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Nails/Nail Trimming Black Nails

CinnandMegsMom

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
226
Hi All and as you can see I'm a newbie so I have lots of questions.

I think I should trim Meg's nails but they are black. I can't see where the quick is and I'm so nervous.

All suggestions, experience, advise is more than welcome.
 
Some people have had luck with shining a flashlight under the nail so the quick can be visible. I don't have a pig with black nails, but I have a pig with brown nails, and it's harder to see his quick. I just go slowly and shave off a bit at a time. It's better to do frequent nail trims, it helps the quick to recede.
 
Just trim the very tips. It's better to trim too little at first while you and her are getting used to nail trims. The more you do it, the easier it will be. A flashlight or bright sunlight might help you see as well.
 
K, I have read that weekly trimmings make the quick recede. What do I do if she bleeds?
 
You can buy Kwik-Stop Powder. I just use corn starch, and dip the paw into a dish of it if I clip too much. Just stay calm if you get the quick. It happens. Lots of fresh treats will make it better :)
 
Last edited:
Sigh of thank goodness! Trimmed her nails and just took off the tips. No blood, she flinched a couple of times. I probably got close to the quick. I will be glad when they are older and I'm wiser about them. Right now there seems to be so much drama. I want to coddle them and they think I want to eat them. LOL
 
I want to coddle them and they think I want to eat them. LOL

ROFL. Mine think I want to feed them to the cats!
 
Haha you're lucky your pig only flinches, two of my pigs scream, and act as if I am killing them when I clip their nails, and I have never even drawn blood. The others are totally fine with it and just sit there waiting for a treat.
 
Haha you're lucky your pig only flinches, two of my pigs scream, and act as if I am killing them when I clip their nails, and I have never even drawn blood. The others are totally fine with it and just sit there waiting for a treat.

I'm still amazed that each have their own personality. Saw this oh so cute grey and white one yesterday at the petstore. Has a crest on her head just like Meg's.
LOL, pushing my luck with husband if I bring another home. :eek:
 
I have a flincher. I am always worried he will flinch at the wrong time and get hurt. Recently I rescued a Skinny pig and with them you have to file their nails once you clip them to make sure there is no ruff areas on the nails (thus reducing scratches). I have a mini pet dremel that I bought from a dollar store to use on my cat, who is scared of it. The pigs on the other hand are not scared. So now I clip 3/4 pigs. Mojo (AKA Flincher) gets the dremel only. No more flinches. The only thing I would suggest is to do a little at a time so the nail doesn't get hot from friction.

If you can, buy a head light. My husband and FIL both need to replace theirs every year (they use it for work) to keep up with regulations (hubby works as an electrician and FIL is a industrial mechanic). The used ones are still working just fine so I just grab the brightest of the ones they don't need. I find it the most helpful thing in the world! I take it off, shine it under, put it back on and clip. I used to use the sun but if its not sunny I could not do their nails. Not ideal or good. So now I have the head light, which is really bright.

Reko has black nails and sadly the light only works on a few nails and I think that's only because of how bright it is. I clip a little every few weeks. If your little one is young, clipping the tips of the front paws will be really all you need to do. If you keep this up your should not have any problems as she ages. Older pigs have thicker nails and I personally use cat nail clippers (check your dollar stores, pet stores (supply stores) charge too much). I like this because you can take a little at a time and they don't squash the nail as bad as human clippers.

Try to remember that it takes time, I have 4 boys and it takes me 1.5-2 hours to do everyone's nails. This is because I dremel and I take many snuggle/treat breaks. I believe doing it fast raises your risks of quick cutting. I have had pigs for over 4 years now and I have never cut the quick.

If you look at my Meet Mbizi blog post here you can see my before and after nail clippings. Speaking of clippings, I better pin the cat for his. ;)
 
The best way to do black nails is by cutting off tiny bits at a time. After each cut, examine the flat edge of the cut and look at the center of it. As you approach the quick, the center will start getting darker. That's how you know you are getting close. I prefer flour or corn starch to Kwik Stop because it stings. The next time you have a small cut, dab a bit on and you'll see what I mean. Flour and corn starch won't hurt.
 
Quee has black nails, but luckily they're only on one side of her; the other two feet have very light, almost clear nails. This means we can pretty much determine how much to clip the black ones by looking at the light ones, which we can see precisely.
 
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