Why Is Tortoise Sick? It Ate a Turtle Pendant
Vet gets a surprise with X-ray
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 29, 2014 7:00 PM CDT
A detail from an X-ray showing the turtle pendant.   (Don Harris)
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(Newser) – What are the odds? The source of a sick tortoise's discomfort became clear after a south Florida veterinarian took an X-ray: The animal had swallowed a turtle pendant. Dr. Don Harris said the 15-pound male African spurred tortoise named Lola hadn't pooped for a month and began acting sick over the weekend. Lola's owner brought him to the Avian & Exotic Animal Medical Center in Miami, which Harris co-owns.

After an X-ray, Harris spotted the small, turtle-shaped object inside his patient. Lola's owner told Harris she didn't recognize the pendant, but Harris said tortoises graze like cattle. They eat grass, plants, and other vegetation, sometimes consuming rocks and other objects as well. Harris is keeping Lola at his clinic, trying to get the pendant to pass. If that fails, surgery may follow.
 

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