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overgrown beak/jaw
Posted: 08/06/2009 by spartacus

Hi everyone, i have 2 Hermanns torts a 4yr old female, and a 5yr old male, i have had my female since she was 18 months old but only had the male 1yr since he was 4,and until stumbling across this site kept them in a viv, my poor female has a bumpy shell and a soft plastron, which i am hoping will improve (any advice), but her biggest problem is that her lower jaw is very thick and prevents her jaw closing, this in turn makes the lower jaw grow too long which has to be operated on by a vet under a general aneasthetic, has anyone any advice on correcting this? 

Re: overgrown beak/jaw
Posted: 08/06/2009 by tpgsteph


Unfortunately the bumpy shell and thickening of the jaw are irreversible but you can have a positive affect on her growth from now on if you make sure that she has a good supplemented, balanced diet and does not  grow too quickly.
Vivariums have little ventilation and tend to maintain almost one temperature which does not allow a tortoise to thermoregulate (cool down) properly. This often leads to tortoises being 'over active' and over eating because of the constant exposure to high temperatures.
A diet supplemented with Nutrobal (1 pinch/kilo of tortoise) sprinkled on her food will help the plastron to harden, also you could try placing a cuttlefish in the enclosure which will offer an additiional form of calcium, when your tortoise chooses.

Please see the links below for advice about diet and husbandry.



Re: overgrown beak/jaw
Posted: 08/06/2009 by spartacus

Hi thanks for replying, i now have built a tortoise table and an outdoor enclosure, and am feeding nutrobal, the vet files/cuts the jaw back, can i file it myself or would i hurt her, just to keep on top of it as she has to have the little op quite regular, and am worried over the stress of constant aneasthetics.


Re: overgrown beak/jaw
Posted: 29/06/2009 by jeanstorts

Hi the beak let your vet do the beaks  and see how they do it they may show you , if you go wrong you may injure your tort and you wouldnt want to do that be patient Jean B


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