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September 14, 2012

How to be a Healthy Turtle (Without Even Trying)

Frankie went to see Dr. Atlas for his annual veterinarian check-up.

There really wasn't much to it. 

Clean from the day's previous bath and well rested following fourteen hours of sleep, Frankie was swept into the car before he got a good bask or even a decent yawn.

Never take Frankie anywhere and expect him to behave if he's basked to toasty hot.

Frankie behaved himself in the car.  There was a little rumbling from the back seat but well within reason.  Frankie walked directly into the office with little fuss.  There was a short wait in the front waiting area and Frankie acquainted himself with the whole area by walking the entire space.

Frankie knows what a door looks like even when it's closed.  At each door Frankie would pause as if to see if it would magically open.  Eventually one opened for him and he proceeded to the examination room. 

The examination room is an awfully small space for at large Frankie. Greg and I moved all chairs and stools to the center so Frankie could pace along the wall.

He was like a robot sweeper or Roomba.

Frankie would walk along the perimeter of the room until he bumped into a wall.  He then manuever himself around the corner and then walk along the next wall until he got to the corner where he would again bump bump bump until he was sure the wall was not going to move out of the way.  Again he would manuver the corner and proceed along each wall and the entire room perimeter...about 60 times.

Greg and I stayed in the center of the room watching Frankie pace around all four walls.  Occasionally we would put a chair against the wall.  Frankie would either walk under it or drag it around with him.

Luckily, the Vet-tech came and Frankie got to walk the back area of the office so he could weigh in on the Big Animal Scale.

  He last weighed in at about 70 pounds.  I was betting he weighed about 100 pounds.  I was wrong.

Weigh in.
Frankie weighed in at 84 pounds.  I am thankful for the 16 pounds less than I expected.  It's still 84 pounds too much.  I can't pick him up.

We returned to the examination room to wait for Dr. Atlas.  Frankie did another 20 laps around the room.

Then Dr. Atlas came in.

Frankie on the table.  Dr. Atlas checking Frankie over.

Eye see you!
Any nasal discharge? No.  Eats well.  Poops well.  Drinks lots of water.  Lives outside.  Walks alot.  Sleeps.  Basks.  Grazes in a large yard.  Diet is 99% grazed grass and weeds, 1% vegetable treats.  No fruits.

Let's do a fecal check.  Did we bring a fresh poop?  No?  Okay.  Let's take a direct sample.

Good luck with that.

Very undignified.
So Frankie can retain some sense of dignity, we decided to forgo details or close up photographs.  

Fecal float revels Frankie has been a very good turtle.

Results of the visit, examination, fecal check:  Frankie good to go for another year.

"What ever you're doing works.  Stay with the same formula," says Dr. Atlas, "Frankie is one healthy tortoise."

Whooo hoooo!

What can I say?  Frankie loves to see Dr. Atlas and the whole staff at Riverview Animal Clinic.  They love to see him.  They even put him on their Facebook page!

When you're a healthy tortoise a trip to the veterinarian is a great adventure.

See you all next year!


  1. Very undignified indeed! What a hilarious picture. But don't tell Frankie that. Tell him that Rizwan and I are happy to hear that he is so healthy.

  2. Oh my goodness Leann, Frankie is SO big!!! Wonderful pictures of him, you get the full impact of his size when you see the one of him up on the exam table next to everyone. Bindi is 10 lbs and I think he is big and powerful enough......augh!!!

    Laura and Bindi

  3. Hi Leann & Frankie!

    Sorry we haven't been in contact, but the past year has been difficult. We made a major move (still in Florida), I became ill, my bearded dragons got some kind of weird illness that even our vet couldn't figure out (lost all but 2), but Hercules at 16 years of age is still going strong. He does weigh 110 pounds and we are using a hydraulic wheel chair lift to get him into the truck to transport him. LOL. Tbe biggest problem we are having is a door that he can fit through. There is only one door and we are constructing a ramp so he can walk into the house and make himself at home with the other critters. Gotta love our sulcatas. We will be in touch soon.

    Terry & Hercules