A Holderness tortoise has been given a new lease of life thanks to a classic children’s construction toy.
When Harry the Horsefield tortoise presented at Haven Veterinary Group’s Hedon practice with a swollen leg that refused to heal, vet Kim Barrow had to find a way to keep the weight off 11-year-old Harry’s legs.
Recalling a procedure she’d seen in another practice, Dr Barrow made a set of wheels from a stainless steel pin and Meccano wheels that she then fixed to Harry’s undercarriage using hoof glue.
Dr Barrow said: “Harry had injured one of his back legs and was overworking the other one in an attempt to stay mobile. This resulted in swelling that would keep recurring unless we could think of a way to keep the weight off his legs.”
But Harry was soon back up to speed thanks to his new wheels. “The swelling reduced almost immediately and, although Harry managed to pull the first set of wheels off and needed some all-terrain tyres to stop him slipping, we’re delighted to report he’s making excellent progress,” added Dr Barrow.
Harry’s owner, Mike Davis added: “Kim specialises in exotic animals and treats all of our tortoises. This is an ingenious solution and has given Harry a new lease of life and means that he can still rule the roost, even as the smallest tortoise in the family.”
Horsefield tortoises originate from Central Asia and are a relatively small species with males reaching only about 16cm in length when fully grown aged around 15.