A tortoise who suffered from severe gout has been given a new lease of life after donations flooded in from as far away as Australia to help pay for him to receive the human treatment for the condition.
The 80-year-old spur-thighed tortoise, Humphrey, is living at a tortoise sanctuary in Lynn, run by a charity worker for the Norfolk Tortoise Club, Donna Stocking.
She said: “Humphrey is an elderly tortoise with a zest for life, he was suffering from such severe gout that it left him completely immobile and swells his joints. Last year he received a human drug for gout and within a week he was fully mobile once again. Unfortunately, it only lasted 10 months and he lost his mobility again in February.”
Gout occurs when tortoises are being fed salad and vegetables such as peas, beans, broccoli and spinach instead of a healthy diet of weeds and flowers. The Norfolk Tortoise Club shared his plight with other tortoise owners on Facebook, and before long, donations began to flood in from across the UK and as far away as Australia.
The idea for human gout drug came from exotics vet Sarah Pellett, who has a particular interest in tortoise health and is studying its long term effects.
Donna said: “With the £400 for the drug in place, Sarah administered the drug and within a week Humphrey was walking again and even chasing the girls.
“Humphrey’s specific needs will see him live out his days with us. We will continue to raise the £400 required to pay for his annual dose of the drug for as long as it works for him.”
For help with both ageing and young tortoises visit www.tortoiseclub.org or visit the group’s information stand and giant tortoises at the Sandringham show.