PICTURES OF THE WEEK: Disabled pet tortoise gets wheels

Disabled pet tortoise Touche is having a wheely good time after accident

SWNS_TORTOISE_WHEELS_02This week, the SWNS pictures editor chose these heartwarming snaps of Touche the Tortoise getting his new set of wheels as our pictures of the week.

SWNS_TORTOISE_WHEELS_17Owner Lisa Purnell shows off her pet tortoise, Touche, and his new set of wheels. The disabled tortoise has been fitted with the wheels from a Hotwheels toy car to help him scoot around after he lost a leg.

Eight-year-old Touche had a back leg amputated after an accident at home last week which left him limping. But a creative vet at Highcroft Vetinary Hospital in Whitchurch, Bristol decided to use a special resin and fix the base of a little toy car to the underside of Touche’s shell to help him get back to his old self. The surgery took an hour and a half to complete and was a “complete success”, with little Touche seemingly un-phased by his new prosthetic.

SWNS_TORTOISE_WHEELS_14Dr Miles said: “We decided to attach the wheel to avoid him traumatising the underside of his shell by dragging his back end. It can be taken off in the future if we feel that he has enough strength to hold himself up, but he could be fine with a wheel for the rest of his life.”

“He may even need a bigger one fitted at some point as tortoises carry on growing until they are between 10 and 15 years old so he could still double in size.”

Touche has now returned to owner Lisa Purnell, who reports that he is “zooming around the garden as if nothing has happened”.

Miss Purnell, a mother of one from Withywood, said: “He is doing really well and is happily moving around the garden. As he grows he may have to have a bigger wheel fitted or we may be able to take it off completely if he is managing on three legs. We won’t know for a while but at the moment he is absolutely fine.”

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