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Thread: Peruvian screams when I try to brush her or trim her hair... or groom her, at all.

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    Peruvian screams when I try to brush her or trim her hair... or groom her, at all.

    I had a previous post about this subject about two months ago and did end up taking her to the vets. She did not have mites or any other issues. She was perfectly healthy.

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    Her hair was getting long, especially around her bum and the pee was getting soaked up into it, so I needed to cut and wash that to prevent a UTI or something else serious, as well as her side hair, which is now trailing on the ground everywhere picking up God knows what, even though I clean their cages twice a day, I just don't feel like it can be too incredibly sanitary.

    Well, let me tell you. You could have heard her screaming on the other side of the world. I hold her close to me and talk in a nice, low voice telling her that it's okay and just reassuring her but she just then struggles to get away from me and run. (Which she doesn't do if I'm not trying to groom her)

    Normally I have the help of my mom to take care of her, but didn't this time so I had to handle it by myself. She's truly a two-person job! She just screams blood murder if I so much as snip off a single hair, try to brush her sides (head is okay), or even touch her sides or bum at all (aside from when I pick her up and carry her around, she's okay then, or when she's laying on my chest and I have to support her bum)

    I'm just at a loss here guys. I hate that she gets so miserable being groomed, but to keep her healthy, I need to groom her. Any tactics here that anyone knows of that might be helpful in helping me calm my poor piggy down and not act like she has nerve endings in her hair? I'm always SO gentle, I BARELY touch her because I know how much she hates it...but it doesn't seem to make a difference.

    Also, FYI, she is about 6 months old.

    Also - combs vs brushes - which are better?

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    Re: Peruvian screams when I try to brush her or trim her hair... or groom her, at all

    My mom thinks she's being a drama queen. When she's in the pen with her sisters, she's always screaming for one reason or another. If someone comes into the same hut as her, she screams. One day, my other girl, Fallon, walked by her as Liesel was sitting there and Liesel screamed. Fallon looked at her like she had lost her mind! I've had her since May.

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    Re: Peruvian screams when I try to brush her or trim her hair... or groom her, at all

    When I had girls one would scream all the time when the other would come near. It was because she was bullied by the other though, and was quite frightful.
    If you are sure she does not have a skin condition (mites cant usually be found and should just be treated for if it's suspected) then this is what I do with my Peruvian. When I first got him I would have lap time every day with treat and touch him everywhere. Scratch under the belly, pet the bum, pick up/rub the feet, rub the ears. Every. Single. Day. When he got a bit bigger I threw in a wide spread brush that basically did nothing grooming wise, but I thought was important to make him familiar. I did all this because I knew he would need lots of grooming so I wanted to desensitize him.

    His first grooming/haircut went as expected. Jumping, kicking, some screams but overall not too bad. The second one went like a charm, and now when grooming I can accidentally pull out a few hairs and he wont even budge!

    So tips:
    *When grooming always make sure you have a distraction (carrots, lettuce, pellets, whatever your pig likes)
    *My pig would scream when I cut him with scissors, as if each hair had a nerve running down it. I went to Ross and bought a mens beard groomer. Not a problem sense. I don't know if the scissors cause some weird pressure at the hair root or what, but both my boys did not do well with scissors. I like the buzzer better anyway because I know I wont cut their skin and I don't have to hack at the fur. Neither were phased by the noise.
    *I like to use a metal rat tail comb to brush. I work from the top down in sections. The rat tail really sections hair nicely and I like how I can check the skin as I groom.
    *If you come to a knot, hold the hair tightly while trying to get it out or cut it off.
    *try handling your girl every day while giving her a treat. She'll not like it at first and probably scream bloody murder, but it'll be better for her in the long run. I think for my boys it took about two weeks before they would let me pick up their feet with no complaints, and they were a little over a month old. I imagine it will take longer with your girl, but patience is key. Handling her should not be like a punishment. When she stresses pet her and speak softly before moving on.

    Edit: I forgot to say how beautiful your girl is!! A pink satin bow would be so cute! Also, when I would do my handling I would sit on the toilet (seat down) with a towel in my lap so that the pig had no where to go.
    Last edited by GuineaBoys; 11-05-14 at 12:26 am.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Peruvian screams when I try to brush her or trim her hair... or groom her, at all

    I'm sorry, but I think grooming and brushing a guinea pig is mostly just torture for them. If it were me, I'd just keep the hair cut short and let her live in peace. Long hair is for the owner, not the pig.

  5. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Peruvian screams when I try to brush her or trim her hair... or groom her, at all

    I used to have a herd of 8 Peruvians - all drama queens and kings. They were definitely happier when I kept their hair cut very short so they wouldn't need as much grooming

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    Re: Peruvian screams when I try to brush her or trim her hair... or groom her, at all

    My Peruvian Emmie does the same thing - crying, squealing, jumping, kicking... The whole nine yards... I don't try to keep her hair nice and “pretty” at all, it's just the battle to keep it short all over and to keep the bum hair short so she is cleaner down there... I use an electric pet trimmer myself, and it gets the job done... But Emmie plots my death for the next few days after the deed is done LOL. I wouldn't call what I do with her hair "grooming" as she looks pretty goofy for a bit... It's more of a necessity to keep her clean and free of matts...

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    Re: Peruvian screams when I try to brush her or trim her hair... or groom her, at all

    There was a Silkie (or sheltie) who sceamed when you brushed him, and I barely touched him with the comb! Some guineas are just more sensitive than others, but some are just loud. If you can't brush her, I sugest cutting her short (her fur not her body!!) so you don't have to worry about it as much.

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    Re: Peruvian screams when I try to brush her or trim her hair... or groom her, at all

    I imagine that being brushed is like having a predator grab at you with their teeth. It pulls, and it's scary. That's why I usually just keep them trimmed. I use a very sharp pair of hair cutting scissors, and hold the hair close to the pig so there's no pulling.

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    Re: Peruvian screams when I try to brush her or trim her hair... or groom her, at all

    I'm a big advocate of keep the hair short. I have a purebred Texel who had the most gorgeous long curly hair when she was being shown. Once I adopted her, I could see no need for the long hair except to show her to other people and have them talk about how beautiful she is. As bpatters said, long hair is for the owner, not the cavy.

    I bought the dual trimmer set from Costco and it has been terrific for my cavies' grooming. I also have an Aby and even he gets a bit of a haircut in the summer. And, yes, I agree that scissors just don't work.......at least for me. Neither Chester nor Maya will be still at grooming time, and I feel the clippers are much safer. I think Chester can't figure out if he hates them, if it tickles, or if it's a pleasant feeling.

    Maya (Texel) screams this gutteral scream with every stroke of her hair. It's as though each hair has a nerve ending and I'm cutting it. I now understand that when her curly hair was longer, the clippers pulled the hair with every pass. Now that her hair is shorter, both of us survive the stress of grooming day much better. She stays SO much cleaner with the short hair......and people still think she's adorable. And BTW, it does get easier with time.

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