Bet you’ve NEVER seen anything like this! Tortoise rehab uses unique tools- electro acupuncture – and its working!
This 10-year-old gopher tortoise, a threatened species of tortoise, was severely injured after she was hit by a car. She was spotted by a volunteer, struggling on the side of the road with a cracked shell dragging her back legs behind her. She was brought in to the South Florida Wildlife Center in Ft. Lauderdale where vets were able to keep her alive but her back legs she had clear nerve damage that decreased her mobility and caused her pain.
The staff at the center did not give up hope, however, instead, they decided to employ an unusual technique – electro-acupuncture. The treatment combines electric current and acupuncture to ease pain and increase mobility. It is used more frequently on dogs, cats, horses, and humans, not on tortoises.
“She’s a little fidgety at first, but a couple minutes into it, she relaxes,” said Dr. Carolina Medina, a veterinary acupuncturist. “Acupuncture releases natural hormones from your body that make you feel good and decrease pain, so most patients feel pretty relaxed.”
Lucky for this gal, the treatment seems to be working. It will likely be 6 more months before she can be released back but the staff is confident it will happen. Returning her to her home, health and with strong back legs, will not only mean good things for her but allow her to borrow and lay eggs, a good thing for her entire species.