Matthew’s Trip to the Vet!

In our house we have a number of pets. The more exotic of those (no
disrespect to the boys’ fish) is our 3 turtles. This week though Jane
noticed that one of them had swelling around the eyes, and had them closed
all the time. There was no getting away from it, it was time to head to the
vet. Fortunately there’s a vet’s surgery in Portlethen, so it was on the
phone to get an appointment. Despite phoning at 4pm or so, they had a free
appointment at 420pm that afternoon. So it was a bit of a rush to get a box
for the poorly little guy and to get out. As Matthew was dressed, Jane
asked him if he’d like to come with me. He was given a big job – to look
after the turtle in the box and make sure he was safe.

Now, Matthew loves to help us around the house. He takes the responsibility
of getting a job very seriously (when he gets his head round the need to do
the job in the first place!) and was holding the box very tightly indeed
when we went over to the car. In went the turtle, then Matthew sorted
himself out, then took possession of the box again. There was a little
squeal from Matthew just after we set off. The adventurous little green
thing had escaped from the box! But Matthew managed capture him again, and
we were off. Matthew gave me a running commentary of the turtle’s antics,
and that he was keeping a hand on his shell to stop him from escaping.

I was slightly reluctant to take Matthew along initially. What if the worst
had come to the worst, and the turtle was really ill and there was nothing
they could do? How would Matthew react if the little guy had to be put
down? Ultimately we decided to take that risk, as after all, dying is just
part of life. Fortunately it didn’t come to that, and Matthew was
fascinated by the consultation with the vet. She wiped his eyes with a
cotton bud and was finding it difficult to get his 3rd eyelids to open,
although he occasionally did open them voluntarily. The conclusion was
that he was suffering from a vitamin A deficiency. He was given an
anti-biotic ointment for putting on/in the eyes, and the vet has ordered a
vitamin A supplement, which will need to be injected. I’m hoping that needs
to be done at the surgery!

What has really involved Matthew though is that there are a lot of things
we can feed them, other than their usual diet of dried shrimps. It was
surprising to hear that it would be a good idea to feed them boiled eggs
and cheese – to get calcium into them. Matthew couldn’t wait for me to get
a pan of water on so we could hard boil an egg! Its another responsibility
he’ll take very seriously. In the meantime, we’ll keep applying the
ointment, and will wait for the surgery to get in touch about the jabs.

Taking Matthew to the vet’s with his turtle was a risk, but one worth
taking. He’s seen his pet being treated, and helped. It has also meant that
he can be involved in helping get the little green one better. If anything
can help teach him a bit of responsibility, then its got to be worth it.


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