Ivermectin has been known to cause serious toxicosis in chelonians. Although the use of this drug is strictly contraindicated, there is always risk of accidental administration.
The objective of this case report is to recognize the symptom and to provide the necessary medical care.
A group of 19 tortoises and turtles were brought to the clinic suffering from side effects following ivermectin injections. The tortoise includes aldabras, sulcatas, emys, red foot, and Indian star. The turtle includes common snapping, fly rivers, red ear sliders, biukus, and snake head. They were injected with ivermectin in a previous week with the dose of 0.1 cc SC (Ivomect®). All tortoises and turtles did not eat and showed symptom of weakness. Some of them with sunken eyes, and some were very lethargic and even paralized. All of them were immediately treated with ICe fluids (10 ml/kg bw). Activated charcoal were used to neutralize the ivermectin effect and was given peroral with a dose of 1 g/kg bw. Nutritional support was given by soft tubes and vitamin B12 with the dose of 0.05 mg/kg bw IM was added to stimulate appetite. They were kept warm using UVA lamps. The aquatic turtles were kept in shallow water.
The recovery time varied as turtles needed longer time to recover. Only one fly river turtle died during treatment, while the other 18 recovered fully.
Despite guarded prognosis related to ivermectin toxicosis in chelonians, good supportive care can still yield positive results.