Wild caught box turtle with an ear infection

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lauranacat
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Hello everyone,

My neighbor girls brought me a box turtle this afternoon with a badly swollen eardrum and the eye on the same side swollen shut. I\'ve contacted the DNR and the local wildlife rehabilitator, and am waiting for a call back. The wildlife rehabber\'s number was at her business however, so I don\'t expect to hear back from her until tomorrow.

In the mean time, what can I be doing to keep the poor thing warm and comfortable? I\'ve got it in a box with a sun lamp and a heating pad underneath. I\'m offering food, (canned salmon, blueberries and diced squash) but it doesn\'t seem interested. My daughter even brought a slug in from the garden. The turtle seemed interested, but didn\'t eat it. I gave it a good long soak in shallow warmish tepid water earlier, which it seemed to enjoy.

I guess the questions that I have are:

Should I continue the soaks? If so, how often?

Should I pick up some eye drops or otherwise attempt to medicate him/her.

Would warm compresses help?

The turtle is very light, but it did deficate into the water, so I assume that it has been eating. If I can\'t get any help with this and end up having to treat on my own, do I wait until he/she has put on some weight so that it will better tolerate the procedure?

Do I wait until the abscess is white before lancing it? I saw this on one website but I haven\'t seen it anywhere else.

Is there anyone on the board in the Southern Maryland area who might be willing to assist me with this? I do have some veterinary training and experience, as does my husband, but neither of us have ever had to deal with this problem before. We have a boxie but she has been healthy since we rescued her five years ago, (knock wood).

And finally, does anyone know of any vets in the area who do pro-bono work on wildlife? We have a housefull of pets and spending our vet budget on a critter that we hope to be re-releasing once it\'s better just isn\'t in the cards.

Sorry for the list of questions. Thanks to everyone for any help that you might be able to offer.
mariza
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Try to find some answers for the contacts here: http://www.vaherper.com/pages/md.htm
lauranacat
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Thank you. I\'ve contacted the wildlife rehab place in Germantown. I\'ll let you know what I find out.

On the plus side, her eye has opened! Small progress, but it\'s something. The swelling in her ear seems to have gone down a little bit as well, so maybe she is early in the infection.
mariza
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I hope everything turns out ok. Good news about the eye. But can an ear abcess totally go away on its own? I\'ve read that the abcess is most likely the result of a systemic infection...
Last edited by mariza on Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lauranacat
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Hooray for the Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Foundation of Lusby Maryland! They have taken her in, are going to have her vetted, rehab her and release her. Some inconsiderate person is building a house on her habitat, so they are going to soft release her there.

Maritza, you\'re right, an ear abscess won\'t clear up on it\'s own. The man at the rehab center said that if she hadn\'t been found and treated, she would have starved to death over the next six weeks or so. That should make the kids next door feel pretty special.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read and especially to those who replied. It looks like poor little Lumpy is going to be okay.

:)

Mary
mariza
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That\'s great news! Props to you for seeing that she\'ll be taken care of.
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