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Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)
August 24, 2021 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Cathy A. Johnson-Delaney, DVM will be presenting at the upcoming TSA conference. (Aug 24, 11:30 EDT)
Session Title: Critical Care of Pancake Tortoises (Malacochersus tornieri) – A Rescue
Session Description: 24 pancake tortoises (Malacochersus tornieri) were imported from Europe with the intention to start a preservation breeding colony. They had been in transit for over 24 hours and arrived clinically dehydrated with body temperatures below 65oF (18.5oC). The CITES documentation stated there were 4 males and 21 females, however, there were 3 males and 22 females. All were deemed clinically emaciated and all were placed into warmed electrolyte solution for soaking and drinking upon uncrating. The tortoises were separated by weight groups, with one male in 3 of the habitats. Habitats contained shelters and uvB lighting as well as heat emitters and water dishes. In the next few days, veterinary care included subcutaneous fluids, vitamin B injections, and tube feeding. Parasite examination revealed a heavy load of nematodes. One could not be revived and died. The remaining 23 began eating within 3 days of arrival. The diet was made fresh daily, and supplemented with calcium and B complex. Tortoises were placed in a water soak for an hour a day while their habitats were cleaned, allowed to defecate, and then wiped clean before being replaced into their habitats and fed. All tortoises were weighed weekly and any not gaining were administered fluids and tube feeding. After 6 weeks the fecal parasite examinations were negative. After 7 months under daily veterinary care, the breeding colony was tested for intranuclear coccidiosis and found negative. They were transferred to the TSA for placement in an outdoor breeding environment. This lecture will discuss the natural history and biology of these tortoises, as well as captive diet, husbandry and veterinary care necessary for optimal health in captivity
Contact information: Exotic DVM Forum; c/o 13813 65th Ave W, #7, Edmonds, WA, 98026