Please see our video on How to Inject a Terrapin, Tortoise or Turtle if your vet has asked you to carry out this procedure.
Before injecting your terrapin or tortoise, prepare the medication provided by your vet. Defrost it if necessary. Remove the needle cap carefully. Hold the syringe upright and gently tap to allow any air bubbles to rise to the top. Gently depress the plunger to expel the air and any excess medication from the syringe. Replace the cap. At this point double check the dose in the syringe is correct. If the medication in the syringe still feels cold hold in your hand for a few minutes. Remove your pet from its enclosure and dry it off if necessary. Use a cotton bud with alcohol to clean and sterilise the skin arond the injection site. We normally advise injecting into the pectoral muscles which are located just above the bottom part of the shell, underneath the front legs. When injecting at home we advise you to alternate between the left and right pectoral muscles. DO NOT inject into your pet's neck. To prevent your pet from biting cover it's head with a towel and expose its neck so that you can palpate the pectoral muscle before injection. Next pick up the syringe and insert it at a 90 degree angle into the pectoral muscle. If inserted correctly into the muscle the syringe will be held in position by the muscle. If it is just under the skin it will fall down. When the needle is correctly inserted inject the medication. If your pet is troublesome it may be easier if you are assisted by a friend. Have your friend hold your pet and cover its head. Your friend should gently pull the front leg back exposing the injection site. Allowing you to inject as previously described. For smaller terrapins or tortoises restraint is simpler. One finger can be be placed on the head, the other on the front leg. Once again a cotton bud with alcohol can be used to sterilise the injection site. Gently and carefully insert the needle into the pectoral muscle just above the bottom part of the shell and inject the medication. This procedure is performed by Dr Katriona Bradley (Dr Tiger). Thanks to our turtle models: Mancider, the hospital turtle and Willy, one of Dr Gail's turtles.