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Vet complaint response....


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#1 Guest_avons82_*

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 11:47 AM

you may or may not remember that a few weeks ago I took my tort to the vets for a beak trim.. whilst I was there I was advised to feed my tort egg yolk and chicken. Not only did people on this forum advise me against this advice, but also suggested that the beak needed further trimming.

I complained to my vets and this is the letter I just received back from them...

Any comments...? Just interested to see what people think.... wacko.gif



"Dear Mrs Campbell-Ward,

Recently I was informed that You were not satisfied by the quality of 
service (trimming your tortoise's beak) and advice given to you by 
myself. As it is very important to me that all the owners of my patients 
leave the Oval Pet Centre satisfied, I decided to write to you to explain 
misunderstanding which arose after you visit the practice.

Your tortoise's beak was indeed very overgrown and in need of trimming.  
Tortoises' beak, despite looking 
very much "dead" is in fact an alive structure. Underneath the 
hard outer layer of dead keratinised cells there is a vascular layer 
containing blood vessels and nerve endings. This layer is responsible 
for growing the beak. In an overgrown beak the "live" part of the beak 
is usually thicker and a bit further down the beak. This is why I had to 
be very careful while trimming you tortoise beak and it could not be 
trimmed to the right length without causing profound bleeding and pain.
While trimming the beak I noticed that it was not only overgrown but 
also very brittle. So were your tortoise's nails. Abnormalities of the 
formation of the nails or of the beak usually indicate deficiency of 
vitamins or/and minerals. You reassured me that you tortoise has access 
to UV lamp and cuttlebones. Thus I suspected deficiency of vitamins such 
as vit A, E, D and/or sulfur amino acids - all necessary to build 
healthy skin and bones. This is why I recommended supplementation of all 
above by feeding egg yolk and meat - the most natural and also the most 
safe sources of nutrients I believed you tortoise lacked.
Hermann tortoises are vegetarians. Yet, in nature they would happily 
tuck into a worm if they find one. One could say that worms (such as 
bloodworm sold in pet shops) are the most natural source of protein for 
a tortoise. Bloodworm might be the most natural, but, at the same time 
they are the least safe for consumption. The production of bloodworm 
sold in pet shops is not tightly monitored. Particularly the level of 
contamination with heavy metals (lead, mercury) and other industrial 
waste is not monitored. Therefore I  recommended eggs and meat - food 
that is produced for humans is always more safe and less contaminated 
than food produced for animals.
I hope I explained all misunderstandings. Please, do not hesitate to 
contact me if you have any further questions.


Best regards
Magdalena Lewandowska DVM MRCVS
"

Hmmm.....
excl.gif


#2 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:27 PM

I would change your vet.
If a tortoise eats a worm/slug (which they can do) its their choice, and wont come to any harm with the odd worm/slug. But to feed proteins to tortoises can cause more damage than good.
Tortoises wouldnt come across blood worms as they live on the land. I suppose they could in water, but far to hard for them to pick up I would imagine.
There are chelonia that do eat worms and chicken etc, redfoots, forest dwelling tortoises, and also box turtles. But their diets and the way they are kept is entirely different to arrid dwelling tortoises.


#3 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:34 PM





"Dear Mrs Campbell-Ward,

Recently I was informed that You were not satisfied by the quality of 
service (trimming your tortoise's beak) and advice given to you by 
myself. As it is very important to me that all the owners of my patients 
leave the Oval Pet Centre satisfied, I decided to write to you to explain 
misunderstanding which arose after you visit the practice.

