When a family pet dog found an Eastern long-necked turtle in the garden of a Narooma home, he could be forgiven for mistaking it for a new chew toy.
Fortunately for the turtle, nicknamed Timmy Two, the dog’s owner intervened and rushed the turtle to Kym Sutherland at Narooma Veterinary Hospital.
An x-ray revealed his lower shell was fractured in three places and his top shell had been chewed right around the edges, but luckily there was no soft tissue damage or internal injuries.
After treatment, Timmy Two was passed to experienced WIRES reptile carer Kay Mallitt in Batemans Bay to look after him while he underwent a delicate shell reconstruction process.
In consultation with a specialist herpetological vet, Dr Sean Harrison from Caseys Beach Vet clinic devised a more invasive treatment after traditional joining methods were found to be insufficient.
They decided what was needed to ensure a better chance of complete repair was to fill the cracks and missing shell with dental cement.
The technique involved specialised equipment and expertise which was provided by Suter Dental.
According Ms Mallitt, Timmy Two will take some time to recover fully but is doing well.
“The rate of healing can vary with reptiles, so we could have Timmy Two in care for many months, especially with winter approaching as turtles rely on external heat for the healing process,” said Ms Mallitt
“But he’s a real little fighter and we’re confident he’ll make a full recovery.”
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