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Turtles/Desert Tortise


We've had a desert tortise for a long time.My daughter brought home a puppy and it got hold of the turtle in the backyard and bit his front leg.It has a pucture wound and some scraps around it.It's been a few days and it not getting better.What should we treat it with?I cleaned the wound the day it happened and wrapped it but the turtle tore it off.

Hi Tim,

You need to take your tortoise to a vet as soon as possible.  Puncture wounds from dog bites often become infected, and the general treatment is to flush out the wound with a disinfecting agent and then treat with a course of antibiotic injections.  Wounds can take some time to heal, but with antibiotic treatment they usually heal well in time.  I wouldn't delay seeing a vet because once infection sets in it can be harder to treat.

As you know now, dogs can be extremely dangerous to tortoises, so it's best to keep them separate.


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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