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Grooming Shaving vs. Trimming for Hygiene

ginny

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
Messages
65
My guinea pig was recently diagnosed with arthritis in his knees. He is also on diuretics to prevent bladder stones and urinates a lot, so he has an issue of sitting in one spot and peeing there, sometimes making his belly and bottom dirty (not to the extreme though; he's had a UTI before and he was practically soaked then, so I know what to look out for!). He's got some Peruvian genes in him that make his hair longer than normal, though not incredibly so. Because of his arthritis, he's unable to reach back and groom himself, either.

I worry about him getting a possible infection or scalding. I try to trim the hair on the inside of his legs, but it's very difficult. Do you think it would be OK to use a shaver and shave it down to a very short but not bald length? I understand his skin would probably come in more contact with the urine that way, but I don't know if that's much worse than his fur being visibly soiled and resting against his skin anyway. Any ideas? He was recently started on glucosamine for his joints but I've been told it may take a few weeks to work well.
 
If he will tolerate an electric hair trimmer, I would go with that option. Trim his butt and leg fur down quite short. I bought a set of electric clippers for people off of amazon for $30 and they have worked much better than scissors for trimming my texel.

On top of that I would be extra diligent about keeping his laying area dry. If he's spending most of his time resting in one place of the cage I would use small fleece pads and change them out at least once a day, probably more, depending on how saturated the area is with urine.
 
We use an electric hair buzzer at the shelter for situations like that, you can set them to different lengths and there's little to no risk of accidentally nicking him.

Is he on pain medication for the arthritis? It could help him move around more, though he likely still wouldn't be able to groom easily (not to mention it helps them be more comfortable)
Good luck!
 
Thank you! Yep I do the pads thing, it is soooo helpful to keep everything cleaner. Half the cage is Carefresh to help me monitor the color of his urine, but he seems to get wetter while laying on the fleece. And jaycriae, I've started giving him .05mL Metacam once a day and it seems to have perked him up a bit. I feel like he would do better with a higher dose but if it's going to be long term, I don't want to risk his other organs... maybe if he has a particularly bad day though, I'll give him 0.1mL.
 
Glad to hear he's getting some relief, at least.
 
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