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View Full Version : Help-long nailed piggy / train travel



patriciamarge
05-16-13, 01:40 am
I have two questions. I've recently decided to start taking care of my little sisters guinea pig and I've noticed that the pigs nails are really long and curl under...how do I deal with them? The pig won't even let me touch her feet to get a closer look.

Secondly, I'm thinking about traveling via train with guinea pigs and I wanted to know some experience anyone has had with it? It'd be a really long train ride so I'm a bit apprehensive.

Rhyue
05-16-13, 02:48 am
When you have a guinea pig with long nails you'll need to work progressively to get them shorter. Its easier with light nails, but possible with dark ones too. You'll just need to do more frequent cuttings. As you cut the nails the quick (the bleedy part that you don't want to cut) will recede and you'll be able to trim more of the nail back towards the toe to a healthy length. If its really bad (curling under and making it hard for her to walk, jabing into feet) you might need to take her to the vet to get them done before she gets a foot infection or something if its not something you think you'll be able to do in short order. As for doing it yourself my normal advice it to work on getting the piggy used to being held in "foot trimming position"-ie. held with feet off the ground so you can get at them. GPs naturally aren't fond of this since its not normal, but you can train them to be fine with being held so that their feet are not on solid ground. Hold them like that and offer them treats, they learn fast where food is involved. Avoid putting them down as they struggle, put them down when they're calm so as to not reinforce "squirming gets me put back on the ground" and rather "if I hold still I get food and will be put back down eventually." Also let them sniff and interact with the trimmers on their own terms so they can find out its not a scary thing. Hold them with the clippers in your hand while you feed them food in nail trim position but don't cut the nails, that way the nail trimmers can be a sign of treats and not always having their feet bothered. As for the train ride try to bring along food, especially fresh food with a lot of water like cucumber (as well as the normal like hay and pellets). Its hard to offer water straight to them in a moving vehicle so you'll need to try to get them fluids via fresh food. Give her access to fresh water as soon as you can though. That and make sure the cage is secure so it wont fall and what not. Best of luck!

bpatters
05-16-13, 08:26 am
Welcome to the forum!

How long is "a really long train ride?" Pigs can travel, and it's easier with one pig in a carrier than two or more if it's going to be an extended trip. Also, are you allowed to take the pigs on a train? Some trains allow them, some don't. I'd check before making any further plans.

You do need to trim her nails. It's easier with two people than with one. Have one person hold the pig, restraining three legs, and apply a carrot to its mouth. You trim the other foot. They'll jerk back, but you can hold firmly enough to be able to trim. It does get easier, although mine have never learned to love it.

patriciamarge
05-16-13, 12:55 pm
Welcome to the forum!

How long is "a really long train ride?" Pigs can travel, and it's easier with one pig in a carrier than two or more if it's going to be an extended trip. Also, are you allowed to take the pigs on a train? Some trains allow them, some don't. I'd check before making any further plans.

You do need to trim her nails. It's easier with two people than with one. Have one person hold the pig, restraining three legs, and apply a carrot to its mouth. You trim the other foot. They'll jerk back, but you can hold firmly enough to be able to trim. It does get easier, although mine have never learned to love it.

I'm relocating for school and the train there is about 30 hours. The website says they allow pets for a fee but not in the passenger car. That said they said they allowed owners to visit pets when requested on certain trains and the one I'm taking would be of that variety.

bpatters
05-16-13, 01:06 pm
Thirty hours would be a pretty traumatic trip for a lone piggy in a strange baggage car. Is there any other option?

patriciamarge
05-16-13, 01:34 pm
should they travel alone or together ?

bpatters
05-16-13, 01:45 pm
You say you'll be going to school. Are you moving there and planning to stay, or will you be coming home? If you have plans for any back-and-forth travel with them, then I'd strongly suggest you not take them with you. There are people on this board from all parts of Canada that will help you rehome them, and it would be much easier on the pigs.

If you're moving to stay, and not planning on coming back at every school break, then a one-time trip is more understandable. But college isn't a great place for guinea pigs -- on-campus housing doesn't always allow them, and landlords can be picky about pets, even ones in cages. I wouldn't arrive there, guinea pigs in hand, without knowing I had a good place to live that could accommodate them.

If you do take them, putting them in the same cage would be much better than traveling alone, assuming that they're together now.

patriciamarge
05-16-13, 01:47 pm
yeah, I'm second year, it's okay with the landlord. I will probably only come back for december break and I have friends who live in the area that can watch them for me. But generally I'll probably be staying out there for a while including summers.