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Thread: Alternatives?

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Alternatives?

    I'm bad a trimming nails. Like, really bad. My dad trims my dog's nails for me because I'm always scared I'm gonna hurt him. I've tried clipping my guinea pig's nails many times but they won't hold still and when I do manage to squeeze down on the clippers, the piggies almost always pull away suddenly like it hurts. So in the four months I've had them, they haven't really had a trim. Has anyone found a way to wear down their nails, an easier way to clip them, etc? I'm really nervous about it and I don't want to hurt my babies >.<

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  3. #2
    Cavy Slave scoottie's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives?

    I used to file my guinea pigs nails when he wouldn't sit still but after a while was able to show him the clippers don't hurt you.

  4. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Alternatives?

    What did you use to file them @scoottie ? I've tried a regular nail file but it doesn't work.

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    Cavy Slave scoottie's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives?

    I know this is going to sound strange but a brick. yes a concrete brick

  6. #5
    Cavy Slave scoottie's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives?

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    It would serve two purposes one it would soak up any water that may be dripping (if yours ever does) and two trim the nail I would get one where the entire body is on the brick.


    If you tried and had success with an actual file I would have said don't do it because it can injure their little feet and toes

  7. #6
    Cavy Slave daydreamer89's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives?

    I put slate stone in my russian tortoises enclosure to wear his nails down (and they have crazy nails) it works perfect I plan to put a few in the guinea pigs cage as well so when they run/walk over it it will keep the nails down

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    Cavy Slave Piggly12's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives?

    The brick won’t replace nail trimming, though it will help a little. What you can do is just trim off the very tip (about half a millimetre) of their nails once a week rather than trying to trim off a lot once per month. Get someone to distract them with veggies while you just grab their nails and clip off the point. Trimming little and often means that you don’t need to worry about the quick unless it is right at the very end of the nail.

  9. #8
    Cavy Slave daydreamer89's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives?

    Ive never cut any animals nails before and knowing that stone wont wear the nails down like some of my other critters im a bit scared
    Thankfully i got nail clippers coming in the mail the same style (came with some brushes and the reviews for the clippers were good) if these ones end up sucking do you or anyone have a recommended brand of nail clippers that you swear by?

  10. #9
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Alternatives?

    I have some tips if anyone cares for it:

    I don't bother with the marketing for animal clippers. I use large human nail clippers. The metal kind you can get at any pharmacy or even dollar store these days. Open it up like you would with your own nails and clip but follow the next steps first.

    - Support your little one by the back/bottom bum and cup his/her bum, other hand gently but firmly supporting under the armpits of the front legs (cradling the head). Hold in this way to a light source to quickly locate how far you have to cut before you hit the quick. You will see the quick of the nail easily with a good light source. I never cut nails unless I first examine quickly with a light. Once I determine if they need cutting and how far, then I proceed. This only takes 3 to 4 seconds for me to determine. The little piggy is not blinded by the light for long.

    - You must be familiar with your pig and holding it before you allow yourself to be frightened by the fidgeting. Don't let go or panic because the pig wants to move around. Just do your job well and quickly. The faster the process is over, the easier and less frightening it is for them. I never believe in prolonging the situation.

    - With one hand, hold up the little pig under the armpit still cradling the head. Clip off the portions of nails needed with the nailclipper in one hand. They are usually very still. I never clip my pigs nails while all their feet are on the ground. There is too much fidgeting and a far more dangerous method for an accident. I can clip all 4 feet in about 20-30 seconds and then it's over. They're given a small carrot or a big piece of lettuce for their time.

    - Last tip: Turning the human nail clipper sideways makes for a cleaner, more comfortable cut. As you can see the pig's nails grow thinly, unlike a human's.

    That's it. I usually clip all 3 guinea pigs' feet in about 10-15 minutes. I work for the BC SPCA and a lady who grooms and cuts cat nails taught me this trick with human nail clippers. Costs nothing and usually the least traumatizing.

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  12. #10
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Alternatives?

    I, too, use human nail clippers as I find that they cut my pigs' nails better. My piggies seem to get more nervous when they see the big clippers and squirm more. I also use the burrito method, and my husband proves to be helpful here: he holds the pig burrito while I do the clipping. I'm able to and have done it by myself before, but two people make it easier in my case. Perhaps trying something like that with your parent for the first few times would ease your fear of trimming their nails.

  13. #11
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    Some very good tips for inexperienced cavy owners! However, I disagree with the above statement in that I find that human clippers will sometimes split a cavy nail because they aren't designed for them. And, yes, you need to turn the clippers so that they align with the shape of the nail......which is what I think you mean by "turning the clippers sideways"?

    IF I were going to clip nails, then I prefer the kitten/bird scissors because they are easier to direct and cut the nail cleanly. One can buy a pair in any pet store for less than $5.
    Hello there. To answer your question, yes. That's what I was referring to. I understand what you mean about the splitting. I make sure to soak them in a salt water pedicure first.

    Just kidding.


    I've never really used animal clippers unless with a dog as it wasn't necessary. They have very thick nails. Would never ever think of using anything but a proper sturdy dog clipper for them.

  14. #12
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Alternatives?

    I get someone to hold them and distract them with spring mix while I work on the nails. I don't think pulling back necessarily means it's hurting them. They just startle easily. You'll probably hear them squeal if you actually do cut into the quick. I read that you should have a styptic pencil ready to stop the bleeding just in case. I got one on eBay, but fortunately have never had to use it.

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