Giant African sulcata beak overgrowth and broke

Koaq

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HI
Big boy African sulcata my tortoises beak got this growth almost like a horn coming out of the middle of the bottom beak and it broke off there was some blood. Now he’s not eating, tries to bite the food then spits it out and started bleeding again. This just happened and could really use some help and advice, all the local vets don’t do reptiles/tortoises here so I’m pretty much on my own
 

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Lyn W

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I think any vet would be better than none trying to tackle that, they'll have the right tools to deal with it,
It must be very painful for your tort and he may need antibiotics to stop infection but wait to see what members with much more experience of dealing with health problems think about it so that if you see a vet you are well informed)
Cut up any food very finely so that he doesn't have to put pressure on it and perhaps try hand feeding.
Can you post clearer pics and maybe @zovick or @ZenHerper or @Yvonne can advise you.
 

Yvonne G

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That's not a healthy looking eye.


This is very painful, like if you broke off your fingernail way down into the quick. When that overgrowth happens you need to keep it trimmed off so it doesn't break off of its own accord. There's nothing you can do now but wait until the raw part hardens and stops hurting.
 

zovick

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Big boy African sulcata my tortoises beak got this growth almost like a horn coming out of the middle of the bottom beak and it broke off there was some blood. Now he’s not eating, tries to bite the food then spits it out and started bleeding again. This just happened and could really use some help and advice, all the local vets don’t do reptiles/tortoises here so I’m pretty much on my own
It looks as though both the upper and lower beaks are overgrown from what I am able to see in the photos.

You really need to post a couple pictures taken from further away showing the front legs and the head. Also I would like to see one or two of the entire tortoise because the front of the shell doesn't look normal in the one head photo
 

Yvonne G

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It looks as though both the upper and lower beaks are overgrown from what I am able to see in the photos.

You really need to post a couple pictures taken from further away showing the front legs and the head. Also I would like to see one or two of the entire tortoise because the front of the shell doesn't look normal in the one head photo
Yes. Can't tell if that's the gular on the side, if the image is oriented horizontally, or what.
 

zovick

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Yes. Can't tell if that's the gular on the side, if the image is oriented horizontally, or what.
To me, it appears that the portion of the shell at the top of the photo is the gular and the portion at the bottom of the photo is a marginal scute. However, if that is correct, I must say have never seen a tortoise with its head in the position which is shown in the photo.

It just looks very odd to me.
 

Yvonne G

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To me, it appears that the portion of the shell at the top of the photo is the gular and the portion at the bottom of the photo is a marginal scute. However, if that is correct, I must say have never seen a tortoise with its head in the position which is shown in the photo.

It just looks very odd to me.
OH!!! Now I see it. The picture is upside down! That's why the eye looks funny. Give me a few minutes and I'll go to my computer and turn the picture ovr. . .
 

Yvonne G

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beak.jpg

I've seen this beak problem on a few different sulcatas in the years I spent rescuing tortoises. You must continue to file or nip off the over growth. If you don't, eventually it breaks off like this one did, and it always breaks off too deep, causing much pain for the tortoise.

To @Koaq : Find a vet who is willing to help you with this beak, and get that lower part removed. Trying to eat with it hanging on like that is causing him much pain. It needs to be removed, and by a vet who has access to the equipment and medications that will stop the bleeding. Don't try to do it yourself.
 

Kadels

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I've seen this beak problem on a few different sulcatas in the years I spent rescuing tortoises. You must continue to file or nip off the over growth. If you don't, eventually it breaks off like this one did, and it always breaks off too deep, causing much pain for the tortoise.
@Yvonne - can you give us some tips on how to file or nip off the overgrowth? Info like what tools to use and how short it should be would be extremely helpful
 

zovick

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@Yvonne - can you give us some tips on how to file or nip off the overgrowth? Info like what tools to use and how short it should be would be extremely helpful
You can use a heavy duty nail clipper. I have one on which the cutting edge is a full half inch wide (I think it was made for doing the toenails on the big toe rather than for fingernails). It works very well on large tortoise's beaks (if you can get them to hold their heads out long enough). Usually after the first clip or two, they figure out what is happening and retreat into their shells and pull their front legs in and together for further protection.

It takes a good amount of patience to get the job done if there is a lot of overgrowth.
 
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