By Amanda Ebenhack
Turtles and tortoises have been around for over 250 million years. In recent times, turtles and tortoises have been hardy and interesting family pets. These prehistoric beauties are worthy of our respect, both in captivity and in nature, particularly as it pertains to proper care, feeding, and especially when they require medical treatment. Most incidents causing the demise of these wonderful creatures in nature result from human interference. As urban sprawl encroaches on their natural habitats they are forced into streets and they come into contact with mowing equipment, agricultural equipment, and recreational vehicles, both on the road and on the water. Many are hit by automobiles, chewed on by dogs, and run over by mowers. Although some injuries may appear fatal, turtles and tortoises have amazing abilities to heal in addition to an incredible will to survive. Many times, injured turtles and tortoises end up in the hands of rescuers who do not understand their amazing healing abilities. To an inexperienced eye many shell fractures and injuries look fatal when they are not. Many veterinarians not experienced with chelonians may euthanize an animal without even attempting rehabilitation. In addition to a wealth of information on anatomy, captive care, diet and nutrition, and indoor and outdoor enclosure design, this book is intended to help with the medical care of injured turtles and tortoises. Also included is general first aide and supportive care for most afflictions that can befall turtles both in nature and in captivity. This exciting and informative book features the most current information on hydration, tube feeding, shell fractures and wound care, shell conditions, bacterial and viral diseases, respiratory illness, parasites, and guidelines for checking for overall wellness of injured or recovering turtles and tortoises.