How do you remove fiberglass from a tortoise? You might think that was some kind of riddle with a silly answer, but the fact is that our rescued tortoise, Maximus, literally had a fiberglass plate in his shell! Below are the details with photos of how Maximus got his makeover, which for him, meant fiberglass removal and new growth of his shell.
This is how Maximus had been living before Monmouth Co SPCA and NJ Fish & Wildlife signed complaints and asked Popcorn Park to take him in and care for him.
And this is the patch job the owner did with fiberglass, he never would say how Max was injured.
And here's how the repair went ...
That fiberglass patch is finally off. Little by little our vet staff has been taking off some of the fiberglass patch that Max's previous owner had put on him after some sort of injury, (which the owner never explained.) Yesterday started out by taking a little here, a little there, and then one thing led to another and more pieces, and then bigger pieces, started coming off. After about a half hour of dremel tool work and some sanding they got down to new scoot growth and things looked pretty good.
Then just as we thought they were finished they felt a loose edge ... a big loose edge ... right over the original wound. It was a little scary, such a big, deep piece, but after all the antibiotics, the care and the thought of finally getting all that stuff off, we all looked at each other and with a tug here and there off it came, and what a relief -- new growth!
We had waited over a year and a half for this, waited for enough time for new bone growth to heal over the wound. Now his shell can continue to grow over that area more easily without all the fiberglass and dead tissue inhibiting new growth. We'll need to make a makeshift cover over that area to protect it from sun and rain while it fully heals. Max is now fiberglass free!
Popcorn Park veterinarians Dr's Paluch and Bergmann working on getting all that off.
The old piece is removed and the area is cleaned and scrubbed really well.
Maximus with the fiberglass finally off and all cleaned up; that's new shell growing top right and center, new bone growth.
This is the big piece that needed to come off.
This is Max this past summer outside in his summer inclosure. Now he'll need a little something makeshift like a little umbrella attached to his shell to cover the area from direct sunlight and rain, but he'll be fine. If you'd like to send him some extra healing wishes, you can always sponsor Max in the Wildlife Club!