Feb 23, 2017
A young couple went to Vet 1 to get the terrapin treated for ear abscesses. Vet 1 gave an "injection"
into the area between the neck and shoulders. The owners did not know what injection it was.
"Anyway, the abscesses still remain!", the lady said.
"There's a red bruise in the swollen left ear," I asked the lady whether she did it herself treatment.
"I pricked the swelling and a bit of pus came out," she said.
"The pus is cheesy in a terrapin's swollen ear," I said. "Pricking it will not rupture the abscess."
Under some gas anaesthesia, I had the swollen ears lanced by a scalpel, used a curette to
excavate the thick pus thoroughly. There was bleeding. The wound was irrigated and drained.
"Why did he get ear infections?" the lady had 2 siblings. The smaller one is now twice the size of this patient.
"Most likely, this terrapin hides inside the water most of the time to avoid the big bully," I said. "So, bacteria get inside the ears over time."
"Yes, he does spend most time inside the water," the lady confirmed. "I change the water every day and sometimes more than once daily."
"The older big-sized sibling is OK eating as many pellets as given, more than 16 pellets per day.
"You need to house this one separately and give plenty of space to bask," I advised. "The terrapin will be in for 3 days to ensure no residual bacteria."
Ear abscesses are a common surgical condition in terrapins in Singapore.