broken bottom jaw tip

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jay wible

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please help. my 1 1/2 year old sulcata tortoises tip of his bottom jaw broke off. It is still attached. I have no idea what to do.
 

Jacqui

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Like I said in PM, we need a little more information, if you would please. It's just the very tip, correct? Is it hanging by just like a thread of beak or a bit more? Pictures would help a lot. How did he manage to do this, do you know?

P.S. Welcome, even tho it's not for the best reason. Sorry for the stress both you and your little one are under. :(
 

dmmj

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A picture will indeed help. The bottom beak does not break as often as the top part.
 

jay wible

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Jacqui said:
Like I said in PM, we need a little more information, if you would please. It's just the very tip, correct? Is it hanging by just like a thread of beak or a bit more? Pictures would help a lot. How did he manage to do this, do you know?

P.S. Welcome, even tho it's not for the best reason. Sorry for the stress both you and your little one are under. :(



here are some pictures
 

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Jacqui

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Okay my eyes are old, so I am not real clear on what I am seeing, so please wait for somebody like Yvonne to come on and her her thoughts. What I am guessing your going to have to do, it to gently and very carefully take a heavy duty toe nail clipper and trim it off. You may end up needing to have a Vet do it, if there is any chance you might clip something else (like the tongue). The vet may also need to smooth it down and shape it (which is also my bet).

Like David said, you more often see the top beak break. Did this guy happen to have an underbite before this happened? (Did his bottom beak part stick out further then the op one?)
 

jay wible

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Jacqui said:
Okay my eyes are old, so I am not real clear on what I am seeing, so please wait for somebody like Yvonne to come on and her her thoughts. What I am guessing your going to have to do, it to gently and very carefully take a heavy duty toe nail clipper and trim it off. You may end up needing to have a Vet do it, if there is any chance you might clip something else (like the tongue). The vet may also need to smooth it down and shape it (which is also my bet).

Like David said, you more often see the top beak break. Did this guy happen to have an underbite before this happened? (Did his bottom beak part stick out further then the op one?)

no the bottom was always under the top. he was out in his habitat and i went out to get him for the storm and thats when i noticed it.
 

jason g.

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Looks like the tip on the bottom I'm gonna blow it up and post it
 

dmmj

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Don't worry jacqui I m in the same boat. It is hard to tell but if the bottom beak was overgrown, then it probably got to long and broke. You should be able to remove it. If it looks like it is still connected to the skin and may bleed, you might want to consult a vet. Was the beak overgrown before it broke?
 

jason g.

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ForumRunner_20120715_202017-2-1.jpg
ForumRunner_20120715_202017-1-1.jpg

It's a little bigger
 

jay wible

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dmmj said:
Don't worry jacqui I m in the same boat. It is hard to tell but if the bottom beak was overgrown, then it probably got to long and broke. You should be able to remove it. If it looks like it is still connected to the skin and may bleed, you might want to consult a vet. Was the beak overgrown before it broke?

no it was not. this sounds bad but im trying to avoid going to the vet as there are no reptile vets near me and the one i went to before is expensive. do yall think i really need to take him.
 

ascott

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Well, it is going to have to come off...bottom line. Now, the choice becomes yours as to if you have a steady enough hand and can do it with a pair of clippers or if you are going to need to take to a vet...who may or may not have any more experience at it than you....the sooner it is removed, the quicker it will heal and will also reduce the chances of it catching on something and ripping/cracking even further.....
 

dmmj

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I would only suggest a vet if the beak looks like it is not gonna come off easily. It is hard to tell with pictures. Could you possibly get a better pic of the beak? Does it look like it hanging by a piece, or does it look like it won't come off easily.
 

jay wible

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it is just barely hanging on by a piece of dry skin. if i clip it will it grow back or get infected
 

dmmj

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I should be amending my statement to say clip it off and not pull it off. If it does not bleed then it should not be able to get infected. I am unsure how well the bottom beak grows back if at all, I know the top beak does.
 

ascott

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If you clip it, get as close to the tort beak as possible WITHOUT clipping into the beak....just nip the piece off ....encourage his head out and then gently use your thumb and index finger to keep his head still (they are much stronger than they look so be prepared for him to want to retract his head)...it will be easier if you have a second pair of hands but doable if you only have yours and your lap....be calm and move slowly and be very gentle....take a deep breath and be calm...

Now if you are person who freaks out easily and you do NOT think you can do this...then don't...have a reptile vet do it....but from what it looks like and from how you are expressing yourself here...I bet you can do it just fine...especially since it is not hanging by a chunk of skin but rather a dry piece of skin....
 

jason g.

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jay wible said:
it is just barely hanging on by a piece of dry skin. if i clip it will it grow back or get infected

It will probably fall off on it's own but I'd be afraid of him choking on it or something so I would clip it off and keep her in a clean area till the wound if any closes up to ovoid any kind of infection. I'm still a pretty new so someone with more experience may have a better idea.
Listen to ascott!! Obviously they have had some experience with this. Thank goodness for the experienced tort keepers.
 

jay wible

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ok now underneath the piece is a little blood it looks as if the blood has not been disturbed so i dont know if that has any impact on anything
 

ascott

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So then after you clip it....give a nice warm water soak and keep the area clean....if you put the tort outdoors normally, I would not do that for about a week so that area can heal and close over...flies are not a great thing when there is a break in the skin....
 
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