DIY Power Tool Saves Tiny Tortoise's Life
But 3-year-old Twinnie, one of many Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoises owned by Lorna Parker of Horsford, England, weighed less than an ounce and the bladder stone itself was 1.5 centimeters in diameter–making it a tough surgery to perform. There was only one thing that could work: "I'd actually spoken to another tortoise colleague who recommended this particular drill from the local DIY store," says Rayment-Dyble, who runs All Creatures Healthcare, which specializes in care for exotic pets. "It was powerful enough for the job."
Because the tortoise's shell and bone underneath are so strong, a powerful but petite drill was needed to cut through so the stone could surgically be removed from Twinnie's body. "We basically cut a little square piece out of the shell underneath and then sort of flip that back, and took the stone out and then stitch everything back together again," says Rayment-Dyble, who first told Twinnie's story to the Daily Mail. "It took us about an hour from start to finish."
An open and shut case, thanks to a drill that cost about $150 and a little superglue and resin to put the shell back in place. Several weeks post- surgery, Twinnie is back to her old self, feeling much better and hanging out with her siblings. "Twinnie is alive and doing well," Rayment-Dyble says. "She is happy and active and eating."
See more amazing animals on PEOPLE Pets:
'Bionic' Dog Has $25,000 Worth of Artificial Joints
Me-OW! Cat Survives 26-Story Plunge