Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave Lagertha's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 01, 2015
    Location
    Rocklin, California
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    122
    Thanks
    66 Rec'd/61 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    49 Post(s)

    Question Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    It's just about time to give my babies a nail trimming. Last time I clipped their nails, they weren't very thrilled about it xD
    How do you guys keep your little ones calm and still do get the trimming done??? Does distracting them with veggies work?
    It REALLY needs to get done, especially my boar, but they won't hold still long enough for me to clip them safely.

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2015
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    152
    Thanks
    10
    Thanks
    16 Rec'd/13 Posts
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Quoted
    16 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Having someone there to help you is a plus so that they can distract them with veggies. Also have you tried wrapping them in a towel so just their hand and feet stick out? My piggies are pretty calm when I clip their nails I kind of just let them relax on my lap eating veggies, then they never know whats going on.

  3. #3
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    3,501
    Thanks
    165
    Thanks
    865 Rec'd/698 Posts
    Mentioned
    177 Post(s)
    Quoted
    397 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    I have to do nail clipping solo because I live alone with the animals. I just sit them down on a towel on my lap with a carrot in front of them. They protest and pull away sometimes, but if I work quickly enough I get it done without casualties.

  4. #4
    Cavy Slave Lagertha's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 01, 2015
    Location
    Rocklin, California
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    122
    Thanks
    66 Rec'd/61 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    49 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by GiuneaPigLover View Post
    Having someone there to help you is a plus so that they can distract them with veggies. Also have you tried wrapping them in a towel so just their hand and feet stick out? My piggies are pretty calm when I clip their nails I kind of just let them relax on my lap eating veggies, then they never know whats going on.
    It's really hot here right now, even with the AC going throughout the day, so I don't want to wrap them up in something that could cause them to overheat. My hubby is also not always home so I have to fly solo with the nail clipping

  5. #5
    Cavy Slave Lagertha's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 01, 2015
    Location
    Rocklin, California
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    122
    Thanks
    66 Rec'd/61 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    49 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePigAlchemist View Post
    I have to do nail clipping solo because I live alone with the animals. I just sit them down on a towel on my lap with a carrot in front of them. They protest and pull away sometimes, but if I work quickly enough I get it done without casualties.
    I do it solo too since my husband is at work until late. Okay cool! Hopefully that'll be enough to distract him! My sow doesn't mind to much, but my boar starts biting the clippers and tries to run for the hills xD

  6. #6
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2015
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    152
    Thanks
    10
    Thanks
    16 Rec'd/13 Posts
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Quoted
    16 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagertha View Post
    It's really hot here right now, even with the AC going throughout the day, so I don't want to wrap them up in something that could cause them to overheat. My hubby is also not always home so I have to fly solo with the nail clipping
    Well if it is too hot to wrap then truly avoid that a go for the distraction. It works well for me so I don't really have to warp but I have seen videos where they do wrap. Good luck

  7. #7
    Cavy Slave PandaPiggle's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2015
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    327
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    61 Rec'd/52 Posts
    Mentioned
    29 Post(s)
    Quoted
    62 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    I pretty much live alone here too. I just hold them against my chest with their butt in my lap and my left arm holding the pig, so their feet stick out and I can grab a foot with my left hand and clip with the right (I'm right-handed, so reverse for lefties). I just wait for them to stop wiggling and then snip until they start wiggling again. I did have one particularly nippy pig, so if she was getting nippy I'd usually wrap the hand/arm holding her in a towel, and usually there's a towel in my lap so the clippings have somewhere to land and they don't scratch my pants/legs, but I've never had success wrapping the pig. I've got so many toes (112 toes to be exact: my five piggies, plus three more for a timid friend) that at this point I'm just like, "well if you won't sit still then we'll just sit here until you do", and they seem to quickly pick up that this is non-negotiable. And we do treats afterward because mine otherwise spend a lot of time dropping the treat and then wiggling after it, so it makes clipping harder because I don't have someone to hold the treat for them. But it's all about how you and your piggies feel most comfortable, we tried like a zillion positions until we found this worked for us, but it might not be right for you and that's okay, just do what works for both you and your piggies

  8. #8
    Cavy Slave Lagertha's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 01, 2015
    Location
    Rocklin, California
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    122
    Thanks
    66 Rec'd/61 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    49 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    thank you so much @PandaPiggle! I am a lefty so I will try your method and reverse it
    Freya is pretty nippy, so I will also try the towel arm guard. Ikarus has never bitten me (neither has Freya other than a little too hard of a nip) but he has bitten the clippers pretty hard. Any tips on guarding my hands in case he goes for the clippers and accidentally gets my fingers?

