– Gather your supplies. First, youll need a nail clipper. You can use a nail clipper for humans or one designed for cats or small animals. Second, youll need styptic powder. The powder quickly stops bleeding in case you cut the nail too short.
Are you supposed to cut guinea pigs nails?
Guinea pigs require regular nail trimming. … This is an important part of their grooming needs because their nails tend to curl and can grow into their footpads.
How do you cut a guinea pig's nails by yourself?
Place your hand lightly across your guinea pig’s chest. If your guinea pig isn’t comfortable in your lap, wrap it in a hand towel like a little burrito while keeping its feet accessible. Begin trimming. Hold one leg gently and start to trim off the nail on each toe before moving on to the other foot.
Can you cut guinea pig's nails with nail clippers?
Nail Clipping. You can use human nail clippers or nail clippers designed for cats and other small animals. … Aim to clip your guinea pig’s nails at least once a month, although you can do it more often if necessary.
What happens if you don't trim your guinea pigs nails?
If you don’t cut a guinea pig’s nails what can happen is their nails will start to curl up and they won’t be able to do some of their normal activities and can also sustain injuries if they’re left uncut for too long. So because of that, it’s always a good idea to make sure that their nails are kept at a decent level.
Guinea pigs nails grow continuously, just like humans. Their toenails file down naturally in the wild, but they dont get the same opportunity when domesticated. For this reason, guinea pigs require regular nail cutting to save them from the pain and discomfort overgrown and curled nails cause.
Overgrown and twisted nail tips can cause open wounds on the feet and damage your pets skin. The infected footpad can develop pododermatitis (bumblefoot) or inflammation that progresses to osteoarthritis or osteomyelitis (conditions with a poor prognosis).
The quick is a delicate red blood vessel that runs through the nail and can make your pet bleed out if you accidentally clip it. However, if you shine a USB light or a torch through the nail, and youll see the blood vessel more clearly. These clippers usually have a rounded groove in the blades that can hold the nail and give it a refined, clean finish after cutting.
Animal or human nail clippers Styptic powder or Cornflour (in case of bleeding when you accidentally cut the quick) Hand towel Magnifying glasses with LED lights or torch Lettuce, grass, or your pets favorite food Therefore, ensure your piggys favorite healthy snack is available, as it will help distract your pet while you go on trimming. The best way to do it is by sitting on the ground and place the piggy on your lap, facing away from you while the ramp is against your stomach.
Use the hand holding the piggys legs to steady the nail between the thumb and the index finger. Proceed with trimming the other nails and give your pet time to cool off if it is restless during the session. If your piggys nails are black, it can be virtually impossible to locate the quick, making it a little disturbing.
Regular cutting sessions can help you guess where its safe to clip based on the nails shape, although you must be sure and confident. Ideally, you can ask a groomer, a vet team member, or an experienced guinea pig parent for help before you attempt it yourself. Clipping a little more often will help you cut to the standard length with the blood vessels shrunk back.
Even the most careful and experienced guinea pig parents have accidentally cut into the quick and caused it to bleed at one point. If it becomes sore and wont stop bleeding, consult your family vet for alternative advice. However, a little patience and regular trimming will help build confidence and make it easier for you and your pet.
But, do not at any point panic and leave the nail to grow as itll make your pet suffer, get infected, and develop sore feet. Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway.
The grooming needs of short-haired guinea pigs are minimal but if you have a breed with longer hair, you will need to invest more time into caring for them. Regardless of their hair length though, all guinea pigs require regular nail trimming.
If you choose this method, be careful not to wrap too tightly so that your guinea pig can still breath easily and take a break between legs to reduce stress and the chance of overheating. Make sure the bleeding has stopped before placing your guinea pig back in its cage or leaving it unattended.
While brushing and combing your guinea pig, you should also check for problems such as lice or sores on the skin. Unless your guinea pig gets lice , gets urine or feces on its fur, or is about to be in a show or other competition, you’ll probably never have to bathe it if you brush it regularly. Prepare a shallow pan of warm water and lather your guinea pig‘s body with the shampoo.
Make sure your guinea pig stays in a nice warm place until it is completely dry to avoid it getting a chill and getting sick.
Despite their common name, guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus), are not really pigs at all. They are a species of rodents belonging to the family Caviidae, and their scientific name porcellus is Latin for little pig.2 These animals have been involved in biological experimentation since the 17th century.3 Their use as a model organism in the 19th and 20th centuries resulted in the epithet guinea pig for a test subject. Guinea pigs have been largely replaced by other rodents, such as mice and rats,3 but they are still used in research, primarily as models for human medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy, and pregnancy complications. Guinea pigs are generally docile and seldom bite; however, they are easily frightened and will try to avoid capture or being held.
Guinea pigs have been largely replaced by other rodents, such as mice and rats, 3 but they are still used in research, primarily as models for human medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy, and pregnancy complications. 1 The inflammation associated with this condition can progress to osteoarthritis and, in rare cases, osteomyelitis, which has a poor prognosis in guinea pigs.
