Unusual Request - Prosthetic for a tortoise

I am a Veterinary Nurse and am looking for some advice on a patient in my care.

We have a tortoise who will be having a hind leg amputated, I am looking for an axle and wheel to act as a prosthetic limb for this patient.

The tortoise is still growing, so preferably I am looking for a system that will allow us to adjust the height/size of wheel as the patient grows.

I am also looking for a wheel type that is quite lightweight, will move easily over a variety of surface and will be unlikely become caked/obstructed with vegetation etc

Currently, we need around 10-15mm ground clearance, but again, if anyone can recommend a system that will allow adjustments, so that we could alter it dependent on how the patient manages.

The axle needs to be fairly low profile, as the tortoise will lower itself at rest, also the plastron (underside of its shell) is not completely flat, so not too long an axle would be good!

I’m hoping your hive mind will help us to find the best possible solution for this patient for now and hopefully his long future ahead.

Thank you to anyone who gives this some time and thought, I appreciate this is a very unusual request!

Try a google search of “turtle with wheels”. The list it produces shows all types of options of how others have addressed the same issue.

What stood out was the use of Lego sets to create custom fittings for other reptiles having the same condition.

Since you desire adjustable over time, that may be the route to go since there are all different sizes and shapes of lego blocks.

Your Patient could even chose what color they like, by placing all the different colors for viewing and then see which one appeals to them the most. (probably will be the green blocks, but who knows?}

They also would allow very custom creations to be built based on each Patient criteria and when one is ready, use super glue to make the parts permanent. Legos also have wheels and rubber tire parts. You can obtain kits that are just generic.

Also, You could contact the Lego company directly, explain who you are and what you do along with your issue and they may just donate kits to you. Corporations like to contribute to causes such as these. But if your Patient is in need ASAP, a purchased kit with as many parts would be better right now and give the Lego corp time to mull over whether they want to even donate or not.

Hope this helps!

Acigan International
Research and Design Division



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There ya go.
Glad to assist.