I took the turtles to the vet today ... something I've been meaning to do for ages, but haven't gotten around to (what else is new), but then I finally got the push I needed, on Monday I think it was, to get up off my butt and actually do it. I wanted just a checkup on Henrik and Raphael, because I haven't been to the vet with them at all since I got them, and there were a few little things that I wanted her to look at. Then Herman, he's had this weird little patch of ... I don't know what exactly, or at least I didn't until today ... on his shell above the back of his neck. When I was handling him on Monday, at feeding time, and I started to think that maybe this little patch had gotten a little bit bigger. :-o So I thought that as soon as I can get in, I'm going to the vet now. And this morning I put them all in the travel cage and off we went. :-)
Raphael behaved badly at the vet's office, alas. His desperate and endless attempts to escape the cage got everyone's attention. I finally had to let him out to walk it off a little. :-) He just hates that cage so much, I don't know what it is. He absolutely flat out refuses to settle down in it. He was constantly just trying to escape the whole time we were there. But the vet praised him though, she said that he seemed like such a sweetie because although he was clearly unhappy with the situation, and wanted very much to get away from the place and from her, he didn't show the least hint of aggression. And that's true, he's not at all aggressive, he never bites from anger. He'll hiss at you if he gets really mad, that's the worst he's done. :-) So yeah, she's right, he's a grouch, but he's a sweetie deep down. ;-)
Henrik was a little anxious, he didn't enjoy the subway ride at all, but wasn't too upset at being there, and Herman of course took it all in his stride like always. That little critter just knows no fear. :-) The vet examined all of them and I was reassured about most of the issues I've been ... not worried about, I guess, but thinking about. Raphael has some small 'pockmarks' on his shell that get better incredibly slowly but don't get any worse either ... that's apparently well within the normal range and nothing to worry about as long as they stay completely hard and are completely dry when, well, dry. :-) The weird little hard thingummy in the side of his neck is basically some of the cartilage in his larynx that's been displaced somehow ... either he just hatched like that, or it's the result of some injury ... I'm thinking the latter, because I don't remember that he had this condition when I got him, and he's had a lot of little accidents in the time that I've had him. He's taken a lot of falls. :-) But he obviously has no pain from it, and he has no problems withdrawing his head completely, so it's not an issue. But at least now I know what it is. :-)
The vet didn't think that Henrik is too fat - of course this was the morning of a feeding day when she saw him, so he hadn't eaten, but she said that he seems to be a very healthy weight, and he just looks fat sometimes because his skin is so thick. The other issue with him she didn't get to see, it's the way that he sometimes foams at the mouth a bit when he's walked a lot in the sun, and how his eyes tear sometimes too, again, in the same situations. But she wasn't worried, because he breathes normally, his nose isn't runny, he never wheezes or squeaks when he breathes. So, he got a clean bill of health. :-)
The real issue was Herman and his little mystery. I've worried a bit about his shell, but the vet says it looks fine except for that little patch. His nuchal scute, get this, fell off (!!) a while back ... now that really had me worried, and then that little weird spot showed up. The vet said that the scute falling off isn't normal but also isn't dangerous. As long as the shell is hard and solid it's nothing to worry about. She took two scrapings of the patch on his shell - one of them she's going to send in to wherever they make cultures of these things, and the other one she looked at under her own microscope. Turns out that it is a small fungal infection. :-o My precious!! Regardless of whatever the culture shows - it'll take about a week to hear back on that - that infection has got to go, so I got a prescription for a fungicide which I'll use in combination with iodine twice a day for two weeks. (So it's actually a pretty good thing that I'm not working right now. ;-) I did the first treatment this afternoon and it was boring for a little turtle to have to stay cooped up in the smaller of the two travel cages for two whole hours, which is how long he'll have to be drydocked after every single treatment, morning and afternoon. Alas, my precious!! But hopefully we'll get rid of that little infected patch, which is exactly what I set out to do this morning. :-)
The poor unfortunate prisoner languishes in his cell ...
LEMME OUT LEMME OUT LEMME OUT LEMME OUT!!
See, here's what I mean, he foams at the mouth. And you can see his eyes are very moist too, they're running. But this only happens when he's walked a lot in the heat and is dry and tired and breathing hard, so I guess that's the reason. The vet thinks so, anyway. :-)
I made a video, too. :-)
5 days ago