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Reptile & Amphibian Center

Abnormal Beak and Skull Growth in Reptiles



An uneven or overgrown beak can be reshaped using a Dremel tool or similar rotary grinding device. The procedure is not painful, and sedation is usually not necessary.


Living and Management


In many cases, an affected turtle and tortoise will need to have its beak trimmed regularly to manage its condition unless an underlying problem can be corrected. If the animal can chew properly, crunchy foods can promote normal beak wear. Otherwise, soft food may be necessary to make sure that the pet gets proper nutrition. To promote normal skull growth in young turtles and tortoises, feed them a balanced and varied diet that meets all of the species’ nutritional needs.