Okay, so what's going on with Leo?
Here's my bud a few days ago out in the yard--his absolute favorite place to be. Looks good, doesn't he?--trust me, he's very very sick.
I honestly can't believe he's still here. Long story short---around 6 weeks ago was when he started to get sick--a respiratory infection which turned into a massive infection in his body including his throat which made it very hard for him to swallow food--it just couldn't go down his throat. He was eating food but very slowly and not half as much as he did when he was healthy, but after his second round of antibiotics, which I was so proud that I learned how to administer, he completely stopped eating last week. In other words, he was starving to death. So the Dr. gave me a final option which is pretty drastic, but I had no choice--it was either this or watch him slowly die.
I went to the Dr.'s on Thursday so he could put a feeding tube down Leo's esophagus. Here's how the website explains it:
Feeding tubes, also known as esophagostomy tubes or E-tubes, are very useful in ill tortoises or turtles, particularly ones that are not eating well or that require oral medication. An E-tube is placed on the side of the neck, and may be left in place for many months until the turtle or tortoise resumes eating normally on its own.
Okay, I'm not a professional veterinarian---I'm just a person searching on Google for E tubes for tortoises, and I found this info instantly. The first "vet" I took Leo to told me that they could do this procedure on lizards but that it is was impossible for Turtles. I get so screaming mad everytime I think of this--this "Dr. who specializes in reptiles" who people put their trust in to care for their reptiles/tortoises didn't even know that this was a very reliable and common treatment for tortoises--really??? I'm still fuming that he is practicing medicine on any type of animal!!
It's actually very easy to do--you just administer liquid food down the feeding tube with a
syringe, and he can still eat his regular food too, although he's still very sick and has no interest in food. The Dr. wants to get the nourishment in him so he can be strong enough to fight off his infection, because he's SO weak now. Wow, 2 months ago Leo was such a strong healthy turtle and he ate like a horse! He's most definitely not out of the woods yet, but at least now he has a fighting chance. I was so sure that when I left him at the Dr.'s on Thursday that I was going to come back to a dead turtle, because the Dr. had to administer anesthesia. The Dr. told me not to worry--that Leo would be okay, but when I came back to pick him up, the Dr. confessed to me that he was concerned also that Leo's body wouldn't be able to handle the anesthesia. I'm telling you--Leo is a fighter---but he is still very sick--keep sending us your prayers and well wishes---I really really appreciate everyone's kind words.
Okay---so who the heck is Ginger??? My son and his girlfriend didn't think their family was large enough. She has 3 children, and there are 2 dogs and their cat--nope, there was room for one more--
Ginger! Ginger is a 9 week old Chihuahua (sp?), and I got to babysit her yesterday afternoon. Do you know how hard it is to get a clear photo of a 9 week old puppy??!! Impossible!!
Finally after a couple of hours of playing--
And helping me open a package that came yesterday--
....she finally tired herself out and I was able to get some very cute shots--
I'm sure you'll be hearing more about Ginger in the future, and I'll keep you posted on little Leo too.