Will a broken nail cause pain?

tortoise0

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May 5, 2016
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Hello guys, I'm new here and this is my first post.
I live in Rio (Brazil) and have a 5 years old red-footed tortoise. He is with me for 5 months now. Two days ago I noticed he broke two nails of his hindpaw. I think he may be in pain because sometimes he steps and brings the paw with the broken nails all the way up inside his shell. Even though I didn't notice any blood, the nails broke really close to the paw. Will it grow again? Is there anything I should give him for pain? Should I put him up on a can or something so he doesn't walk around?

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I also noticed that he is not eating properly. I give him pretty much everything, fruits, vegetables and tortoise food, but he's been only nibbling it. It's Autumn here in Brazil and the last couple days have been quite cold (around 25°C-77°F during the day and 16°C-61°F during the night) and I'm not sure this has anything to do with it or if he's not eating because of the broken nails.
Thank you!
 

Yvonne G

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

They won't eat if they aren't warm enough. If the tortoise is housed outside, maybe it would be a good idea to have a heat lamp over a section of the yard.

The pain or discomfort would be just like if you broke off a fingernail down below the quick. It hurts like hell!!! But it eventually hardens and will grow back.

Tortoises (animals) are much better at tuning out pain than we are. Once the initial pain is over, they don't think about it anymore. The tortoise may favor that foot a bit when walking, but it doesn't affect the appetite.
 

tortoise0

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Thank you so much! I was really worried, I cried so much when I first noticed the broken nails. I keep him outside, but I think I'll keep him in my bedroom at night at least until I get the lamp. Once again thank you so much! :D
 

MPRC

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I have a redfoot who had a nail that got too long and tore off. It bothered her for about a week before it scabbed over and she started walking normally. You can put a dab of antibiotic ointment on it if you need to. Also watch it for pus, bad smells or fly larvae if she lives outdoors.
 
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