Your tortoise's beak was indeed very overgrown and in need of trimming.  
Tortoises' beak, despite looking 
very much "dead" is in fact an alive structure. Underneath the 
hard outer layer of dead keratinised cells there is a vascular layer 
containing blood vessels and nerve endings. This layer is responsible 
for growing the beak. In an overgrown beak the "live" part of the beak 
is usually thicker and a bit further down the beak. This is why I had to 
be very careful while trimming you tortoise beak and it could not be 
trimmed to the right length without causing profound bleeding and pain.
While trimming the beak I noticed that it was not only overgrown but 
also very brittle. So were your tortoise's nails. Abnormalities of the 
formation of the nails or of the beak usually indicate deficiency of 
vitamins or/and minerals. You reassured me that you tortoise has access 
to UV lamp and cuttlebones. Thus I suspected deficiency of vitamins such 
as vit A, E, D and/or sulfur amino acids - all necessary to build 
healthy skin and bones. This is why I recommended supplementation of all 
above by feeding egg yolk and meat - the most natural and also the most 
safe sources of nutrients I believed you tortoise lacked.
Hermann tortoises are vegetarians. Yet, in nature they would happily 
tuck into a worm if they find one. One could say that worms (such as 
bloodworm sold in pet shops) are the most natural source of protein for 
a tortoise. Bloodworm might be the most natural, but, at the same time 
they are the least safe for consumption. The production of bloodworm 
sold in pet shops is not tightly monitored. Particularly the level of 
contamination with heavy metals (lead, mercury) and other industrial 
waste is not monitored. Therefore I  recommended eggs and meat - food 
that is produced for humans is always more safe and less contaminated 
than food produced for animals.
I hope I explained all misunderstandings. Please, do not hesitate to 
contact me if you have any further questions.


Best regards
Magdalena Lewandowska DVM MRCVS
"

Hmmm.....
excl.gif
[/quote]


LOL - she was not a happy bunny was she and I dare say she had a lot more to say off paper wink.gif She is right in that an overgrown beak does sometimes need a couple of trims to get it right as the blood vessels do sometimes extend into new growth just the same as claws can but had she used a dremel gradually, he would have soon seen them come into view and been able to stop before damage was done. Both beaks and nails become brittle when vastly overgrown just as a human nail would - it's nothing to do with vitamin deficiency unless you know your tortoise had been deficient when you got him - blood tests would have been better than guess work to my mind. The pics of your tortoise indicated that it had been kept on incorrect substrate and had not worked to eat its food as a wild one would have done. Apart from egg yolk containing some of the vits she mentioned, she should also be aware that it contains some of the worst things you can offer a tortoise and that is protein and fat. Maybe she fancied repairing the liver and kidneys after this awful advise had been followed. Not sure where she thinks wild tortoises find bloodworm unless they have taken to underwater swimming in stagnant ponds!!
I would suggest Magdalena do some training on chelonian physiology! Her letters state quite clearly that she is not exotics trained and therefore is not giving the service you have paid for. I was once advised by a vet to give my tortoises complan to build them up after hibernation. Luckily for them at this point, I went in search of an exotics vet who explained to me in detail why this would eventually have killed them. The original vet did not apologise or even acknowledge that he was wrong in his diagnosis.
Just my opinion of course LOL

#4 Guest_CindyWho4_*

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:57 PM

I get the whole "beak needs to be trimmed in bits" thing. While I'm new with Hermann's, I am not a new tort owner...and I can't believe she told you to feed your tort eggs and chicken. Bloodworm the most natural source, for a land tortoise? I agree with the others, time for a new vet!

#5 Guest_avons82_*

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:59 PM

thanks so much for your responses - it's reassuring to see I was right in thinking they were a poor veterinary practice, not only just for reptiles it seems, as my initial complaint was about the unexpected death of my rabbit! angry.gif

its sad that we unknowingly put our loved furry (and scaly) friends in their "capable" hands and trust the "expert" advice they give us. And they rip us off too! I'm thinking I'm loosing all faith in vets and in people in general - animals all the way! wub.gif

#6 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:57 PM

QUOTE (avons82 @ Apr 16 2010, 02:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
thanks so much for your responses - it's reassuring to see I was right in thinking they were a poor veterinary practice, not only just for reptiles it seems, as my initial complaint was about the unexpected death of my rabbit! angry.gif

its sad that we unknowingly put our loved furry (and scaly) friends in their "capable" hands and trust the "expert" advice they give us. And they rip us off too! I'm thinking I'm loosing all faith in vets and in people in general - animals all the way! wub.gif



When looking for a new vet, always ask if they are qualified to treat exotics. Some pretend to, but then admit that they just see other species, without stating their qualifications. A none exotics vet will usually agree to consult with another vet when the need arises. I am amazed that this one decided it could be vit A deficient without doing bloods first. Treating with vit A when not needed can cause torts to slough their skin very painfully sad.gif My dog vet is happy to admit he knows nothing about torts and will consult with another if needed.




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