Vet Attaches Lego Wheels Onto Tortoise to Help it Walk

Blade, the tortoise, needed a way to get around and a German vet delivered.

What happens when a juvenile spur-thighed tortoise can’t use its hind legs due to metabolic bone disease? You equip it with a set of wheels, as a German veterinarian did with Blade, who couldn’t walk around on his own.

Veterinarian Dr. Carsten Plischke glued a set of Lego blocks and wheels onto the plastron of Blade, enabling him to move about by using his front and hind legs more proficiently. The hope is that Blade will slowly build his hind leg muscles as a result of his geometry modification from the Lego wheels.

Plischke came up with the idea from his son’s Legos.

"We mounted Lego wheels on the tortoise Blade because he had a bone metabolism illness and his shell was too heavy and he had a loss of muscles," Dr Plischke told "That's why he couldn't pick up himself and walk any more. The bones were like rubber and the musculature had clearly diminished."

This isn’t the first time a tortoise has gained a wheel. A few years ago, Washington State University veterinarians fashioned a swiveling ball type caster wheel on the plastron of an African spur-thighed tortoise whose left front leg was amputated due to an injury.

Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Sign-up for your account with Veterinary Practice News. Your account gives you unlimited free access to our Newsletter Archives and our Digital Editions of Veterinary Practice News.
Please check the box below to confirm you would like to be added to Kenilworth Media’s various e-mail communications (includes e-newsletters, a survey now and then, and offers to the veterinarian industry*).

Leave this empty:

*We do not sell your e-mail address to 3rd parties, we simply forward their offers to you. Of course, you always have the right to unsubscribe from any communications you receive from us, should you change your mind in the future.