Guinea Pigs/thank you


QUESTION: dear,Pat:its me again and i needed to know reese and oreos nails are getting long and i was wondering how would i cut them or should i

ANSWER: By all means you need to keep their toenails clipped. It's easy but takes a little practice to get yourself comfortable when handling the pigs.

I use small nail clippers that are sold as cat toenail clippers. If you can hold your pig on her back, cradled in your arm with the head kind of tucked into your arm and the elbow and supported against your body you'll find it much easier to trim the nails.

If your pig has light colored toes you can easily see the red vein (or quick as we call it). Just snip off the tips of each nail. If the nails are dark and you can't see the vein just go slowly and start at the tip of the nail. If you hit the vein and it bleeds don't panic. It's not going to cause the pig to bleed to death. It's a vein, not an artery.

I keep a product in my caviary called "Quick Stop."  It's made of something that causes the blood to clot right away and can prevent most of the bleeding. If you don't have that then flour or cornstarch will also slow it down.

Make sure you have the foot firmly in your grip. Then just give a quick snip on each nail. Regular toenail clippers will also work, but I prefer the cat clippers as they're easier to work with.

Good luck and let me know how you do. Don't be afraid, you're not going to cause any permanent harm to your pigs by trimming their nails.  Practice makes perfect. You can do this.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you and resse is definantly pregnant i felt 3 lumps in her belly and there all ways there and her belly is getting bigger so i cant wait

Well congratulations are in order. You didn't say how well you're doing practicing the nail trimming so I assume you're doing well.

Keep your camera ready and take lots of pictures of the babies when they arrive. Please send me a couple. I love seeing baby pictures.  No matter how many times I see newborn guinea pigs they never lose their excitement and the thrill.  Best of luck to all of you.

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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