Russian beak overgrown--trimming advice!

Nicole M

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Jun 8, 2016
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Hello all! I've recently adopted an adorable Russian (Jezebel!) whose beak is overgrown. I already feed on slate, but her beak never really touches the stone while eating.

I've read everything (in the forums and elsewhere) I can find on the subject of beak trimming, but I'm unsure of what to do, particularly in terms of how severe the beak overgrowth should be before it needs a trim. If it will need to be trimmed, what's the best method for this kind of overgrowth? I have Emory boards, toenail clippers, and stainless cuticle trimmers all at my disposal.

I have looked into it extensively, and there are no reptile vets near me who have experience doing that specific thing. Especially if filing is feasible, I'd be comfortable trying it myself--but I just need to know what method is best! I also see that the beak has grown outwards instead of down, but how can that be corrected (as it looks like the whole beak just grows slightly outward)? Would I file a bit of the front of the beak as well?

Any input and advice is GREATLY appreciated!!! ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1465681336825331 ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1465681354143604 ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1465681372554763 ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1465681390880769
 

Nicole M

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(Oh, and the stuff around the eyes in some of those pics was coco coir--Jez had just dug a nice big burrow)
 

Yvonne G

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With the toe nail nippers I start at the back on one side and just nip out triangular chunks, working my way around the front and ending up at the back of the other side. Just take off a small nip at first. Repeat as many times as necessary until you have it where you want it. Then you can smooth it out with a Dremmel or emory board.
 

martaemha

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I don't think there's anything you can do about the beak growing outward. Some torts (usually those that have been fed inappropriate diet in the past) have slightly displaced beaks. If she eats on her own I wouldn't worry too much about it. Apart from the great advice on trimming from Yvonne G, in the future I would give Jezebel unchopped greens. The hard parts of plants help keep the beak in shape. I never trim the beak of my older Russian - she struggles with her food and cuttlebone so much that she does the trimming for herself!
 

Nicole M

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Jun 8, 2016
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With the toe nail nippers I start at the back on one side and just nip out triangular chunks, working my way around the front and ending up at the back of the other side. Just take off a small nip at first. Repeat as many times as necessary until you have it where you want it. Then you can smooth it out with a Dremmel or emory board.
Thank you! This is extremely helpful. I'll get on it. :) I'm worried about accidentally getting the quick since I can't see it, but I guess all I can do is take out super small chunks for now.
 

Nicole M

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Jun 8, 2016
Messages
161
I don't think there's anything you can do about the beak growing outward. Some torts (usually those that have been fed inappropriate diet in the past) have slightly displaced beaks. If she eats on her own I wouldn't worry too much about it. Apart from the great advice on trimming from Yvonne G, in the future I would give Jezebel unchopped greens. The hard parts of plants help keep the beak in shape. I never trim the beak of my older Russian - she struggles with her food and cuttlebone so much that she does the trimming for herself!
Working on unchopped greens currently! I haven't given her anything else (except a few dandelions and some bagged salad mix on top of the unchopped greens) since getting her, but I know she was fed an inappropriate diet in the past... Poor thing. The rescue said that when they got her, nothing but carrot chunks were coming out of her during soaks!
 
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