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Trim Guinea Pig Nails

Tips on trimming your guinea pig’s nails.

By Audrey Pavia
Posted: March 31, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

A guinea pig’s nails grow continuously and must be trimmed about once a month to keep them at a healthy length. Otherwise, the nails will become overgrown, making it difficult for the guinea pig to walk.

Trim a guinea pig’s nails yourself by placing it in your lap with its legs facing forward. Clip off a portion of the nail being careful not to cut too far because you may nip the quick, the part of the toenail that has a vein running through it. (If you hold a flashlight up to a guinea pig’s toenail, you can see the quick inside of it.)

If you do accidentally cut the quick, put a little corn starch or styptic powder on it to stop the bleeding.

If you are uncomfortable trimming a guinea pig’s nails, or if your guinea pig struggles when you hold it, ask your veterinarian to trim the nails for you.


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Reader Comments
My pig struggles and squeels alot! I am a retired Vet tech and know how to trim nails easily but, My 9 yr. old is not the best 'handler!' I wrap a towel around her and gentle pull a leg out and trim them as fast and gentley as I can. I endure the noises and wriggling because it's very important to do her nails.
charlotte, Aberdeen, NC
Posted: 8/23/2012 8:30:23 AM
I give my pig a carrot to much on while I do her nails, and it makes it much easier.
***********, *************, IL
Posted: 5/18/2011 1:30:05 PM
Good info...I have a new guinea pig pup and will need to trim him soon!
Jada, Grayson, GA
Posted: 1/9/2011 3:28:09 PM
I tried clipping my guinea pig's nails for the first time, and it was easy! Now Cooper's nails are nice a short, when I did not go through any trouble at all. Thank you for the information.
Nicole, Kirkland, WA
Posted: 11/18/2010 3:40:25 PM
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