They can be stressful for both guinea pig and owner.. but they don’t have to be! 😊
Guinea pigs kept as pets often require nail clipping due to lack of abrasive substrate, lack of exercise or old age causing thickening or curling of their nails. Long nails can cause your guinea pig to put uneven pressure on their feet, predisposing them to bumblefoot. They can also curl round and dig into the pads, or gather food and faeces and cause infections! ‘How can I make nail trimming less stressful for myself and my guinea pig?’ • Be prepared! Gather all necessary equipment such as trimmers, treats and a comfy bed. You may wish to have someone hold your piggie for you whilst you clip their nails, although it can be done with one person. • Visit your veterinary nurse for a demonstration on how to restrain your guinea pig. You may also find some great guidance videos online!
• Try not to cut the nail too short. The nail has a blood and nerve supply called the ‘quick’. This can be painful and begin to bleed if trimmed, so it should be avoided. With clear nails, you should be able to see the quick and avoid it. With darker nails, you may need to be cautious when clipping. If you have an LED light, you might be able to shine this on the nail to determine where the quick is located (avoid shining this in your guinea pigs eyes!)
• If the nail starts bleeding, gently apply some syptic powder/potassium permanganate to the tip of the nail. In an emergency you may also use flour or corn starch. • Remember, older or arthritic guinea pigs may find leg extension painful. Ensure you gently move the foot only as far as necessary and give your guinea pig a break if they are finding it uncomfortable.
• For curled nails, it may be easier to clip them using human style metal nail clippers. If you have any concerns, contact your veterinary nurse or veterinary surgeon for help and advice. #vet#veterinary#veterinarynurse#rvn#guineapig#guineapigs#rodent#rodents#vetmed#mouse#rat#gerbil#hamster#chinchilla#degu#squirrel#chipmunk#smallanimal#exotics
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