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Hugely Swolllen Hind Leg on RES

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by TamJam, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Hope I can get some ideas here. Someone brought their little 3" RES (Red Eared Slider) to me and when I looked I could NOT believe the HUGELY and GROSSLY swollen hind leg. The leg on this turtle is swollen half the size of the animal itself. She said that she had taken it to the vet and it got antibiotics but to no avail. It was brought to me because they know I keep turtles and run a kind of informal "rescue" center for reptiles at my home.

    I have tried soaking the animal in water with sea salt, in water with Melafix, it has full spectrum natural sunlight every day and is eating normally and seems normal in every way except for that LEG. I must get some pics and post here, but am wondering if I can do anything else in the meantime. I have had this animal now for four weeks with no apparent improvement (maybe just a little, the swelling seems to have gone down a bit).

  2. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Tammy, you had better not put any pictures of this turtle in here. It is just WAY too GROSS.

    Especially since half of the swollen leg dropped off yesterday when you were gently scrubbing the turtle with slightly salted water.
  3. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Tammy I am getting the distinct feeling that nobody else is taking any notice of this forum, much less this thread you started for help. Are you using your Ban? And flossing?
  4. CrazySnakeLady

    CrazySnakeLady Elite Member

    I have! Just I'm no help..... ;)
  5. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Thank you, Crazy Snake Lady!

    Now here is the horror show.....mind you, the swollen leg is now considerably smaller and less gruesome looking than it was when first I received the turtle.



    Thank you for looking! Hoping to get some comments from others here too!
  6. CrazySnakeLady

    CrazySnakeLady Elite Member

    Oh my goodness! That's massive! Glad to hear it is doing better
  7. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Vet. Now. This looks like a broken or otherwise injured leg that is now necrotic, and will likely continue to get worse until the turtle dies. Just my opinion of cousre, as im no vet, and I'll gladly defer to anyone who's had a similar issue and has better knowledge.
  8. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Thank you, Darkbird. I agree that it needs to be taken to a good reptile vet. There are no reptile vets here on the Island of Jamaica. And this little guy was already taken to the vets at the JSPCA and given antibiotics to no effect. I will however, try another vet that may be able to help more - but the vet I am thinking about consulted a large book for a good long time when I took a friend's snake there and then misdiagnosed it! And charged me an arm and a leg...! I wish I was a reptile vet, but I only have years of experience as my "qualifications" in this field. And the love for them and desire to help if I can.

    I guess amputation would really be thing to do, and the correct antibiotics.

    Will keep you posted.
  9. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    TamJam, my apologies if I came off kinda harsh there, going back I realized that wasn't one of my more nicely worded posts. I also hadn't noticed/remembered your location. Maybe see if you can find a vet who's willing to consult via phone or email with a vet in the states. I can understand having a hard time finding a good herp vet there, they're not exactly a dime a dozen around here.
  10. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    No worries Darkbird! I truly appreciate your input and advice.

    The majority by far of people here really have no feelings for animals, reptiles in particular! If they buy a turtle at the pet shop, it is like buying a cute little toy, and when it grows bigger or gets sick, it stops being "cute" and is just something to get rid of as quickly as possible and any way that is the most convenient, pain and suffering to the animal not in the equation. The people who left it with me have not called back and obviously no longer want anything to do with it.

    There is another vet here who may be able to help or be willing to do something like the amputation without charging me my month's salary. I will definitely keep you posted. And thanks again!
  11. aeral

    aeral Elite Member

    The thought of this makes me really sad.
  12. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Well guys, an update on this story.

    I finally did take her to a vet here. A friend of mine on line spoke with a herp vet in Virginia, and they contacted a vet here, and the upshot is that I took "Luckee" to the vet here (not a herp vet but best we could do!) on Monday afternoon. The vet made an incision, stuff came out (and I of course had no salt and pepper, darn it!!!), necrotic tissue was removed (and no pepper sauce either!) and an antibiotic (Baytril) injection was given and locally applied cream (silver sulfadiazene) was administered also.

    So now I am the "home vet" and treating Luckee myself with the Baytril injections and cream according to the instructions.

    I had asked the vet why no amputation and she said that the anaesthetic may kill the turtle and she did not want to take the chance.

    So the "leg" such as it is now is quite a bit smaller, but still there. I will take some pictures of it so you can see. I still would have like for it to be amputated. Luckee is still looking OK and eating with gusto.

    Thank you all!
  13. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Glad you were able to get some help with it. And if it gets to keep part of it's leg, so much the better. Having a good appetite at this stage is a really good sign I think, so hopefully everything will continue go go well.
  14. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Unfortunately I have no more good progress to report here.

    After the vet, the course of Baytril and the treatment with the ointment, the thing has just gotten bigger again. I cannot go back to the vet, who in any case seems reluctant to do anything like amputation, which seems to me to be an option now.

    Luckee is still eating and behaving in a normal way of turtles despite this horrendous and nightmarish appendage. I cannot stand it any more though, and it is getting larger and is now making the turtle look "leaned over" when lying flat. I have tightly tied fishing line at the very start of the leg where it joins the body and hope that the thing will drop off. If it does not I am thinking of cutting it right off. I just have no other thoughts at this point.

    Sorry about the gross pics. Here is "Luckee" with tied appendage, and not looking too "lucky" at all!


  15. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Oh bummer. I'd hoped it would get better after haning the end fall off and with the help from the vet. For what it's worth, I think your going the right direction here. Make sure that line is tight, and be ready to deal with the leg, whatevers left, after this part goes. I wonder if it would be beneficial at all to make a very small incision to drain that leg, looks like it's about to burst. And I know you probably already know this, but keep that animal seperate from anything else you have. Probably not contagious, but better safe than sorry.
  16. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member





    Luckee's "Attachment" dropped right off this morning as I was washing her under the pipe. Grossness in 3D!!!

    The little "stump" that was her leg bled just a tiny bit. I applied Silver Sulfadiazine and put her back in her tub and added a few drops of Melafix to her water.

    The amazing thing is the whole time through all this horror, she was behaving and eating normally!

    Thanks everyone, I will keep you updated on her recovery which I hope will be complete. It this THING does not decide to repeat itself like in some of those horror movies.
  17. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member


    Sorry - meant to post this pic - another view of the "THING" - instead of repeating the one of Luckee with it gone.

    Let us hope that this is the last time I will see it. UGH. LOL!!!
  18. aromatherapykim

    aromatherapykim Elite Member

    wow it is great to see you take such action when there was not a vet to do so! So glad the little ones leg separated with minimal issue. Keep us updated on his progress and thank you for going to such lengths to help a turtle in need.
  19. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Glad to see it came off alright, hopefully whatever was causing the issue is out of that poor turtles system now. Keep us updated on it's recovery.
  20. CrazySnakeLady

    CrazySnakeLady Elite Member

    That's awesome to hear he's bring normal! Please keep us updated :)

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