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Overgrown Beak


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#1 gill2307

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 12:40 PM

Hi there,

 

One of my torts has an overgrown beak, much longer than the other tort I own. When I bought the tortoises, abut six years ago, it was always longer than the other, so I thought this was normal. It has got longer, and I'm aware it needs trimming.

 

Does trimming need to be done by a specialist, or can pet shops do this?

Also, is there anything I can do to stop this overgrowth in future. The tortoises have a cuttlefish bone, and their food is now served on brick or rock, to naturally file it down, but this doesn't seem to be enough. The tortoise with the overgrown beak is the least active of the two, maybe this has a part to play also?


Thanks



#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 05:57 PM

Hi Gill,

Do you have a picture of the tort with the over grown beak, how do you keep the tortoises at the minute, ie enclosure, diet, supplements etc, this will just give us a better idea, feeding off slate or tiles is best and does help keep the beak trim, but if it's already over grown it wont do enough, you will need to take the tort to a vet to get the beak trimmed. :)  



#3 gill2307

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 06:57 PM

IMG_8487.jpg

 

This is the tort. 
We currently keep them on a tortoise table, but they have an outside enclosure as well, which we try to use as much as possible, when the weather is decent.
I'm aware that their current indoor enclosure is small considering the size of the tortoises. We have already upgraded once! They seem to outgrow what ever we give them! Considering a green house for them now.

 

IMG_8467.jpg

Originally we were giving both tortoises calcium supplements, again a recommendation from the pet shop, I feel this may have caused the excessive beak growth. However, We haven't given this for quite some time now, a few years at least.
Their diet mostly consists of cabbage and leafy salad, like rocket salad, and then dandelions when we have them. We give them some tomato and cucumber from time to time also. 

 

Thanks Gill



#4 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 07:33 PM

Calcium does not cause beak overgrown, the habitat and feeding does. Calcium MUST be given in some form, whether limestone or as part of a D3  mineral supplement. Lack of calcium can cause beak and bone problems so you need to get back to a daily supplement ASAP. This beak is around twice the length it should be. Don't let a pet shop touch it, not many are that clued up about tortoises. You need to feed natural food that is strong and fibrous to wear down the beak, but they also need a lot of space with climbing areas. Never feed from dishes, but put the food where they have to work to find it, even if this means hanging it up to make them reach up and tear it. The tortoises shells are also showing signs of calcium deficiency, so I would get them to a much larger area, things to do, more lighting and correct diet. Sorry but cabbage is high in oxalates, which depletes calcium levels as does rocket if fed too often. Tomato upsets gut flora, the same as other fruits and so should not be fed really. Hope this helps



#5 Beermat89

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 08:36 PM

Totally agree,
Diet is the main key in this case,cabbage and tomato are a no no this is causing the parrot beak, as Sue said feed natural weeds and flowers on slate or something abrasive,calcium is vital in a torts diet with out it there will be major complications later on in life!

#6 gill2307

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 10:47 PM

Thanks for the advice. It's nice to finally talk to people who are clued up. I've noticed the pyramiding, or beginnings of it, but again, wasn't sure of the cause. 
It's really frustrating being told so many different things, you'd think a pet shop that specializes in reptiles would be able to give adequate advice. I only want what's best for them.
The diet is another area, where I've received conflicting info. We were told that lettuce was a definite no no, but cabbage was fine.
What sort of weeds, and where can we get them? 
I get dandelions grow in the summer and spring, but have nothing in the garden at the moment, other than dead leaves.

thanks again, your help is very much appreciated!
 



#7 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:05 PM

That's the problem - anyone can call themselves a reptile specialist - truth is very very few of them are. Its a wonder any of my babies go to good homes as people have got advice from shops and dodgy internet sites and think they know what to do. If you look at your torts shells, they have what looks like a skirt around the edge, where this should be totally smooth from top to bottom of the shell. Its another sign of calcium deficiency or lack of uvb. How often do you change the uvb lamp? Lettuce is actually much better than cabbage, but that doesn't mean to say its a good diet. Lettuce is grown for humans and if we ate it as it grows wild, most people would moan that it was tough, but this is actually better. Have a look at what I feed mine www.tortsmad.com/diet.htm Around here there is still plenty of food for my 14 babies, but the adults are going into hibernation, so nothing for them. I get mine when taking the dog for walks. There's not so much around now, but what is there is nice and fibrous, so keeps them going for longer. Good luck



#8 gill2307

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:15 PM

My fiance does the lighting part, he said it's changed every year.
Will this problem with the shells heal, or will it be permanently like that now?

It's horrible to hear that we may have been doing them more harm than good. :(

Are those different weeds fairly easy to recognize? 
 

Thanks again



#9 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:30 PM

That's good then or 6  months on some tube types. No, it won't heal but what you have to think of is that it's not just the shell that is affected by calcium deficiency it's inside too, so you can help that and the bones by upping calcium from now on. Id get the beak trimmed ASAP as it looks to be going out of line. It might take a while to settle back into correct line, but he will thank you for having it done and will eat more easily. Once you get to know what the different weeds are you will pick them automatically. Its worth just picking a load, bringing them home and checking against the pics. If in doubt, post clear pics here and we can help ID for you ;)



#10 gill2307

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:48 PM

Thank you so much for your help.
I can't quite believe how much we haven't got right!
A little upsetting actually.

We're in the process of looking at greenhouses, and moving them outside on a more permanent basis, even their outdoor enclosure is probably not big enough now.
 

Are there any vets you could recommend to do this sort of work.

We are based in Birmingham, West Midlands. 



#11 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:50 PM

Whereabouts in Birmingham are you? I'm in Wolverhampton Saturday morning if you are anywhere near.



#12 gill2307

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:53 PM

We're in Kings Norton/ Northfield area.



#13 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 12:02 AM

That's a shame it's quite a way away, or I would have done it for you. Can you get to Manor Vets? If so make sure they have one of the reptile vets on duty and they should be able to do it for you really quickly.



#14 gill2307

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 06:36 PM

My finace's parents live in Walsall, if that's closer? 



#15 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 06:50 PM

It's still half an hour away and I have to be in Shrewsbury for 11am with a rehomer I am picking up at 10 am. If you could do either Wolverhampton or Shrewsbury, it would be fine. I'm in Shrewsbury tomorrow and on 17th November too, but that might be bit far for you.

#16 gill2307

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 06:57 PM

When is it that you're in Wolverhampton, could definitely do that.






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