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Thread: Clipping nails of piggies who are still scared to be touched?

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    Clipping nails of piggies who are still scared to be touched?

    I adopted 2 pigs about 2 1/2 weeks ago and they still are afraid of bring touched or held. I never grab at them or pet them when they don't want to be, but every time they sniff my hand they go and hide.

    I just noticed that they both really need to have their nails clipped really bad. Any tips or tricks on how to do with without traumatizing them?

    Thank you!

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    Cavy Newbie abbiemath753's Avatar
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    Re: Clipping nails of piggies who are still scared to be touched?

    You could take them into the exotic vet & they can do it, the cost varies but i dont think it costs that much? And it'll be easier bc you dont want to mess up if they squirm :-)

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    Re: Clipping nails of piggies who are still scared to be touched?

    I have a vet appointment set up for it's not until November 6. Hoping I can wait till then but I don't want it to get too bad.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Clipping nails of piggies who are still scared to be touched?

    Just pick them up and cut their nails. It's easier if one person holds the pig and applies the carrot to its mouth and the other one cuts, but it can be done by one person. See http://www.guinealynx.info/nails.html.

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    Cavy Slave lisa325's Avatar
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    Re: Clipping nails of piggies who are still scared to be touched?

    It really is so much easier and less stressful on them if two people are involved. All of our pigs are used to having their nails clipped now, and just chill until it's done, they do get used to it over time. I have heard of people wrapping them in some fleece or a small blanket, with one person doing the holding, while the other person releases one foot at a time and does the trimming. Food really does help, it keeps them distracted while you get the job done. Just give it a try, don't get nervous and use their favorite food as a distraction. Good luck!!

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    Cavy Slave ZiggyPig's Avatar
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    Re: Clipping nails of piggies who are still scared to be touched?

    All of the above is great advice for someone who is used to clipping animal nails, but, for instance, I have super squirmy piggies, we did it with two people and wrapped in fleece and I have been clipping dog/cat nails forever. I still managed to nick the quick on one of them.

    However, @butterflylover5 if you do hit the quick on a nail, DON'T PANIC. If you don't have Quik Stop or something, I find flour works just as well. Press the nail gently into the flour for a moment and it will help stop the bleeding. Then just give a treat and move to a different foot if possible. That's what worked for us.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Clipping nails of piggies who are still scared to be touched?

    Yesterday was grooming day at our house and that included over-due nail clipping. I too invariably manage to clip one of Chip's all black nails too short.

    My boys don't mind the clipping in the least, but I go two steps further and Dremel the sharp edges and apply a bit of quick-drying nail polish. This is the only way I can avoid having my sensitive skin constantly scratched. They both sulked for a couple of hours afterward, but by lap time last night, all was forgiven. Yes, it would be easier with two people, but I have managed the task solo for several years.

    I would also suggest that one wear latex/vinyl gloves to avoid being bitten. My Chip has gotten much better about the whole process, but will still bite if he's too frightened or I happen to cause him pain. He doesn't understand the "I'm so sorry I hurt you", but the soothing cuddles (and perhaps a carrot) afterward get my message across.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Clipping nails of piggies who are still scared to be touched?

    Looks like an interesting kit for someone, but not for cavies.

    Standard nail clippers for humans may work, but are not appropriate for cavies no matter what size the clippers may be. Nail clippers can split cavy nails and leave a mess.

    Nail clippers/scissors like the one pictured below work just fine and are inexpensive. The blades encircle the nail without fear of splitting it.

    Name:  Nail scissors.jpg
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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Clipping nails of piggies who are still scared to be touched?

    Ditto @spy9doc. Please don't use human scissors or clippers. The cat nail clippers just above work just fine, and properly used, prevent the nail from splitting.

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