Vet Sees Her Turtle Patient Years Later Doing Fine with His Fiberglass Shell

Posted by Amber King
turtle with fiberglass shell
Facebook/Hocking Hills Animal Clinic

Every now and then, vets are reminded why they chose the right career field.

For a veterinarian from Hocking Hills Animal Clinic in Ohio, that experience came thanks to the reappearance of an old patient. Dr. Shannon Moore posted on her clinic's Facebook page about how a few years ago, someone brought her a box turtle with a cracked shell.

The poor turtle had been found on the side of the road after being hit by a car. Unwilling to leave the injured turtle to its fate, a concerned citizen brought it to Dr. Moore in hopes the local animal lover would be able to help.

Dr. Moore holding puppies
Hocking Hills Animal Clinic

After performing a brief examination, Dr. Moore knew she couldn't turn the turtle away. She devised a plan to apply fiberglass over the shell to repair the crack. While often used as a treatment for cracked shells, wild turtles rarely benefit from fiberglass casts because of the nature of a growing shell.

Young turtles need the casts to be changed periodically to accommodate their growing size. This poses obvious problems for wild turtles that need to be released to their natural habitats. But luckily, Dr. Moore's turtle was fully grown.

READ MOREWhy Do Turtles Have Shells?

After determining the turtle's shell would not get any bigger, it was deemed safe to apply the fiberglass and save its life. When the job was done and the turtle had healed, Dr. Moore went into the woods behind her house and released the lucky reptile.

Posted by Hocking Hills Animal Clinic on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

She never expected to see that particular patient again, but earlier this week, she was walking through those same woods when she spotted something odd. She said on Facebook;

"To my amazement, there was my old patient with the fiberglass still on...years later!"

Posted by Hocking Hills Animal Clinic on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The turtle was alive and well and seemed to be enjoying life with its new and improved shell. Finding the turtle again was a statistical anomaly, but seeing the turtle thriving gave Dr. Moore proof that becoming a veterinarian was the best thing she could have done.  She wrote:

"Sometimes being a vet is the best thing there is."

What do you think of Dr. Moore's experience? Let us know in the comments below. 

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