Shell growing directly down into Tail

ClydeHaver

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Hi, Ive always used this forum as a way if getting good advice but I cant seem to find a sure answer for this question

My tortoise's (Horsefield) shell seems to be growing directly down into his tail and although I haven't noticed any signs of struggle I feel it would hurt. Please see photos attached.

I have tried to clip it using professional equipment designed for toe/fingernails but I cant seem to keep him still and the angle is too difficult to cut.

Please advise
 

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wellington

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Try to file it.
It does look like it's marking up the tail in the area it's touching. If you can't get it to file down, you may need to find a good tortoise vet and they may have to do it or cut it back some.
 

ClydeHaver

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Try to file it.
It does look like it's marking up the tail in the area it's touching. If you can't get it to file down, you may need to find a good tortoise vet and they may have to do it or cut it back some.
Hi Wellington,

Thanks for responding so quickly, im used to using clippers on his claws and beak as obviously this doesnt rub against his skin. How wouod you recommend filing thay area down. Is there any specific type of tool I can buy. Also, im conscious of filing too much and hurting him in that area directly above his tail.

Thanks again for your response and you're time.
 

Markw84

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That is not normal growth. The supracaudal does grow inward on males, but it should be even or below the plastron level to leave room for the tail. Your tortoise seems to have developed that inward curve way too high. It looks like you do need to get it corrected.
 

wellington

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That is not normal growth. The supracaudal does grow inward on males, but it should be even or below the plastron level to leave room for the tail. Your tortoise seems to have developed that inward curve way too high. It looks like you do need to get it corrected.
Do you think a Dremel is to extreme and harsh? Would a file, like used for horse hooves be the best choice or just a piece of course sand paper attached to a thin long piece of wood, like a pop cycle stick be best.
A vet would be good if they could find a reliable one.
 

Markw84

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Do you think a Dremel is to extreme and harsh? Would a file, like used for horse hooves be the best choice or just a piece of course sand paper attached to a thin long piece of wood, like a pop cycle stick be best.
A vet would be good if they could find a reliable one.
Not sure what will work. A good reptile vet might be needed. The problem I see is working on the scute without damaging the tail as it appears the scute is now pressing against the tail. I have no direct experience with a situation like this. My biggest question is even with trimming - how to get the scute to grow down instead of curling inward? The growth would occur at the seam above - between the spracaudal and 5th vertebral. So possible once trimmed it would not continue to grow inward, and be simply pushed downward.
 

ClydeHaver

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That is not normal growth. The supracaudal does grow inward on males, but it should be even or below the plastron level to leave room for the tail. Your tortoise seems to have developed that inward curve way too high. It looks like you do need to get it corrected.
Hi Mark,

Thanks for your help with this, I've started to ask local vet practices if they helo woth Tortoises as I live quite far away from any reptile specific vets.

Could you recommend anyway in which i might be able to file it down in the short term myself?
 

ClydeHaver

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Do you think a Dremel is to extreme and harsh? Would a file, like used for horse hooves be the best choice or just a piece of course sand paper attached to a thin long piece of wood, like a pop cycle stick be best.
A vet would be good if they could find a reliable one.
I was looking at buying something like this Dreamon Dog Electric Nail File Grinders, Pet Nail Trimmer Low Noise, Long Working Time, for Small Medium Large Breed Dog and Cat https://amzn.eu/d/3oUUw6p
 

zolasmum

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That might work well, but if possible slide a piece of thin metal or plastic between the tail and the plastron to protect the tail while you do it.
Itwould be noisy, but safer, I think.
Angie
 

wellington

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Well I'll order it now (wouod be useful for his claws anyway). Thank you all for your help I'll try to jeep you updated :). Just fyi I will contact a vet anyway just incase.
Give it a try, protecting the tail as zolasmum mentioned. If it works great, if not, see what a vet can do. Either way you will need to keep an eye on it. It may need to be done throughout it's life every once in a while.
 

Ink

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Can you post pictures of the entire tortoise? From the one picture he seems a little bit less domed.
 

ClydeHaver

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Hi all,

Just left vets now, they recommended a slight stunt in food, they said its likely not hurting him. It seems I was giving him too much carrot and this accelerated his shell growth. They wouldn't resort to surgery as it doesn't seem drastic enough. My only concern is that long term wont his shell keep growing downwards anyway?

Nurse seemed sure that apart from that he was perfectly healthy :).

Thanks for all your help,
 

_The_Beast_

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Hi all,

Just left vets now, they recommended a slight stunt in food, they said its likely not hurting him. It seems I was giving him too much carrot and this accelerated his shell growth. They wouldn't resort to surgery as it doesn't seem drastic enough. My only concern is that long term wont his shell keep growing downwards anyway?

Nurse seemed sure that apart from that he was perfectly healthy :).

Thanks for all your help,
This sounds like really outdated information on tortoises from when the 'solution' to pyramiding was to limit food intake. I don't think the vet actually knows what they are talking about and I don't think food reduction will solve this issue. Can you post additional photos so we can get a sense of the entire tort?

Edited to add: can you share more about the tort's diet? I don't think food is the issue but if the tort is overweight (uncommon but can happen if they don't have a proper enclosure) that could be making the problem worse.
 

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