Sulcata Tortoise Suffering From MBD Gets Mobile With Aid of Custom Wheelchair

11-year-old George was born with metabolic bone disease, his keeper said.
George Wheelchair Sulcata
George was born with metabolic bone disease, according to his keeper. Walkin Pets built this custom wheelchair to help him get mobile. Photo via Walkin Pets.

An 11-year-old Sulcata tortoise who has been suffering from metabolic bone disease since birth was outfitted with a custom wheelchair to help him move about more easily.

George’s bones in his hind legs never fully developed, making it nearly impossible for him to move about proficiently and the older he got, the more difficult in has been for him to get mobile.

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“He uses his front legs to pull his way around slowly and clumsily. The bigger he’s gotten, the more difficult this has been for him, Jaime Loebener, George’s keeper said in a news release from Walkin Pets, a New Hampshire company that builds mobility solutions for disabled pets. “He currently weighs close to 70 lbs., but may grow to weigh over 200 lbs.” Loebener adopted Georgie from an exotic animal rescue in Knoxville, TN.

In an effort to help George get more mobile as he got older, Loebener approached Walkin Pets. The company built a wheelchair for George that was designed with a custom convex support structure to accommodate the natural contour of the chelonian’s shell, and a harness system that is adjustable, enabling it to fit better as George grows through his life. The company had previous experience building a custom wheelchair for a tortoise before, but that reptile, Scoot Reeves, weighed just a few pounds.

George took to his chair fairly quickly and Loebener, and George seem pleased.

“George’s Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair is amazing! I put George on it, and he is able to move himself around!”

Categories: Turtles & Tortoises Care, Turtles & Tortoises Information & News