CPR on a turtle??
Looking in the pond, I saw her on the bottom. Her foot caught under a rock that must have fallen from the waterfall. My heart sank as I jumped, fully clothed into the pond. Moving the rock that held her underwater, I pulled her limp body out of the water, scrambling toward the steps to get out of the pond.
Turtles are wanders; they look for new territory, bury their eggs, and in general, roam the yard. I added those steps to make it easier for them to get in and out of the pond. Flower, who I had rescued two summers earlier from the Nebraska Humane Society, was handicapped, but it never stopped her from exploring the yard. Missing her front foot, she navigated those steps easily.
I knew, as I carried her into the house, that she had drowned, you see turtles are air breathers, Even though they stay underwater for long lengths of time, they breath air just like us. Well, maybe not exactly, you see, turtles breath through their butts. Short on time and space.. look it up.
My mind racing, I held her head down as I grabbed the phone. As the vet's office began to ring, Flower, whose head and feet were limp, opened one eye. Instinct took over as I cupped one hand fist like and placed one end over her head, and began to blow softly into the other end of my fist. Laying her on the floor, I began pulling her front feet out of her shell and then pushing them back in, as I continued to blow air. Suddenly, she raised her head. I placed her on a pillow, with her head down, and turned on my O2 machine that I use at night for my COPD. Laying the hose next to her, I got on the phone with the vet. He said to bring her right in. Continuing the O2 with my portable machine, I rushed her to our vet. She spent the night and when I went to pick her up the next day, she was swimming around in the holding tank. My vet said the steps I took saved her life. Who ever would have thought one could give a turtle CPR?
That was two years ago and Flower is still in the pond. She sees me the minute I come out of our patio door and no matter whether she is sunning on her favorite branch or simply hanging out with the other turtles, she swims as fast as she can over to me.
A yummy worm from the worm farm, a pat on her shell and off she goes.
I am truly thankful that the Nebraska Humane Society gave a little red eared slider, who was missing her front leg ,a chance at life. She is our favorite turtle, loved by all of our grandchildren, and she loves us back.