Ornate Box Turtle
On June 2nd, 2005 we had two Ornate box turtles brought into the rescue.
Both were severely dehydrated and showed signs of MBD (metabolic bone
disease). They were purchased as a trio of hatchlings by the previous
owner for Christmas of 2004 so were approximately 19 months old. One of
them had died prior to them being brought to the rescue. The owner had
tried all she could to get the turtles in good health and had them to a
vet but they were still failing.
From looking at them upon arrival, the swollen eyes, splayed legs, and
lethargy pretty much told me what needed to be done. The littlest of the
two was motionless with eyes swollen shut and weighed all of 21 grams.
The larger had little to no use of the rear legs and weighed 82 grams,
but at least it's eyes were open and it would eat.
First thing was a good moist set up with lots of wet spagnum moss and
wet substrate and caves. A brand new Mega ray bulb and a nice little
swimming area with a ramp for easy access. The littler of the two was
given sub q fluids along with the daily soaks and was also delicately
tubed every three days until he began to eat on his own three weeks
later. They also got daily outside time with natural sunlight and our
Now, seven months later this little Ornate weights 89 grams, walks
upright on his little legs that have become very strong and hunts for
his own bugs daily as well as eat any food you give him. The other
Ornate that came in with him has since been adopted to a new home and is
doing well and using its legs more and more.