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How can I make nail trimming easier?

FiaFlora

Junior Guinea Pig
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Jun 11, 2018
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#1
Currently I am having a really hard time trimming their nails. I don’t have the kind of money to pay for their nails to be trimmed, so I would really rather do it myself, also I don’t really have anyone who can help me out. Just picking them up is a whole ordeal, but once I finally pick them up they always squirm. I’ve tried feeding them while I trim their nails, wrapping them in a blanket, having them on my lap, and holding them to my chest, nothing is working. They always squirm and cry and make it nearly impossible for me to trim their nails. Please help!
 

Livia Rabideau

Adult Guinea Pig
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Feb 14, 2018
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#2
It can take time for them. Some of mine are fine. Some squirm and are very difficult. I bought a nail grinder. It helps for the squirmy ones. I do a little at a time for the really skiddish ones.
 

Swissgreys

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#3
I have a couple of piggies who are pretty easy, and one who is 'less easy' (I am looking at you Ruby).

I have to be honest and say it really does help to have someone on standby to at least hold the food while you hold the pig and clip.
Is there any chance you could ask a friend or family member to help if all they had to do was hold the food?

I get a large towel on my lap and put the piggy down, facing away from me.
Then I pick them up so their bottom is sill resting on the towel, and their back is against my belly.
I hold them firmly under their front legs and take it from there.

Maybe try searching on some You Tube videos about nail clipping too.
 

Pigwhisperer

Teenage Guinea Pig
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Dec 7, 2017
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#4
Time will help! Whichever way you try, it will get better as they get used to you & get used to the idea, so don't despair.

One way I've found is to have their paw resting on your hand - they feel less vulnerable than if you are gripping it but you can reach around with the other hand and do a quick snip. Takes patience, time and practice but if you tell them what a wonderful brave piggy they are after every snip, even an unsuccessful snip, they do seem to feel better about the whole process and gradually accept it more!
 

piggieminder

Forum Donator 2017/18
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#5
With some of mine I find it easier to do as many nails as I can when handling them anyway, like at the weekly health check, or lifting them out of the cage for floor time. A couple of quick snips without them noticing, once they get squirmy I stop until another time. I watch them in the cage at feed time and make a note if any nails are starting to look long so I know where to aim first! I keep the clippers next to my chair so they are handy for any opportune moment. They have got better as they have got older and more used to handling, my two 4 year olds will usually sit and have the whole set done in one go.
 

Seven7

Teenage Guinea Pig
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Apr 26, 2018
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Michigan USA
#6
Currently I am having a really hard time trimming their nails. I don’t have the kind of money to pay for their nails to be trimmed, so I would really rather do it myself, also I don’t really have anyone who can help me out. Just picking them up is a whole ordeal, but once I finally pick them up they always squirm. I’ve tried feeding them while I trim their nails, wrapping them in a blanket, having them on my lap, and holding them to my chest, nothing is working. They always squirm and cry and make it nearly impossible for me to trim their nails. Please help!
My exotic vet showed me how easy it was when you use a towel or fleece.

When you hold them with a towel or fleece, you have better control over them especially when you are alone. You can wrap the towel around them so they are not constantly moving about, then you gently hold one foot then cut the nail. Be very careful not to get too close to the quick.

I cut their nails on my own all the time, and it has been very easy. I use this pet nail cutting scissors.
IMG_4252.JPG
 

Seven7

Teenage Guinea Pig
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#7
It takes less than a minute to cut Lara's nails. Finn usually protest more and it takes up to 5 minutes for all his nail cuts.
 

BlueBird

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
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Nottingham, UK
#8
Currently I am having a really hard time trimming their nails. I don’t have the kind of money to pay for their nails to be trimmed, so I would really rather do it myself, also I don’t really have anyone who can help me out. Just picking them up is a whole ordeal, but once I finally pick them up they always squirm. I’ve tried feeding them while I trim their nails, wrapping them in a blanket, having them on my lap, and holding them to my chest, nothing is working. They always squirm and cry and make it nearly impossible for me to trim their nails. Please help!
Have you considered doing a bit of desensitising training with them?

As part of their daily routine (daily would be a lot quicker but if you're busy, weekly routine) you could get them into the nail clip position for half a second and then give them a pellet from their daily ration maybe. Don't have the clippers to hand at first. Then very slowly lengthen the time they are in nail clip position. Once they are used to this and relaxed with it. Then add some foot fondling, maybe gently tap their claws with the clippers, drop the clippers on a table so they get used to the clatter. (Again all introduced very slowly - after 5-10 repetitions or so).

I have also inadvertently done some clipper training with my piggies. Their pellets are in an old lunchbox under their cage. they know what the sound of the pellets in the box mean and they come running up to the bars begging. Sometimes we are weak and give in and give them one but it's worked in our favour. The position they are in when they are begging ie paws up against the bars on their hind legs is the same as claw clipping. When they are begging and I don't want to give them anything I often touch their paws, mainly because I love piggy paws but it was also a vague attempt to tell them no more food is coming. I don't think they have gotten that message but the whole process has got them very used to me touching their feet. Some of my pigs move them away as soon as I do touch, some done but every little helps and none of them seem TOO sqirmy at pawdicure time. Though my diva pig Belle knows she can bully us so she's always difficult to do something if she doesn't want to.
 
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