  9. #9
    Cavy Slave PandaPiggle's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2015
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    327
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    61 Rec'd/52 Posts
    Mentioned
    29 Post(s)
    Quoted
    62 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Hmm I have no idea about guarding the clippers, none of mine are bright enough to realize that's the thing that's clipping their nails. I think once they're kind of over your arm they'll mostly nip your arm, because they can't really reach the clippers, but they still can reach your hands and I'm not sure there's much you can do about that.

  10. #10
    Cavy Slave Lagertha's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 01, 2015
    Location
    Rocklin, California
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    122
    Thanks
    66 Rec'd/61 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    49 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by PandaPiggle View Post
    Hmm I have no idea about guarding the clippers, none of mine are bright enough to realize that's the thing that's clipping their nails. I think once they're kind of over your arm they'll mostly nip your arm, because they can't really reach the clippers, but they still can reach your hands and I'm not sure there's much you can do about that.
    Haha lucky! Ikarus goes straight for them xD I think he can smell them...
    Do you think gloves would work maybe?

  11. #11
    Cavy Slave PandaPiggle's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2015
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    327
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    61 Rec'd/52 Posts
    Mentioned
    29 Post(s)
    Quoted
    62 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    If you wanted to use gloves, they'd have to be like thick work gloves or plush winter gloves, but they would make it impossible to grab the tiny little piggie feet with precision. I did get a few hard nips from the nippy pig, but once I got used to trimming nails I could kind of tell when the piggie is about to get nippy and then set them down and pat them so they calm down before resuming clipping.

  12. #12
    Cavy Slave ClicknCavy's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2015
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    134
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    8
    Thanks
    67 Rec'd/44 Posts
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Quoted
    18 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    I would focus on desensitization and counter conditioning the guinea pig to enjoy sitting in the lap for nail clipping. I just clipped Toora's nails yesterday and it was really easy and quick. I'm an animal trainer and commit myself to low-stress handling. Think about the different parts of nail clipping and work on getting the guinea pig used to them one at a time. Give your guinea pig a treat when the nail clippers come out. Another time, give a treat for sitting in your lap. Work on being able to touch your guinea pig's feet and be very careful of how you move their feet and legs and don't move them in ways that would be painful to their joints/anatomy. Give lots of treats (small pieces of vegetables--I use carrot, lettuce, bell pepper... sometimes strawberry if I have it) as the reward. Soon, you'll have a guinea pig who is calm and not stressed about nail clipping time.

    Once your guinea pig is used to all of those pieces, start to combine them and make it really rewarding. For example, sitting in the lap while nail clippers are out or sitting in the lap while touching the feet or touching the feet with the nail clippers. Once that is all good, combine all of the elements and clip one nail and that's it, give a treat. Work up to being able to clip all the nails on one paw before putting the piggie down and then two paws. When clipping, I also give a half leaf of lettuce for them to munch on to distract them from the clipping (this is after I spent a lot of time desensitizing them). They really are relaxed and focused on eating the treat. Also, make decisive and quick cuts. If you fumble around with their feet too much, it worries them. When done, I do floortime or trick training, so they really aren't stressed at all about the nail clipping and are more looking forward to what comes next. I also use a towel just so it's more comfortable for them when I hold them. I don't wrap them tightly in the towel and, if they didn't want their nails clipped that day, I just try again another day.

    Although both of my girls can be very calm throughout the nail clipping, I only clip two paws in a session. I clip at least once a week; sometimes I clip twice a week. I take only the very tip. I find this is much easier and less stressful than waiting a month between clipping. Here's my reasoning:

    It's more routine so the girls never lose the association that nail clipping is not scary, but a good time.
    The nails stay a great length and I only need to cut the very tip.
    Because I only need to cut the tip, I can easily know where to cut and don't need to watch out for the quick.
    This makes trimming go faster and easier.
    Faster and easier = less stress.

    If your guinea pig's nails are much too long right now that it's affecting his quality of life, I recommend getting the clipping done initially at the vet's and then working on a system to teach your guinea pig that nail clipping is not a big deal and just a silly moment when you fuss with their feet and give them vegetables.

