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Injury Clipping nails - nail literally fell apart!

chickpea616

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I was clipping my guinea pig's nails - granted, I have clipped close a time or two but nothing too bad, and the vet gave me styptic powder to stop any bleeding. Well this time, I literally stayed way far down the nail to avoid any problems - and the nail just started falling off piece by piece. There was no "yelp" with the initial cut (like my mistake in the past), but then I saw the blood and right away thought "somethings not right". Can the nail just come apart like that? Why would something like that happen? I dipped it in the styptic powder and she's not bleeding anymore. What's the followup for this?
 

bpatters

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Just watch it carefully to make sure no infection develops. I'd also make sure the cage is kept extra clean for a few days.

Nails can become brittle because of injury, or just because, sometimes. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
 

chickpea616

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Thanks so much! I literally just changed out their liner tonight, so she’s on very clean fleece right now. Should also be easy to see if there’s any blood she’s tracking around because the fleece is light and not dark.

It’s just so weird, she didn’t even seem phased and yet there was more blood (after the nail pieces fell off) than the time I accidentally clipped too far....ugh!

There may be an added complication in the fact that this is a totally black nail on a totally black paw...how would I be able to tell if it’s getting infected?
 
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spy9doc

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Can the nail just come apart like that? Why would something like that happen?

My instinct tells me that you were using human nail clippers? If so, what you just experienced is the downside of using them as they often shatter the nail. For that reason, I simply don't use them.

A better option (especially for black nails) is to use the "kitten nail scissors" that encircle the nail and cuts it cleanly. You can find them in any pet store and they are inexpensive.

Put the scissors in position, but only clamp down on the nail a bit. If your cavy doesn't find it painful, then finish making the cut. If you are too close to the "quick", the piggy will likely cry out in pain. For a long time I was too aggressive and invariably cut the nail too close and caused my babies pain. Since I have been using this technique, no more trauma.

Nail scissors
 

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