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Feet Inch long nails!!


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Jan 13, 2012
I just took in a year and half old female long haired piggy. The people who had her did not take good care of her. On her back feet she is missing 3 nails completely, and the 3 nails she has are black and one inch long. I am afraid to cut them because I don't know if the vein has grown longer from them never being cut. What should I do? Thanks

[GuineaPigCages.com] Inch long nails!!
First she is beautiful and blessed to have a new home.
Can you do a trim of her nails? That would at least give her some benefit.
I have accidentally cut to the quick on George before (has dark nails). The bleeding stopped fairly quickly and he was none the worse to wear.
Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in.
I'd take her to a cavy savvy vet and have them do it. Also, have them check her over since the previous owners did not care for her properly. Good luck. She is beautiful!
Thank you for taking in this piggy.

The vein has undoubtedly grown along with the nails, but they'll have to be cut.

Sometimes, but not always, you can put a bright flashlight under the nail and be able to see where the quick is. I'd try that first. If you can see it, trim as close to it as you can without hitting it, and then every couple of weeks trim it back a little farther. The quick should recede, although it may never go as far back as it would have if the nails had been trimmed regularly.

If you can't see it, then look at the nails in relation to each other. Take one nail, and nibble it back until you can see the quick or cut a small bit of it. Then use the length you removed as a guide to trim the other nails.
Thank you guys! I am just scared. I have cut too far on my dog once and it scared me to death, wouldn't stop bleeding until I shoved wet flour in it. Flashlight is a good idea!! Has anyone ever heard of the nails coming off and never growing back? They told me she came that way when she was a baby, that something bit them off....but after seeing how long her nails are, I don't believe them at all.
Purchase blood stopping powder at a pet shop/vet in case you do cut a bit too short at some point, it's not that big of a deal & looks worse than it is. Also make sure to have very small nail scissors/clipper to cut as precisely & close as possible, preferably one for cat claws as the ones marketed for critters are quite a bit too large to use as safely.

Cut them often now in the beginning to reduce the quick. My pigs nails were never cut properly during their first year before they ended up with me, and the quick is still very long & has stopped at the same length now, still loads better than before however.
Another trick to knowing where the quick is on a black nail is you can see the sharper point, when the nail gets fat that is where the quick starts. Also the name of the powder at the store is called quick stop but corn starch works just as well. Its going to take a few weeks to get her nails shortened to a normal length.
I got up the strength to cut them. I took little by little, to the point of less than half an inch. In a couple of days I will try to cut a little more off until they are normal length. I hope she is much happier! Thanks for all the advise, you guys are very awesome :D
I have another question..... She is a long haired piggy, and her hair seems a bit rough to me. Is this normal? As soon as I brought her home and she relaxed a bit I gave her a bath and cut all her hair off. She was all matted, and had urine all over her. She seems to shed a lot, and the hair is not as soft as I thought it would be. Is she ok? or could this be a sign of scurvy?
From looking at the picture and her crooked whiskers, she's probably a teddy/teddy mix which has a different hair texture. Some pigs naturally shed more than others, but giving her a proper diet will most likely reduce it somewhat at least.
What brand of food do you recommend? Its been about 6 years since I had a guinea pig and I know a lot of things has changed. I am feeding the food she came with, but I don't think its that healthy. It has nuts, and dried veggies. From what I remember I don't think that's healthy for them? I looked at Petsmart, but there was too many to choose from, and I wanted to research it a bit first. Yes, now that you mention the whiskers being kinky, I believe she may have teddy or Texel in her. Her hair is wavy and curly.
When you make each cut, examine the blunt edge of the cut on the nail. . As you approach the quick, you'll see darker area in the center that gets larger as you get close to the quick..... I prefer to use corn starch or flour on a nail that bleeds. I got Quick Stop on a cut on my hand one time and it really stung so I stopped using it because I figure it must sting them, too....She looks like a texel to me. They have curly whiskers, too, but longer hair. Sometimes they have parts like Peruvians but not always.
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