Among chelonians being referred to companion animal clinics, shell fracture was one of the main complaints caused by traumatic accidents
Among chelonian referred to our veterinary hospital (Ferdowsi University of Mashhad), we selected three tortoises with shell fracture and soft tissue damage for a same method of surgery.
Anesthesia was induced using combination of xylazine 1 mg/kg and ketamine 20 mg/kg IM, and maintained using isoflurane in oxygen. After cleaning the wound and coelomic cavity with normal saline, the protruded structures replaced into the body cavity and soft tissue sutured by absorbable suture (3/0 vicryl). The broken carapace put into alignment and drilled a hole in both sided of main pieces through pin size 1.5 mm and then fix them using surgical steel wire. The narrow spaces between pieces and holes were filled with methyl methacrylate. Non-absorbable suture used for detached skin.
Antibiotic therapy was done using enrofloxacin 10 mg/kg IM for 10 days. Meloxicam 0.1 mg/kg administered for 3 days. In the first days after operation fluid was given via intracoelomic route.
Case 1, after 10 days fluid therapy, was taking food normally but could not regain the movement of hind limbs completely because of pelvic fractures. Case 2, had minimal soft tissue injury so returned to normal conditions without side effects and resumed after 24 hours. Case 3, expired a week after operation because of severe soft tissue necrosis and infection.
Our clinical study showed using steel wire and methyl methacrylate is an effective method for repair of shell fractures in chelonian.