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Ways to keep guinea pig nails short without clipping?

(12 Posts)
AhoyMcCoy Sun 05-Jan-14 22:30:47

Is there anything natural I can put in their cage that they can scratch or anything to help keep their nails short?

My sister who has two piggies has gone travelling and left them with me. Can otherwise care for them fine, but CANT cut nails- they squeal so much and I feel evil! Will take them to the vets to do it every so often (how often should it be done?!) but if there is a way to prevent them getting too long that would be good!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 05-Jan-14 22:56:55

No, anything abrasive on their floor will damage their feet.

GPs can break the bones in their feet if they don't have their nails clipped.
Damage to the skin can lead to Bumblefoot (baterial infection)

I have two boars who are not keen grin
We just get on and do it (I clip, she holds) and we deal with the judgey looks after.

Look at local rescues, they sometimes offer nail clipping much cheaper than vets.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 05-Jan-14 22:57:28

bacterial infection blush

frogwatcher42 Sun 05-Jan-14 23:03:04

Our GP has a really long 'quick' inside the nail. It is therefore impossible to cut without making her bleed. I don't want to make her bleed but she has to live with long nails. They are white and you can see the blood bit inside and it comes down a long way.

So does the chicken. Same problem!

Any ideas?

fortifiedwithtea Mon 06-Jan-14 09:33:21

Don't cut into the quick. Regular small (1mm - 2mm) clips will evidentially shorten the quick. Cutting the quick will cause pain to your piggy and they can bleed profusely.

I always clip claws in the best day light possible. I hold them purposely so they know its going to get done so they may as well go with it. And I bribe them grass or cucumber. Eating a tasty treat definitely takes their minds on claw clipping.

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Mon 06-Jan-14 09:35:55

Agree with 70 tbh - it's not pleasant but it's a necessary evil. Ours are not keen but they get a treat afterwards and they get over it!

Do you know anyone else with GPs who could show you how to do it? Luckily for us one of my friends is a vet nurse - she recommended wrapping a small towel to minimise fidgeting so there's less risk of overclipping.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 06-Jan-14 18:19:36

YY if the quick is long then regular clipping will help shrink it back, If you take just the edge off ( so just missing the quick) but do it very regularly then it'll help.

I have a pink nailed boy (but he's a real demon to nail cut lovely Rex with pink feet)
and a all-but-one-nail-black pig (lovely agouti with little black paws)

and we did have an all black who was very judgey and used to swipe his paw away then glare grin

I've tried filing but they don't go for that (only really with babies that you want to 'blunt' the nail but their nails are short)

Make sure you have good sharp clippers otherwise their claws get crushed and they complain.

Can't help with chicken though (scared of them blush )

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Mon 06-Jan-14 21:03:11

This thread reminded me to do our piggies claws today - they were not impressed and my hands are covered in (very minor) scratches.

With our wriggliest one, I wrapped her in a light fleece blanket so just her front paws were sticking out, then draped the fleece over her head so she couldn't see me doing the back ones.

Not entirely sure it's an ideal way to go about it, but she seems to have forgiven me!

Gingerbics Thu 09-Jan-14 06:35:56

Our boys are looking like they need clipping but v nervous to do it. Worried the trip to vet would traumatise them when they've just got confident. Do you use special pet clippers when you do yours? Maybe I'll search for a video showing me ( a reputable one).

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 26-Mar-14 19:42:34

Bumping for springandbunnies

plum100 Wed 26-Mar-14 19:51:09

Hello - i put mine in the patio - not sure how much this helps x

MrsShrek3 Thu 27-Mar-14 00:25:59

just done our pigs' nails at the weekend, they were embarassingly scratchy blush
iirc ds said there are vids of how to do it on youtube.
we wrap the piggies in a towel so two or three feet are hidden and get one out at a time. ds holds, I trim. yy deal with judgy looks and pissed off back-turning afterwards. they're fickle things and are usually bribed easily with parsley and celery.

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