Monday, October 5, 2009

How Much Is Too Much?

DH and I have been tortoise raisers for quite a while now. Otto, our sulcata, is 16 years old now, and spends his summers roaming our back yard, and his winters in the garage. B wanted a tortoise of her own several years ago, so she saved up her birthday money and bought Ashlee (another sulcata) about four years ago. Ashlee has been a trouble-free, healthy tortoise, up until the past few weeks.

About two weeks ago, I picked up Ashlee to clean her cage, and noticed something hanging out of her rear end that wasn't supposed to be there. It looked serious enough that I called the local reptile vets, and made an appointment for the following day. DH and B took the tortoise in, and it was diagnosed as an intestinal prolapse. The only way to fix it is surgery, so DH called to see what I thought of the $475 quote. How much money are we willing to spend on our daughter's pet? A lot, it turns out. After subtracting a parasite test, but adding a calcium shot, the total turned out to be just under $400, and I got the fun job of giving Ashlee antibiotic injections over the next week. Chalk that one up to the cost of having pets--stuff like that happens, so you just have to deal with it.

We went out last week and bought a new cage for her, since it would be easier to install the sun lamp and keep the heat constant in an enclosed cage. Total for cage and lamps was around $250.

So, this morning, I was sitting in the kitchen finishing my breakfast, when I heard a thump from the living room. I got up to investigate, and discovered that Ashlee had somehow managed to SLIDE THE GLASS DOOR OPEN, climb out, and fall three feet to the floor. Aaargh--do I call the vet? She looks fine--no shell damage, all four limbs appear normal. She's taking a nap now, which worries me slightly, but on the other hand it's a perfectly normal thing for her to do in the middle of the day.

No comments: