Vacuum-assisted closure for treatment of a deep shell abscess and osteomyelitis in a tortoise

Michael J. Adkesson, Erika K. Travis, Martha A. Weber, John P. Kirby, Randall E. Junge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Case Description - A female Aldabra tortoise (Geochelone gigantea) was evaluated be-cause of focal necrosis of the carapace. Clinical Findings - Debridement revealed a 14.5 X 11.5-cm area of shell necrosis, deep abscess formation, and osteomyelitis involving bacterial (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas spp) and fungal pathogens. Treatment and Outcome - Following extensive debridement, vacuum-assisted closure incorporating silver-impregnated bandaging materials was used. The wound was considered healed after 55 days, at which time a layer of epidermal tissue with progressing keratinization was present, with smooth underlying ossification. Keratinization with normal pigmentation continued over the next 67 days. Clinical Relevance - Findings suggested that vacuum-assisted closure with silver-impregnated bandaging materials may provide advantages over traditional methods in the treatment of shell lesions in chelonians, including faster wound healing, improved cosmetic appearance of the healed wound, superior control of microbial contamination, and lower overall treatment costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1254
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2007


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