Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Turtles Are Not Squeaky Toys

For my reptile fans out there, I'd like to share some of my knowledge with dog/cat bite wounds on turtles. Many dogs and cats think that turtles make perfect chew toys. This type of injury is one of the more common ones I have seen inflicted upon turtles over the years.

What Should I Do If the Dog Chews on my Turtle?

Preferably, you should take your turtle to a veterinarian. Dog bites can be very serious and can cause septicemia (blood infection), punctured internal organs, bone exposure, and are painful. The vet can clean up the wounds accordingly and patch up any parts of the carapace that need it. There are many ways to patch up a turtle's shell depending on the problem. Those turtle vets can be very creative. The vet will probably prescribe an injectable antibiotic that can usually be administered at home pretty easily. Reptiles do not heal as quickly as other animals. The healing process can take a very long time - maybe even months.

If the wound seems to be just a minor abrasion you can try cleaning it at home with a very dilute chlorhexadine solution. If  the small wound seems to be getting worse, you need to take the turtle to the vet.

Protect Your Turtle!

I have met many people who like to let their turtles roam around the house and never put them in a cage. This may be OK every once in a while, but is not ideal long term. Other pets can injure the turtle if they get a hold of it. You may trust your cats and dogs enough to be around the turtle, but you should still probably always supervise them when they are together. Just to be safe.

There are other reasons why life as a house turtle is not ideal. Turtles need proper amounts of UVB light in order to stay healthy. If they only roam the house all day, chances are that they are not getting enough UVB.

So keep your little turtle friends safe and make sure they are supervised around other pets at all times. Make sure you keep them safe and cozy in a roomy enclosure when you aren't playing with them.


  1. We don't have a turtle but that is interesting. Have a super Saturday all.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. Turtles as chew toys?!! It sounds wrong to me... Thanks for dropping by my blog I think yours looks good too :)

    1. Most adult dogs and cats would agree with you Cotton, but sometimes puppies and kittens don't know any better. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Very interesting. I am sure my dogs would try and eat a turtle . . . although they only try and lick frogs!


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