  13. "Thank you, ClicknCavy, for this useful post," says:


  14. #13
    Cavy Slave GinnyandRoxy's Avatar
    Joined
    May 03, 2015
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagertha View Post
    It's just about time to give my babies a nail trimming. Last time I clipped their nails, they weren't very thrilled about it xD
    How do you guys keep your little ones calm and still do get the trimming done??? Does distracting them with veggies work?
    It REALLY needs to get done, especially my boar, but they won't hold still long enough for me to clip them safely.
    Have someone hold the pig against their chest while you cut the nails. The other person can also distract them with veggies. My piggies do get squirmy, but you just have to work fast! If doing all four paws is too much at once, try doing two and then two later on in the day. Good Luck!

  15. #14
    Cavy Slave Lagertha's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 01, 2015
    Location
    Rocklin, California
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    122
    Thanks
    66 Rec'd/61 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    49 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by PandaPiggle View Post
    If you wanted to use gloves, they'd have to be like thick work gloves or plush winter gloves, but they would make it impossible to grab the tiny little piggie feet with precision. I did get a few hard nips from the nippy pig, but once I got used to trimming nails I could kind of tell when the piggie is about to get nippy and then set them down and pat them so they calm down before resuming clipping.
    okay awesome! thanks!

  16. #15
    Cavy Slave Lagertha's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 01, 2015
    Location
    Rocklin, California
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    122
    Thanks
    66 Rec'd/61 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    49 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClicknCavy View Post
    I would focus on desensitization and counter conditioning the guinea pig to enjoy sitting in the lap for nail clipping. I just clipped Toora's nails yesterday and it was really easy and quick. I'm an animal trainer and commit myself to low-stress handling. Think about the different parts of nail clipping and work on getting the guinea pig used to them one at a time. Give your guinea pig a treat when the nail clippers come out. Another time, give a treat for sitting in your lap. Work on being able to touch your guinea pig's feet and be very careful of how you move their feet and legs and don't move them in ways that would be painful to their joints/anatomy. Give lots of treats (small pieces of vegetables--I use carrot, lettuce, bell pepper... sometimes strawberry if I have it) as the reward. Soon, you'll have a guinea pig who is calm and not stressed about nail clipping time.

    Once your guinea pig is used to all of those pieces, start to combine them and make it really rewarding. For example, sitting in the lap while nail clippers are out or sitting in the lap while touching the feet or touching the feet with the nail clippers. Once that is all good, combine all of the elements and clip one nail and that's it, give a treat. Work up to being able to clip all the nails on one paw before putting the piggie down and then two paws. When clipping, I also give a half leaf of lettuce for them to munch on to distract them from the clipping (this is after I spent a lot of time desensitizing them). They really are relaxed and focused on eating the treat. Also, make decisive and quick cuts. If you fumble around with their feet too much, it worries them. When done, I do floortime or trick training, so they really aren't stressed at all about the nail clipping and are more looking forward to what comes next. I also use a towel just so it's more comfortable for them when I hold them. I don't wrap them tightly in the towel and, if they didn't want their nails clipped that day, I just try again another day.

    Although both of my girls can be very calm throughout the nail clipping, I only clip two paws in a session. I clip at least once a week; sometimes I clip twice a week. I take only the very tip. I find this is much easier and less stressful than waiting a month between clipping. Here's my reasoning:

    It's more routine so the girls never lose the association that nail clipping is not scary, but a good time.
    The nails stay a great length and I only need to cut the very tip.
    Because I only need to cut the tip, I can easily know where to cut and don't need to watch out for the quick.
    This makes trimming go faster and easier.
    Faster and easier = less stress.

    If your guinea pig's nails are much too long right now that it's affecting his quality of life, I recommend getting the clipping done initially at the vet's and then working on a system to teach your guinea pig that nail clipping is not a big deal and just a silly moment when you fuss with their feet and give them vegetables.
    I've done all those things, but as soon as I go to clip them or the clippers cross in front of of their line of view they get pissed. My boar attacks the clippers, my sow thankfully has only needed her nails trimmed once of twice since I got her because she keeps them worn down.

    My pigs nails are not "too long" right now, they just need to be trimmed since it has been 4 weeks since the last trimming.

    I cannot afford to take him to the vet just for a nail clipping. He was actually supposed to get them clipped by the vets when I took him in to get altered, but they forgot to do it and I had been at the vet for 5 hours already so I didn't bring it up. Thank you for your advice. I do have a friend who is a professional groomer (cat, dog, guinea pig and rabbit) and my pigsitter and she offered to do them for free so if I can't get my pigs to cooperate GENTLY, then I will as her to do it for me.

