Hugo’s Great Vet Caper

Every spring and fall, Friends of Red Rock Canyon Tortoise Habitat Volunteers weigh and measure the shells of the tortoises in the enclosures behind the Visitor Center. Hugo was his normal, feisty self all summer but at the end of September volunteers discovered that he had lost some weight since they took his measurements in the spring. I decided that a check-up was in order, just to make sure Hugo was healthy before going into brumation for the winter.

On October 5 Hugo took a trip to his wonderful veterinarian at Lone Mountain Animal Hospital. She took x-rays to look for bladder stones, performed a complete blood panel, and a bile acids test to check Hugo’s liver function. He never enjoys being put into his large bin, but despite that he munched on the bribery kale that I offered.

Snacking on some bribery kale.

The x-rays showed no bladder stones, which are frequently a problem in tortoises, so that was excellent news! All of his blood work and the bile acids test looked good as well, but his CPK (creatine phosphokinase) levels were elevated. This can happen in reptiles simply from the stress of going to the vet and being handled. Hugo’s veterinarian recommended an ultrasound, however, just to be safe.

Hugo is so large that his whole body couldn’t fit in one x-ray!

That meant another trip to the vet, and this time Hugo was on to me. The first time I stopped by to bring him back to the vet, he was outside his burrow. However, by the time I’d gotten his bin, he had scurried several feet back into his burrow. No luck that day! I checked again the next day, but due to the chill in the air he was still inside. I finally had luck the third day, October 12, when he was basking near the wall of his enclosure. Back to the vet we went!

The ultrasound was taken through his plastron, which is the underside of the shell.

Hugo didn’t enjoy his ultrasound, but the doctor and techs were very gentle and careful with him. Thankfully, all his insides looked normal and healthy. I’m very happy that Hugo can go into brumation with a clean bill of health, and I’m sure Hugo is pleased that he won’t be going back to the vet for a while!

Aah, back to his normal routine! He even has a kale mustache.

Volunteers Spotlight – Our Campground Hosts and Hostesses

Bob Brewer

How long have you been a campground host at Red Rock Canyon Campground?

Five Seasons.

Who inspires you?

Jimmy Carter for his intelligence and volunteering.

What is the best concert you have attended?

Beach Boys at California Jam in the 70s.

If you could be any animal, which animal would you
be?

Mountain Lion because it lives in the unspoiled wild
and is able to thrive.

What are you currently watching on TV/Netflix/Hulu?

Laramie on the Western Channel on Dish Network.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Restoring my body after thyroid cancer.

What are you passionate about?

Protecting our environment for generations to come.

Kathy Brewer

How long have you been a campground host at Red
Rock Canyon Campground?

Five Seasons.

Who inspires you?

Michelle Obama because she works to help children.

What is the best concert you have attended?

Doc Watson Blue Grass Music

If you could be any animal, which animal would you
be?

Bald Eagle.

What are you currently watching on TV/Netflix/Hulu?

Live PD.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Learning Recreation.gov

What are you passionate about?

To save the forest and wildlife

Dennis Lambert

How long have you been a campground host at Red
Rock Canyon Campground?

This is my first season (spent the last six years in Lake
Tahoe area.)

Who inspires you?

My wife Barb.

What is the best concert you have attended?

George Strait.

If you could be any animal, which animal would you
be?

Eagle of course.

What are you currently watching on TV/Netflix/Hulu?

Whatever my wife has on the TV.

What’s the last book you read?

Lord of The Rings.

What are you passionate about?

Just plain helping people.

Barb Lambert

How long have you been a campground host at Red
Rock Canyon Campground?

This is my first season (spent the last six years in
Lake Tahoe area.)

Who inspires you?

Dennis (my husband). We inspire each other to
always be the best we can be each day.

What is the best concert you have attended?

George Strait (Country Legend).

If you could be any animal, which animal would you
be?

Butterfly

What are you currently watching on TV/Netflix/Hulu?

Big Brother and America Got Talent.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Getting all setup at the new host here at Red Rock!

What are you passionate about?

Being Kind and helping others.

 

Click here to learn how you can make reservations at the Red Rock Canyon Campground.