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Behavior Terrified when picking them up

hojun

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My guinea pigs are about 4 years old. The previous owner who had them held them when she brought them out to me they were perfectly fine and were not struggling. When I try to pick them up, they kick and try the free themselves in anyway. When they're not kicking, I can feel their heart beat really fast because they're scared. However, I've only had these guinea pigs for a week, could time just be an issue?
 

Cogni

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So you got some piggies! Congratulations!!

Yes, it is an issue of time, but maybe also of technique. They must get used to
your scent; and they must get to know you as bringer of good things. They must
come to realize they are totally safe with you. Get them used to your hands in the cage, when you
clean up around them, give them hay, rearrange cage furniture,etc. Never make them feel they
are being swooped on from above. A gentle scooping action from behind when they are in a corner is
the technique many use, and they must always be fully supported -- no leaving their legs dangling or making them
feel swift travel through the air when they are looking down. Very gentle motion, fully supported and then
their bodies brought gently to your chest is the way to move with them .

That said, some piggies never get used to being picked up and must be gently lured or shooed into a moveable structure if they
are to ever be picked up. I assume yours can learn to tolerate it if their last owner often picked them up. Good luck.
 

hojun

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The only way I can cut their nails now is with them eating with all 4 legs on the ground, however, I can't see the quick very well. I accidentally cut one nail, but it didn't cut all the way and now it's sort of white, what should I do?
 

Duffinvt

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Can you get someone to help you cut the nails? It is probably best to cut the nails while you are holding them, than to do it when they are standing on all four legs. If the person holding the pig sits down and you wrap the pig in a light towel, they can hold it to their body, supporting the pig's rump with one hand and holding the pig's middle with the other and with the four legs facing out. If the nails are not terrible, you might wait a week or so until the pigs are a little more at ease with you.
 

Susan512

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You might try picking them up with a towel. I use to have problems with one of my piggies and he wouldn't let me pick him up so someone told me I should try picking him up with a soft towel or blanket, gently wrap him loosely in it with his head sticking out. It works for me and now I can easily picking my piggie up and he feels safe and it really helps when clipping his nails as I hold him with the towel.
 

pigsmakemesmile

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Yes time is important. I've had my boys for many years and they will let me pet them and massage them and pretty much lie low. Time is important, they need to get use to their new environment, smells, routine and so forth. I foster pigs and the first week I hardley see them, I just let them be and usually after a good month, they'll be out and about and not hide when I walk in. Just be patient, and gentle with them.
 

woobly

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Times is definitely important, but I also think some pigs just hate being picked up. Teddy (my two month old) comes straight up to me to be pet while in his cage, loves lap time and floor time, but simply will not let me pick him up. It's a 5 minute battle just to catch him, and then even when I have him held close to my chest with all of his feet covered, he flails like a man man.

My solution was to get one of those cuddle sack/sleeping bag things. I hold it open on the floor of the cage when I want to take him out and he goes right in. Then I scoop up the sack and hold him against my chest until we get to where ever we're going. It's worked really well so far, and seems much less stressful for him!
 

cavyluvr

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yeah I give my girls their veggies at the same time every morning and now they start wheeking really loud sometimes even brfore i get in the room its hilarious and soo cute.Mine are still a little scared when i pick them up but the calm down once im holding them.
 
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