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Feet Maple Leaf's Medical Thread


Valued Contributor
Cavy Slave
Feb 12, 2021
Maple Leaf (avatar) went to the vet because something was going on w/ his feet, but after looking online I figured it was spurs. He has it on both of his front feet. The vet trimmed them down and aside from being a little overweight, Maple Leaf is fine. My question is, how long does it take for these spurs to regrow and is there anything I can do to prevent them? Is it solely genetic? Of 9 pigs, he is the first to get them.

He weighed in at 1040 grams and the doctor agreed with me that he seems a little fat. She rather him be down to 900 grams. They don't get a bunch of extra treats or anything, so as long as he's not gaining weight and seems fine, I won't change their diet.

Additionally, is there anyway to comfort him when he has to see the vet? He lives in a divided cage and gets along well with Trishula as long as they're seperated. When we got to the vet, he was hiding and terrified. He wouldn't eat and he was completely still. He reminded me of how scared he got when he was alone after Gimbly died. Of course he was fine when we got home and reunited with Trishula. In the past when my boys got along, I would take both to the vet, but that's not possible with them all not wanting to get along. Everyone has been okay with solo trips to the vet, except Maple Leaf.


I know nothing about spurs, so I won't comment on that. But as far as fat? At 1040 grams? Not a chance.

My boy Simon is the smallest boar I have ever had. When I brought him home, he was 967 grams. Two years later, he hovers around the 1100 gram mark. He has a belly, yes. But he isn't fat. Leo hovers around 1500 grams. All of my boars except for Simon have been 1500 or more, until an illness made them drop. To be perfectly honest I would rather have the weight on my boys, if they become ill that weight can be traded for time. Scooter was over 1500 grams when he fell ill, and the day I lost him he was barely over 800 grams. Punkin was over 1600, and was the same weight as Maple Leaf the day I had to let him go.

1040 grams is not fat. I disagree with your vet wholeheartedly.
I also disagree that his weight is a problem. Guinea pigs are prone to plummeting in weight when health issues arise so having a higher starting weight gives you more room to figure out what is going on with their health if something comes up.

As long as a guinea pig has a healthy diet, good pellet brand fed in moderation, unlimited hay, 1 cup of vegetables per guinea pig per day, then I would never be worried they weigh too much unless the weight gain is sudden after a very long period of weight stability.

There isn't really anything that can be done to prevent spurs that I know of, and yes they do seem to have a genetic component. In my experience they grow quite slowly, so I would just check on them when you weight them weekly, they usually needed to be trimmed at the same time their nails needed to be trimmed for most of mine that had spurs. One of my girls had much slower growing spurs that only needed to be trimmed every second or third nail trim.
The reason his weight came up is because I've been thinking for a while he looks a little overweight compared to the other adults. Gungnir is the same weight but they have totally different body types. I'll just try to forget about the weight unless he starts packing on more!
I forgot we had a med thread already, but it's closed - https://www.guineapigcages.com/threads/maple-leafs-skin-troubles.124985/

So I'll keep going here.

I noticed Maple Leaf had a funny patch on the edge of his ear about a week ago - crusty and raised. Maybe Trishula bit him thru the bars? It was not bleeding, no discharge, etc but the other day a piece of it came off. I am not sure if he needs a vet but it's bothering me. So I made an appt for a new vet that recently opened. We need a new vet anyway. I hope we like them, because this vet is open 7 days a week.

I'll also get to experience pet insurance for the first time.


map ear.jpeg
It's a very common problem, and IMO, doesn't require a vet visit. The edges of their ears can dry out and crack, or they can have a bit of a fungal infection on them. What I'd do is get some cold pressed (that's important) virgin coconut oil and rub the ears daily with a bit of it. The oil has both antibacterial and antifungal properties, but they can be destroyed by processing heat, so get the cold stuff.
It's a very common problem, and IMO, doesn't require a vet visit. The edges of their ears can dry out and crack, or they can have a bit of a fungal infection on them. What I'd do is get some cold pressed (that's important) virgin coconut oil and rub the ears daily with a bit of it. The oil has both antibacterial and antifungal properties, but they can be destroyed by processing heat, so get the cold stuff.

But can it bleed when that happens? When I first spotted this issue a week ago, it was crusty and black, on both sides. I assumed it was blood. Maple Leaf was not pleased with me looking at it. Doesn't seem to bug him too much now. I can see some black (dried blood?) still on the edges, but they look healed.

I'd hate to waste a vet's time on a Sunday about it, but it's worried me the whole week so I may as well get it over with.
You can certainly take him to the vet if you want. But it's not a life-threatening issue, and if it were me, I wouldn't spend the money on a Sunday vet visit. Especially since it's been a week since you first noticed it.