  17. #16
    Cavy Slave Lagertha's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 01, 2015
    Location
    Rocklin, California
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    122
    Thanks
    66 Rec'd/61 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    49 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by GinnyandRoxy View Post
    Have someone hold the pig against their chest while you cut the nails. The other person can also distract them with veggies. My piggies do get squirmy, but you just have to work fast! If doing all four paws is too much at once, try doing two and then two later on in the day. Good Luck!
    Sadly I'm by myself until late at night because my husband is at work so I don't have anyone to help me hold them. I'm pretty well versed in working fast with nail clipping thanks to having a chiweenie who seriously turns into a demon possessed little nut case when the clippers touch her, so I'm not worried about the working fast part. I'm just worried about stressing out the pigs and want to know the best method of holding them by myself.

  18. #17
    Cavy Slave ClicknCavy's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2015
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    134
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    8
    Thanks
    67 Rec'd/44 Posts
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Quoted
    18 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    You can buy a new set of clippers and work on the association from scratch.

    Clippers = treats so that he doesn't immediately start to attack them. If he is attacking them, then he isn't desensitized. It's a lot easier to work with a new object rather than trying to change the association with something he already hates.

    I used strawberry and carrots for mine. Make sure to hide the treats until the clippers are in view. Once in view, pull them out, give them one after the other, take the clippers away, no treats. Really drive home that association that clippers = super treat time.

    A very common mistake is giving the treat before or at the same time as the clippers. You want the clippers to predict treats.
    Another common mistake is too low a rate of reinforcement. A lot of times people try to be stingy with treats. In the beginning, you want the treats to come blazingly fast so there's more contrast between clippers & treats vs no clippers & no treats.
    Another mistake is that people often try to rush this type of training. A good quote I can give is "slow is fast" when it comes to desensitizing.

    Most of all, show him empathy rather than frustration. He really hates nail trims right now and it makes him very uncomfortable and really scared. He feels these emotions strongly enough to resort to biting.

    You can do fun and low-stress things with him to teach him to trust you, even through scary nail trim time.

  19. "Thank you, ClicknCavy, for this useful post," say these 2 members:


  20. #18
    Cavy Slave Lagertha's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 01, 2015
    Location
    Rocklin, California
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    122
    Thanks
    66 Rec'd/61 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    49 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Thank you for your advice, but please do not assume that I am getting frustrated with him and that he doesn't trust me. He is the most trusting of all 4 of my pigs, aside from my 1 month old blind baby girl Sigyn. He is VERY trusting. His previous owner clipped their nails regularly and I have been meaning to get a hold of her to ask what methods she used for the 6 months she had them, but she just suffered the terrible loss of our piggies mom due to birthing complications from an accidental pregnancy (they lost all 3 pups as well. All were still born).

    I really do not like the way you are making me sound. With all due respect, you do not know my boar, you do not know my pigs. He only bites on the clippers when they are in front of his face. What I failed to mention is that he does that with EVERYTHING. It's exploratory biting/nibbling.

    She trained them well and treated them with the utmost care so I will be contacting her soon to ask for her methods, but I am trying to respect their need to mourn as well.

  21. #19
    Cavy Slave ClicknCavy's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2015
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    134
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    8
    Thanks
    67 Rec'd/44 Posts
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Quoted
    18 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    I'm sorry you feel that way. I promise you I am not assuming that you are a bad piggie parent. I am simply trying to give good, sound, positive-reinforcement based advice. It is not meant as an insult. Again, I am very sorry you feel that way as it was not my intention.

  22. #20
    Cavy Slave Lagertha's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 01, 2015
    Location
    Rocklin, California
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    122
    Thanks
    66 Rec'd/61 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    49 Post(s)

    Re: Keeping your cavy calm during nail trimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClicknCavy View Post
    I'm sorry you feel that way. I promise you I am not assuming that you are a bad piggie parent. I am simply trying to give good, sound, positive-reinforcement based advice. It is not meant as an insult. Again, I am very sorry you feel that way as it was not my intention.
    No need to apologize! Sorry if I sounded snappy :P I had a VERY long and emotionally difficult work day the day I replied to you as well as ridiculous insomnia lapse, which is repeating again tonight (3 AM and still cannot sleep and am WIDE awake. Got to bed at nearly 6 AM yesterday)! I really did not mean to sound rude I will try your advice out and see if he will stop going after the clippers. I am going to be sanitizing and cleaning off any and all scent from the clippers before using them and trying some of your methods you shared He's just a super wiggly curious pig which is totally fine until it's nail clipping time :P I'm hoping to get them done later today or on Friday after work! Hopefully he decides to cooperate

User Tag List

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •