Nail Trimming?

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New Member
5 Year Member
Dec 9, 2012
Hello my name is Jakki and I am a new member! I live in WI and I have a 2-3 year old Russian tortoise named Little Foot. I have noticed that his front and back nails have been getting really long over the past few months. I have tried adding additional substrate (I use a mulch-like bark substrate) so he could naturally trim them by digging, etc but they are still getting longer. I was wondering if anyone knows of a safe way to trim the nails. I definitely don't want to cut them to short or cause harm. I am not sure what kind of tools I should use or what approach I should take. I'm thinking he'd become very upset if I just grab held one of his little legs lol. Please let me know if you have any advice/suggestions! Thanks!

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hi Jakki, and welcome to the Forum!

You can trim them just like you do a cat or dog. Just do it in real good light where you can see the quick through the nail and don't cut down into the quick.

I have noticed that Russian tortoises do seem to have longer nails than other tortoises. It may not be anything for you to worry about.
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