One of the most common cause of injuries in turtles is from traumatic accidents like a hit by car, chewed by dog, or mowed by lawn mower. During the summer months and especially after a good rain, turtles become more active and venture further away from their hiding spots, making them more prone to these accidents. Often, these trauma cases present with some sort of shell injury ranging in severity from minor abrasions to major shell loss with large open wounds. Turtle Rescue Team is fortunate enough to have access to a variety of diagnostic modalities to better assess the extent of injury including but not limited to radiography, MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasonography.
For shell fractures, the bones will be stabilized, sometimes by first inserting stainless steel screws on both sides of the fracture site with the patient under anesthesia. Then, a Figure-8 surgical wire ensures the fracture site is properly aligned. The wound is thoroughly cleaned daily and a topical antimicrobial compound is applied to help prevent bacterial infection.