BATON ROUGE, La. (WVUE) - Most people get excited when they hear they’re getting a new set of wheels, but for Pedro, it’s a life saver.
When Pedro, who is a box turtle, was adopted by his owners, he was missing one of his back legs. After recently escaping his outdoor enclosure, he came back missing the other rear leg.
“Unfortunately, several months ago, he escaped. His owners hadn’t seen him for several months. Then when he finally returned, he was missing the last back leg now,” said Kelly Rockwell, DVM, a zoological medicine intern in the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Pedro’s owner, Sandra Traylor, brought him to LSU.
“Sometimes people have this idea that pets are just cats and dogs. It’s very strange to walk in with a turtle and sit next to a dog, but they were very good about it and they were very nice,” Traylor said.
The veterinarians found nothing medically wrong with Pedro – except the legs.
Using a Lego car kit, Rockwell and LSU veterinary student Sarah Mercer came up with the best way to attach the wheels to Pedro.
“We had the whole zoo med service and all of the students helping. We had to make the axles long enough to fit his body. We also made it so they could come off to clean Pedro. We had to try a couple of things to fit him. We used epoxy to attach Pedro. The same epoxy that’s used on horseshoes," Rockwell said.
In addition to epoxy, other equipment was needed as well to give Pedro his prosthetic limbs.
“Syringe cases were used to hold the axles together and then we cut some pieces down to size to fit him,” Rockwell said. “I love zoo med. It gives me an opportunity to be very creative with my job. We get a chance to be really creative as doctors to help these animals live a great quality of life.”
Pedro’s owners said they are thrilled with the results and he’s taken to the wheels with no problems.
Is this just another advantage over the race with the hare?