Most turtles crossing the road do not get the fairy tale ending of living happily ever after. It’s not easy for them to avoid getting hit and killed by cars. Had it not been for turtle lover and Breton Village Animal Hospital Supervisor Katy, Peg the turtle would have suffered that sad fate.
As Katy drove down the road one day, she passed by Peg in the middle of the road and turned around to help her cross. Before Katy had a chance to stop, however, a passing vehicle struck Peg. With no idea ifPeg was okay, Katy swooped her up and put her in her car. With Peg safely out of the road, Katy quickly assessed the situation. The good news: Peg was alive and her shell was intact. The bad news: her right rear leg was badly injured and Katy had no idea what to do.
Luckily for Peg, Katy knew exactly who to turn to: Dr. Tracey Ritzman at Breton Village Animal Clinic, who treats and cares for many types of exotic pets, including reptiles. After Katy and Dr. Ritzman consulted over the phone, they decided that Peg was stable and that Dr. Ritzman would evaluate her injuries and determine a treatment plan.
During Peg’s exam, Dr. Ritzman determined that her right rear leg was dislocated at the stifle joint (knee), and unfortunately damaged beyond repair. In situations like these with wild reptiles, options are humane euthanasia or amputation of the damaged leg. Since Peg was healthy otherwise and would do well being a “Peg Leg,” Dr. Ritzman decided amputation was the best option and kindly offered to donate her time to perform the surgery. As long as Peg healed well, she could be released back to her home, the great outdoors.
Peg’s surgery went very well. She was in the best hands with Dr. Ritzman and her Veterinary Nurse, Natalie. After recovering from anesthesia like a champ, she spent a couple of days at the hospital for monitoring. Two days later, Katy took her home to finish out her recovery. During recovery, she enjoyed a variety of foods including earthworms, fresh greens, squash, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
Ten days after her surgery, Peg was brought in for a recheck and suture removal. She looked great and her incision had healed very well. Peg was able to move and walk well despite the missing limb. The sutures were removed and Peg was one step closer to going home!
On Tuesday, July 21, Peg received her last dose of antibiotics. Katy and her 10-year-old son Rylan, who had helped with Peg’s care, took her to a safe area where they released her back into the wild. Although they will miss her greatly, they knew letting Peg go home was the right thing to do.