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Ear Infections and Surgery in Terrapene - Chris Tabaka DVM

Related web articles:

North American Box Turtles (Terrapene) - Tess Cook

North American Box Turtles (Terrapene) - Steve Zuppa

Terrapene Gallery

Eye Infections in Terrapene - Chris Tabaka DVM

A Natural Shell Repair Example in a Terrapene - Chris Tabaka DVM

Carapace Pitting in Terrapene - Darrell Senneke

 

Copyright © 2003 World Chelonian Trust. All rights reserved


Perhaps the most classic presentation for American box turtles (Terrapene spp.) at the veterinarian's office is the ear infection.   Due to the anatomy of the turtle's ear as well as stressors this species often faces, this is a very common presentation.  Even the wild population suffers from this dilemma which may be due to herbicide/pesticide effects and binding of all essential vitamin A1.   The following is a classic case example of an ear abscess in a box turtle and the procedure utilized by your veterinarian to solve this problem.

 

 

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This box turtle has been anesthetized with injectable, reversible general anesthetics.  The ear abscess/surgical site has been prepped for surgery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A semicircular incision is made across the middle of the tympanic membrane and around the base.  Note the large amount of semi solid abscess material in the ear.

 

 

The ear canal is then gently but thoroughly flushed out and all necrotic tissue and abscess material debrided from the area.  The following is the result when finished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The animal is then placed on systemic antibiotics.   The wound is left open to allow drainage and with proper husbandry and care, should not recur.


References:

1 - Aural abscesses in wild-caught box turtles (Terrapene carolina): possible role of organochlorine-induced hypovitaminosis A.Holladay SD, Wolf JC, Smith SA, Jones DE, Robertson JL., Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Phase II, Southgate Drive, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0442, USA. holladay@vt.edu


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