse underneath. I'm going to continue treatment as instructed by the vet. I will monitor her improvement, or the lack of improvement, and then I'll make a decision about what to do next. The one thing she has going for her is that she is still very active and eats very well. That gives me hope. Well, I'll keep you posted for sure, and I really appreciate all your help.
chrysnyc
 
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:09 pm   

You're welcome. The scutes will lift up? I remember the person whose link I gave you above suggesting to someone who had a problem similar to yours to trim the scutes back a bit if possible. You'd want to get the chlorohexidine on as much of the affected area as possible. (Leave them if there's any resistance, though.)
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:37 pm   

Yeah they are lifting on the edges. In fact, when I took her to the vet they trimmed one piece away for me. I did some more myself today. I'm very careful not to go on if there is any resistance just the loose areas that come readily. Like I said the shell underneath isn't much better, but I'm optimistic. I think she is getting used to having to be out of the water during the day because originally all she would do is hide. Now, she I caught her doing the "superman". That makes me happy.
chrysnyc
 
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 12:26 pm   

Keep up the good work. :)
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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