The number of people adding a pet tortoise to their family has been slowly increasing over the last decade and although tortoises are still a very niche pet, more and more people are starting to keep them as pets.
Just like all other types of pets that see an increase in the number of people keeping them, the number of people reaching out to ask questions about keeping a pet tortoise has also increased over the last couple of years too.
Many of these questions are just things like useing sphagnum moss for a tortoise or using coco coir substrate for a tortoise but more recently, we have noticed people worrying about the beak of their tortoise splitting and causing problems.
Due to many of the people reaching out for advice being worried, we have decided to publish this article going over how to deal with a tortoise beak split to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
Is It Normal For A Tortoises Beak To Split?
The first thing that we need to discuss is whether or not it is actually normal for a tortoise beak to split.
This might seem like a silly question but it is one that we get asked on a regular basis, most likely because people are unsure and want to make sure that they aren’t doing something wrong.
In short, no, it is not normal for a tortoise beak to split.
A tortoises beak is made out of keratin, which is the same material that human fingernails and hair are made out of and in most cases, a split beak is a sign of a potential problem.
Why Has My Tortoise Beak Split?
The most common cause of a tortoise beak split is due to the tortoise having problems with an overgrown beak. In less common cases, the nutritional profile of the diet of the tortoise as well as its age can also cause problems with its beak splitting too.
In some niche cases, injury can also case a tortoise beak to split too but this really is rare and its usually nothing to worry about.
The Beak Is Overgrown!
The most common cause of a tortoise beak split is due to the beak being overgrown and not being trimmed down on a regular basis.
A lot of people don”t realize this but a tortoises beak will actually continue growing for the entirety of its life and if it isn’t trimmed down on a regular basis, it can start to cause problems.
Overgrown beaks are more common in pet tortoises than people realize and it’s something that you should keep an eye out for, especially if it’s something that you have never had to deal with before.
If you think that your tortoises beak might be overgrown, the best thing to do is to take it to a qualified vet or reptile specialist who will be able to trim it down for you.
Its also a good idea to ask them to show you how to do it too so that you can avoid the problem in the future.
In most cases though, people tend to just take their tortoise to a vet to have them trim the beak down as it works out much easier and cheaper for the majority of people.
Don’t worry about your tortoise being in pain during the process, a beak trimming is similar to humans cutting out hair or finger nails, it needs to be done but we can’t feel it.
A Low Nutrition Diet!
Another common cause of a tortoise beak split is due to the tortoise not having a good enough diet or not getting enough of the right nutrients.
Tortoises, like all other animals, need a balanced and nutritious diet in order to stay healthy and if they are not getting the right amount of nutrients, it can cause problems with their beak.
A lot of people think that tortoises only eat vegetables but this is actually not the case, they need a diet that consists of both vegetables and fruits in order to get all of the nutrients that they need.
If you are feeding your tortoise a diet that is lacking in nutrients, it is important to make changes as soon as possible as it can cause long term health problems if not dealt with.
The best way to make sure that your tortoise is getting a good diet is to speak to a reptile specialist or vet who will be able to advise you on what to feed them.
Its also a good idea to do some research online too so that you can get a better understanding of what they need.
In some cases, you may be offering your pet tortoise the perfect diet but it just chooses not to eat. If this is the case then our article on why your new tortoise is not eating may be helpful.
As tortoises get older, they can start to experience problems with their beak splitting too.
This is usually due to the fact that their beak starts to become thinner and more brittle as they age and therefore, it is more likely to split.
If your tortoise is starting to experience problems with its beak splitting, it is important to take it to a vet or reptile specialist so that they can check it out and offer you some advice.
They may also be able to trim the beak down for you so that it doesn’t continue to split.
How Do I Treat A Tortoises Split Beak?
It is suprisingly easy to deal with a tortoise beak split provided you catch the split early enough.
The majority of the time, a veterinarian will be able to just trim the beak of your tortoise down around the split and in time, a young, healthy tortoise will be able to grow the split out without any long term problems.
If the split is particularly bad and it has managed to ride up to the nerve area of the beak then this can become more problematic and you definatley need a vet to help you treat the issue.
Thankfully though, this is very rare and in most cases, the split on the beak of your tortoise will simply be due to it being overgrown causing a small split that is easy to fix.
How Can I Make Sure That My Tortoises Beak Doesn’t Split Again?
The best way to make sure that your tortoise’s beak doesn’t split again is to ensure that it has a good diet and to take it to a reptile specialist or vet every few months so that they can check it over and trim it down if necessary.
Its also important to keep an eye on your tortoise and if you notice that the beak is starting to split, take it to a vet as soon as possible so that they can deal with it before it gets any worse.
Tortoises are generally very hardy creatures but like all animals, they can sometimes experience problems and therefore, its always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to their health.
We hope that you have found this article helpful and that you now know what to do if your tortoises beak starts to split.