LSU: Meet Pedro the turtle

Local News

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital worked their magic on a turtle named Pedro. 

Pedro is an adult male box turtle who recently lost his second back leg. 

LSU said, “when Pedro, an adult male box turtle, was adopted by his owners, he was missing one of his back legs.”

Pedro escaped his enclosure and was and not seen for awhile. 

When Pedro showed up again he had lost his other back 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.

LSU received Pedro from his owner, Sandra Taylor. 

“I was impressed by the interest they showed in a box turtle. 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.

Pedro was fine, his only issue was not having rear legs. 

“The wound had already healed quite well and he managed to get back on his own with his front legs somehow. Without his back legs, he’s a little less mobile. As a box turtle, he can still ‘box up’ and protect himself that way, but due to his weakened mobility, the owners decided to make him a permanent indoor turtle,” Rockwell said. “Since they opted to keep him inside, I was talking to Dr. Mark Mitchell, the clinician working that week, and we thought in order to make him more mobile, we could add a prosthetic of some sort. We talked about 3-D printing something, or we could try to make him wheels.”

Vet school members also used syringe cases and legos to make something for Pedro.

That something has allowed Pedro to be mobile again. 

“Vet school can be hard at times, but sitting on the floor with my classmates and mentors all laughing in delight as we watched Pedro roll around for the first time, that was a moment of pure joy,” Mercer said.

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