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Guide to Cutting Guinea Pig Nails

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squeakypigs

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Guinea pigs nails grow they need to be kept under supervision so they can go about their day to day business... Here is a quick guide on what to do...

Is it easy to do?
Yes it is easy, it is something that will come more natural to you each time you cut their nails. When cutting a guinea pigs nails the main thing you have to worry about is the blood vessel. This runs through the nail but not right upto the ends.

How do I know how far to cut?
With clear nailed guinea pigs it can be seen fairly easily so avoiding it isnt too much of a challenge, however if your guinea pig has darker non translucent nails then a light can be shined underneath which will distinguish the cuttable nail from the blood vessel. It will show up darker. Another way to know where to cut is to look for an indented line in the dead bit of nail, this should be easy to spot as it will be dryer and lighter than the rest of the nails surface.

What happens if I cut the vessel?
The guinea pig will feel discomfort and will bleed from whats left of the nail. This will not cause too much of a problem and will stop bleeding shortly after, but will still be uncomfortable for them. Same as with a human if you cut your nails too short. Which is why it is important to cut the guinea pigs nails correctly first time. If this bleeding does not stop you will need to contact youir vet.

What if the nails are too sharp rather than too long?
In this case cutting will not be neccessary, an ordinary nail file can be used. Though the same rules apply as with cutting, do not file down too far and always be weary of where the blood vessel is...

What can I do to wear thier nails down naturally?
Allowing them to use hard surfaces will help reduce their nail size naturally. Such as putting thier run onto paving type material rather than just grass.

Overall if you do not feel confident in doing this procedure then your vet should be more than happy to help...

Here is a video from a very experienced rescue lady who shows you how you deal safely with an uncooperative guinea pig:
(Credited to and with permission from Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue)
 
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xXShannonS2Xx

Hey,

I knew hot to cut y guinea pigs nails as they were transparent, But thaks a real lot for helping me to try and see the vessel in my dark coloured nail guinea pig.
 
D

Devon Cavies

I don't find it too difficult cutting the nails properly, it's the teeth of a rather lively Aby I have that I take exception to, who always seem to get me whilst undertaking this task!
 

Angeladeedah

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That's really helpful, thanks. I've yet to cut my new piggie's nails but have been keeping an eye on them and will possibly look at giving them their first wee trim next week - should be fun! :)
 
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emma2009

hi everyone just wanting to know if you can cut your guinea pigs teeth yourself if yes can you please explain how thanks


emma :)
 

samjt12

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I would rather get a vet to do it, I'm too scared Ill hurt them or do something wrong.

But at what point do you know they need cutting and what is the best way to check?
 
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EmmyBaybee

the 1st time we ever did it, he moved just as we cut them and it bled a bit.
i felt terrible
:(
 

grommit

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Still too scared to cut our girls nails so i take them both to the garden centre where we bought them and they do it for free! I'd love to do it myself but scared of hurting my babe's. might have a go now though with your advice, as Wen's nails are all black! where is it best to get clippers from? pets at home only seem to have dog nail cutters. :)
 
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maisynpoppy

i dont like doing it, maisy has clear nails so thats not to bad, apart fromt he fact she wiggles and she took the nail clippers from my hand and threw them on floor ::) but i dread doing poppys nails they are completly black so i just cut a little bit at a time but do them more often them maisys
 

grommit

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That sounds like a much better way of doing it. I think the back nails look much easier to do than the front one's too. Wen's front one's are quite twisty too, she has them cut quite often they just seem to grow that way.
 
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maisynpoppy

yeah i prefer do the back nails, then maisy cant steal the nail clippers from me ;D
 

grommit

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he he! Al squeals at the top of her lungs before they even touch her! she's a very mouthy little pig bless her! And Wen always bites and twitches at the wrong time's! I think i'll leave up to the garden centre people for the time being, they seem to know how to hold them still and not hurt them and not get bitten all at the same time! :D
 

grommit

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just got back from getting my girls nails cut and discovered one of al's has been cut too short, it looks like it has bled a tiny bit but is'nt bleeding now. is there anything i can put on it to soothe it for her? i have some aloe vera gel that the vet said to get when she had a sore ear do you think this would help? dont want her to get an infection. ?
 

Black Jack

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Have you got any styptic (sp?) powder or a pencil (men use them for cuts from shaving)? If not then baking powder will do the job. I'd be hesitant to use the gel in case it got right into the nail. If it's stopped bleeding on its own then I don't think there'll be a problem. I had one bleed on me once but it soon stopped and piggy was fine. If you keep him on woodshavings then I wouldn't put him back in for a couple of hours just in case a bit of the fine dust got into his nail. Good luck O0
 

grommit

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Thank you, she's on vetbed so at least that should be quite comfy for her. poor little babe :(
I'm a little confused, what would i do with the baking powder? just sprinkle a little on? i've got no sp powder.
 

Black Jack

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Just get a little bit of baking poweder in a teaspoon and dip her nail into it, this will just help the blood to stop and is supposed to prevent infection (?) I've used it OK in the past O0
 

grommit

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Magic. Thank you. Just ordered some clippers off e-bay, we'll be doing it ourselves next time. :)
 

Black Jack

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Good luck with that O0 It is a bit nerve racking the first time but just take your time and I'm sure you'll be fine. Back ones are a lot easier so try doing them first & you'll get the hang of it! O0
 

grommit

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we did try once before but when they were much smaller and much more scared of us, i figure it might be a bit easier now they trust us lots more. Also we have a home check booked for saturday as we are hoping to adopt 2 boys so we'll have to do them ourselves. :)
 
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