I doubt that it's blood, since both dried ears and fungus can turn black.

For what it's worth, I'll repeat my original advice. I'd try the coconut oil for a week, and if that didn't help, I'd switch to an antifungal cream (rubbed in with a q-tip).
To update, we did end up going to the vet. Long story short, vet suspected it could be a possible bite, but I'm on the fence and think possibly fungal. Before I went in, I discovered Talwar has a possible fungal ear and was crusty inside. We were given a short run of Baytril and advised to give the metacam leftover from Amigo for possible pain for Maple Leaf (which I have not done as he seems fine). I am also applying the antifungal mousse we have, to both boys' problem ear.

I didn't have much confidence in the vet, but I won't go into detail. Luckily, we did find where Dr Edgar is and will be traveling the half hour to visit her in the future.
Not a vet visit involved, but Maple Leaf had a cut nail last night. What makes this worth a post if he didn't cry out when it happened. Normally the pigs fuss or cry if I am about to cut into the quick and I'll stop. I saw blood on my jeans, and then he wouldn't stop bleeding! We have nothing at home to stop the bleeding, but we will now. I almost ran him to the emergency vet. I conviniently forgot at the time that I have a free vet chat with my pet insurance.
Cornstarch will work. Styptic pencils are great as well, and even basic flour does just fine.
Someone has bald spots again and dirty ears, so we went to the vet! You can see the crusty spot on his nose. Last week he had a similar area on his chin.


Have you tried an anti fungal shampoo? When I adopted Millie she had the start of podermatitis. The vet prescribed Mupirocin which helped. But 2 weeks later she still had puffy feet and had developed itchy dry flakey patches behind her ears. I emailed the vet and she said it was okay to try an anti-fungal shampoo. A week later it was clearing up and her feet were better.

It didn’t look like the standard fungus pictures I saw online, but there must have been some fungus because her skin is still looking good.
It’s best to just get specific medication for your piggy’s problem. Many shampoos have very low dosage for the fungus and may only be able to do the job for less intense fungal. You can get higher dosages in the shampoo from a vet. What does he eat and where does he live? Have you done a full cage clean out? You have to clean everything, including yourself. Don’t touch the area or try to tug on any hair. Wear rubber gloves when handling him. Try using F10, it can kill the fungus. Many pores the fungus grows from become dormant for many years and will grow in the right environment, that’s why it comes back in some piggies. Has your vet tried culturing it? Does he live with any other guinea pigs? Separating them can stop the any other guinea pigs for getting it, unless they all have it there is no need to. Where is he on the hierarchy? Are you sure it is not a bite mark that got infected? What is the medication? Are you using any cream? I don’t recommend you do before checking all the ingredients can be ingested and are not toxic.

Could we see the spot on his chin?
We had the choice between miconazole and itrafungol. I went with itrafungol due to previous experience with it when he had ringworm from the shelter. My vet likes using anti fungal mousse also, but I'm not sure if her new clinic carries it. As it is just this spot so far, I only have intrafungol. I can get the mousse we've previously used on Amazon.

As for his chin spot, that area is healed up. I wasn't sure originally if it was a crusty area or something stuck to his skin.

He had very bad ringworm when I got him from the shelter in Oct '21. So I am not surprised this is happening again.

On the plus side, we have now met our deductible with our pet insurance.
I used the Davis brand of miconazole shampoo and found it to be good quality. It’s gentle, lathers nice, non-drying, and contains 2% miconazole nitrate.
So far so good with this. It hasn't spread on M Leaf or to anyone else.
Well I suppose we may need to rename this thread...

So Maple Leaf has been bloated for a few weeks now. Perfectly normal otherwise. Had a day or two of runny poop. We went to the vet, they saw gas in the cecum on xrays. Suggested metoclopramide (spelled wrong, idk). That was last week...reduced veggies to almost nothing, and he's still bloated! As I said, he is eating fine and acting normal.

I did order some Benebac for him and it just arrived today.

Idk if to be worried or not?? Why would he be bloated for weeks and still act okay?
I had a similar issue with Scooter. I don't mean to alarm you, this was just my experience.

Scooter was having issues with bloat, among his other ongoing issues. He had been given x-rays two weeks before he passed away and there was nothing evident wrong, other than the inflammation in his ear canal (or jaw).

As it turns out, he had a bladder stone, and bloat is apparently one of the symptoms of that. Again, nothing showed up on his x-rays and yet...the bladder stone lodged in his urethra and took him from me.

I would definitely keep an eye on him.
Well he's still been bloated, so our dr prescribed us cisapride. We started that yesterday, and he's been getting Benebac. He's had more runny poops. They haven't been getting much veggies at all. He still acts normal. Will go back to the vet should this not help.

Also can someone update the thread name to Maple Leaf's Medical Thread

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