Its toes will automatically spread open when you hold it this way, which aids in getting the nails trimmed quickly and is less stressful on the animal as well as you. Before returning the animal to its home cage, check all toenails for any signs of bleeding and apply the styptic pencil or clotting powder if necessary.
Best Clippers for Cutting Guinea Pig Nails
There are two types of nail clippers you can use:
Small Animal Nail Clipper
You can use clippers especially made for clipping your piggy’s nails. These clippers usually have a rounded groove in the blades that can hold the nail and give it a refined, clean finish after cutting.Examples of small animal nail clippers you can use include Kaytee Small Animal Pro-Nail Trimmer, Babyliss Pro Pet Nail Clipper, and Hertzko Angled Blade.
Human Nail Clipper
If the pet-designated clipper does not have enough gap to accommodate your pet’s nails, you can opt for a human clipper with an extra gap. However, these clippers may flatten the nails, so be sure to trim away the excess nail when using them.You may find that young piggies have much softer and delicate nails than older guinea pigs because the nails harden and thicken with age. Similarly, nails on the hind limbs tend to be thicker than the front ones. You can use human toenail clippers for thicker nails.Examples of human nail clippers you can use include HAWATOUR Nail Clippers, FIXBODY Nail Clippers, and QOOQI Nail Clippers.
Relax Your Pet
Remember, most guinea pigs are the happiest when munching on their favorite food. Therefore, ensure your piggy’s favorite healthy snack is available, as it will help distract your pet while you go on trimming.
Position the Pet in Your Lap
The hardest part about nail cutting is getting your guinea pig to hold still. The best way to do it is by sitting on the ground and place the piggy on your lap, facing away from you while the ramp is against your stomach. It’ll help prevent it from backing up.
Choose a Leg
Hold your pet upright and choose a leg to trim, and gently pull it out. If the piggy wiggles during this process, release the leg and allow it to calm down before you gently proceed.
Secure one of the Nails
Use the hand holding the piggy’s legs to steady the nail between the thumb and the index finger. However, do not squeeze too tight to keep the nail in place, or it may make your pet squirm.Select the nail starting from one end of the foot as you work your way from the inside to the other end. It’ll help you keep count of the nails you’ve clipped.Then, pick up the clippers with your other hand and position them in front of the nail you want to trim. Identify the nail’s quick-it’ll be easier to locate on a clear nail than on a black nail. But, a magnifying glass and an LED light can help with that.
Trim the Nail
If your guinea pig has clear nails, you’ll see the quick as the pink part inside the nail. If you can locate the quick, the trick is to cut the extended tip off the nail without getting into the quick. Ensure you are at the right angle; trim the nail just above the quick, towards the nail’s end.Avoid trimming too close to the quick as it’ll be painful for your piggy. Worse still, if you cut the quick, you risk your pig bleeding out.Proceed with trimming the other nails and give your pet time to cool off if it is restless during the session. A treat after each nail clipping can provide positive reinforcement and offer some distraction.
How to Cut Black Guinea Pig Nails
If your piggy’s nails are black, it can be virtually impossible to locate the quick, making it a little disturbing.Therefore, it would be best to ensure you have extra lighting or additional LED lighting to help. You can also ask someone to help shine the light from beneath the nail for you to see clearly.Regular cutting sessions can help you guess where it’s safe to clip based on the nail’s shape, although you must be sure and confident. The nail’s tip is usually narrow and appears nearly hollow when you view it from the bottom.The golden rule of thumb is to clip off about 1/4 inch of the nail tip. Ideally, you can ask a groomer, a vet team member, or an experienced guinea pig parent for help before you attempt it yourself.
How to Cut Curled or Overgrown Nails
As your piggy’s nail continues elongating, the blood supply levels also increase because they follow the nails down. So, if you go ahead and cut the nail to the standard length at once, it’ll bleed.It’ll be helpful to clip the nails bit by bit every few days to make the blood vessels move back. Clipping a little more often will help you cut to the standard length with the blood vessels shrunk back.You can now start clipping every 2-4 weeks onwards.
You can use human nail clippers or nail clippers designed for cats and other small animals. These look like little scissors with small notches toward the end of the blade for cutting the nail. Some people even use nail clippers meant for babies but nail clippers designed for dogs are too large.Aim to clip your guinea pig‘s nails at least once a month, although you can do it more often if necessary. As the nails get longer, the blood vessel called the “quick” gets longer too and the nails will start to curl. Regular nail clipping helps keep the nails in good shape for walking and the quick at an appropriate length for trimming.
The hardest part of doing a nail trim on a pet guinea pig is trying to hold them still. With patience and practice, nail clipping will become part of your regular routine and your guinea pig will squirm less over time. When you are first starting out, have a helper hold your guinea pig so that you can safely trim the nails.Despite being wiggly, most guinea pigs are not too difficult to hold and there are a few ways you can do so:
No matter how careful you are, at one point you may accidentally cut into the quick and cause bleeding. Don’t panic if this happens. While it will bleed and hurt your guinea pig for just a moment, it’s not disastrous and you can stop the bleeding easily using various methods:Make sure the bleeding has stopped before placing your guinea pig back in its cage or leaving it unattended.