A lesson from our friends, the turtles.
Recently, I was at South Wilton Veterinary Group with what has turned out to be an obstinate and finicky patient, when I met a gentleman from western Fairfield County who rescues lizards, snakes, and turtles. He was waiting to reclaim and take home two large turtles who were visiting SWVG for the first time.
While both turtles were feeling poorly (that was how they’d come into his rescue), one was in particular trouble as the result of treatment he’d received earlier in the week from another vet. Its medical condition was something I can neither pronounce nor figure out how to spell well enough to find the correct spelling in an online dictionary. It was gravely ill, and that’s enough to know.
The gentleman grimly told those of us in the waiting room that he’d been following the other veterinarian’s orders and administering Ivermectin to the turtle, only to watch its illness turn frighteningly worse. Upon entering the exam room with one of SWVG’s specialty vets, he quickly learned that Ivermectin was a no-no. The SWVG vet was doing what she could to turn the situation around; if he and her treatment could get the turtle through the weekend, there would be a good chance the turtle could survive. But 48 hours is a long time when you have a life in the balance.
As he and his wife got up to help the vet techs carry the tubs that the turtles were in out to their SUV, the rest of us in the waiting room reached into our carriers to pet our cockatiels, guinea pigs, chameleons, African Greys, cockatoos, cats, and iguanas, thanking Whoever Runs The Universe that we’d found good vets who wouldn’t put our animals in that kind of jeopardy — vets that some of the patients had made an hour-long trip to see.
And we all exchanged comments like “I hope things turn out all right for him” like prayers to the cosmos. Our animals were having difficulties of their own but their lives weren’t hanging in the balance like that turtle’s was. We didn’t envy the man the weekend he was going to have, but we pitied him for it because we knew all too well how hard the next 48 hours were going to be.
I haven’t been back yet to find out how he fared, but I sure hope Mr. Turtle is alright.