Turtles can be tricky!

…they have one organ that makes life for us reptile vets very difficult, the shell. The shell makes tests such as x-rays or ultrasound difficult to perform and interpret. In many cases, to access the internal organs, a procedure called a plastrotomy is required. This results in a window cut into the bottom part of the shell, which can take months or even years to fully heal. In this case, a video camera was used instead. This allowed us to enter through a small hole near the back leg, view all the internal organs and take our samples. Only two stitches were needed to close the hole, and healing took weeks instead of months. In this case, a diagnosis of fatty liver was made by histopathology.

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