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Broken Toe-Claws

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by Saria_9, Jan 27, 2009.

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  1. Saria_9

    Saria_9 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
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    I would like to start with saying I'm fairly new to tortoise care. I bought my baby sulcata from a local pet shop about six months ago and its been going very well so far ^_^
    We're keeping him in an under-bed storage tub filled with reptile sand (as suggested by the pet store owner). I think this is similar to what we use right now: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752699
    Here's a picture of our setup:
    [​IMG]
    Any suggestions about improvements we could make to his environment would be greatly appreciated.

    Now my concern right now is that I've noticed some of his back-foot claws are broken clean off. I would assume they'll grow back but as I said before, I'm pretty new at tortoise keeping. Is it normal for tortoise claws to break off and grow back occasionally due to digging?

    picture:
    [​IMG]

    Any insight into this matter will be appreciated.
  2. nrfitchett4

    nrfitchett4 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
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    202
    I was curious about this as well. I'm not sure if they are broken or just don't have them. Mine has only 3 on each rear leg, exactly the same three digits.
    curious to see the response.
  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
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    Location:
    Clovis, CA
    Hard to say without actually seeing him move around, but my best GUESS is that the toenails are a little long and need to be trimmed. If the nail bed hasn't been damaged, the nail will grow back. If it doesn't, its no big deal.

    The reptile sand isn't a good substrate. It is too easy for them to accidentally eat it and then become impacted. A lot of folks use a 50/50 mixture of coconut coir/playsand. The coconut coir comes in a compressed brick (at any pet store). You put it into a 5 gallon bucket of hot water and it eventually falls apart. Then you squeeze out the excess water. The playsand is a fairly clean product you buy at a store like Home Depot or Lowe's. Its coarser than the reptile sand and mixes well with the coir. It's mfg'd for children's sand boxes, so you know that it will be free of broken glass, etc.

    Yvonne

    (Love the giraffe!!)
  4. tortoisenerd

    tortoisenerd New Member

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    Location:
    Washington
    Some other views of the enclosure could help determine if maybe something in his enclosure got him hung up.

    Different tort species have different numbers of nails.

    What surface is he digging on (is he digging through the sand and down to the plastic)? I've heard of nails being worn down from continuously digging to try and get deeper when the substrate isn't deep enough, but haven't personally heard of them breaking off. About how deep is the substrate? If the little guy is digging easily to the bottom you might think making it deeper. They should grow back as the nails continuously grow, but I can see your concern as to why. Some other members will be along shortly. Welcome to the forum!
  5. nrfitchett4

    nrfitchett4 New Member

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    so they are supposed to have 5 nails?
    Mine only has 3 per back leg and the same 2 are missing from both sides. seems odd.
  6. PinkElite

    PinkElite New Member

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    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
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    mine has that too. it was bent up. i wanted to take it to a vet but my boyfriend said he was still walking and didnt seem to be hurt. it looks just like that pic
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