Despite their common name, guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus), room not yes, really pigs at all. They room a species of rodents belonging to the family members Caviidae, and also their scientific name porcellus is Latin because that “little pig.”2 These pets have been connected in biological experimentation due to the fact that the 17th century.3 Their usage as a design organism in the 19th and 20th centuries led to the epithet “guinea pig” because that a check subject. Guinea pigs have been greatly replaced by other rodents, such as mice and rats,3 however they room still provided in research, primarily as models for human medical problems such together juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy, and pregnancy complications. Guinea pigs are usually docile and also seldom bite; however, they are easily frightened and will shot to avoid record or gift held.

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Guinea pigs require constant nail trimming. The frequency deserve to vary amongst animals but should take place once a month at a minimum. Clipping nails an ext often will help to develop a routine and also prevent the quick, or blood supply at the center of the nail, from cultivation closer to the tip. This is an important part of their grooming needs because their nails tend to curl and also can thrive into your footpads. Overgrown nails can result in damages to the skin by bring about open wounds ~ above the feet. Pododermatitis or bumblefoot may build from one infected footpad.1 The inflammation linked with this problem can progression to osteoarthritis and, in rare cases, osteomyelitis, which has actually a bad prognosis in guinea pigs.1

Here, we administer a couple of easy actions on exactly how to trim guinea pigs’ nails. The an initial step in this process is making sure that the animals feel secure v being handled. Until you deserve to hold them and clip your nails in ~ the same time, the is best to have another person assisting you.

If friend feel the a guinea pig is also resistant come restraint or too active, it is finest to occupational on 1 or 2 feet every day until you both feel comfortable with the procedure, listed the nails room not excessively overgrown.

Gather items you will certainly need: pond trimmer (similar to the size used for cat nail trims), styptic pencils or coagulation powder, and nitrile gloves.

Figure 1. Removing the guinea pig indigenous its cage.

Figure 2. Upright place hold.

With gloved hands (Figure 1), reach into the cage v a slow and also steady movement, then grasp the guinea pig indigenous behind under that forearms v one hand and support the hindquarters v your various other hand.

To get into the position for trimming that is nails, place your less leading hand under its arms while hold its back in one upright position versus your chest/upper torso firmly however gently (Figure 2). Its toe will immediately spread open when you organize it this way, which aids in obtaining the pond trimmed quickly and also is much less stressful ~ above the animal as well as you.

Pick increase the pond trimmers with your dominant hand (Figure 3 A-B) and start trimming the nails on its feet one pond at a time. After trimming both hind feet then you have the right to start top top the former feet making use of the exact same technique.

Figure 3 A-B. Trimming front (A) and also hind feet (B).

Figure 4. Administer positive combine after pond trim.

Before return the animal to its house cage, inspect all toenails for any kind of signs the bleeding and also apply the styptic pencil or clotting powder if necessary.

When finished, be certain to give positive reinforcement (Figure 4) and also offer it a law or something lock like.

Rena McMahen, LVT, LATG is a veterinarian Technician in ~ the university of Houston, pet Care to work in Houston, TX.

Angelina Williams, DVM, MPH, DACLAM is a Clinical Veterinarian in ~ the university of Houston, animal Care work in Houston, TX.

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Brown C, Donnelly TM. 2008. Therapy of pododermatitis in the guinea pig. Rap Anim. 37: 156-157.Harkness J, Turner PV, VandeWoude S, Wheler CL. 2010. Biology and also Medicine the Rabbits and Rodents 5th ed. Ames (IA): Wiley-Blackwell.Suckow MA, Stevens KA, Wilson RP. 2012. The activities Rabbit, Guinea Pig, Hamster, and also Other Rodents. Cambridge (MA): scholastic Press.

An Easy means to Trim Guinea Pig Nails