THE LATEST: How is Spike the tortoise of Wayside Christian Missi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

THE LATEST: How is Spike the tortoise of Wayside Christian Mission doing?

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Early Friday afternoon, Nina Moseley, spokeswoman for Wayside Christian Mission, provided an update on Spike the tortoise.

Spike, a 14-year-old, 125-pound African-spurred tortoise, was hit by a car in Wayside's parking lot over the weekend. Spike lives at Wayside Christian Mission and is seen around town on his daily walks.

William Duncan is Spike's caretaker and says the tortoise was eating grass then moved across the lot. Duncan saw the woman driving the car in the parking lot and said, "I yelled as loud as I could, but she couldn't hear me of course, by that time... she had hit Spike."

He says, "The front wheels went over Spike, drug him a little bit about 10-15 feet and I heard his shell crack, so he was pinned under the car."

Since then, Spike has been in ICU at Shively Animal Hospital.

This afternoon, Moseley provided a detailed update on his condition:

I visited Spike again last night to try to get him to eat. Each day I've only been able to get him to eat one bite of an apple. The doctor at Shively Animal Clinic is syringe feeding him four times a day. It is important that we get him to start eating on his own. Dr. Fuchs explained that with these large tortoises, a lot of times after they experience a big trauma they will just shut down and stop eating, which then becomes life threatening. We will keep trying every day.

So far, Spike has not tried to stand up. If you look at any of the videos or pictures of Spike walking, you can see how tall he stands (Dr. Fuchs calls this his "lift'). She is concerned that he could have some spine damage. All four legs do move and he kind of slides around on the floor, like someone swimming. I'm hoping he may just be too weak yet to lift up his weight. He does weigh about 125 pounds. I'm still praying in this regards.

Dr. Fuchs has told us from the beginning that he could have internal injuries which we cannot determine and address. They fear his lungs could have been crushed a little with the weight of the vehicle on top of him, as the lungs are right under the top of the shell. They think this because they could feel air escape from the shell when making the repair. They have given him some breathing treatments to help address this issue.

All in all, Spike is improving somewhat but has a long way to go. Dr. Fuchs predicts it could be weeks before we know if he will be able to survive this ordeal. She told me last night that he is not out of the woods by any means yet.

My family and I are very thankful for all the great care at Shively Animal Clinic, the professional and caring help from Louisville's finest police officers at the accident scene, all the well wishers in the community and those who have joined in prayer and support for Spike, and to the media who have got the word out to so many. Spike is very important to the recovery community at Wayside Christian Mission, to the many children at the shelter, and to the neighbors who greet him on his nightly walks around downtown.  Continued prayers for some divine healing are greatly appreciated!

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