Guinea Pig Feet & Toe Nails
Guinea Pig Feet consist of four toes on there front feet and three toes on there hind feet. Each Toe has a continuously growing nail consisting of the horny part and the inner living part Called the “quick”. The underside of the foot has a soft foot pad which should be examined regularly for swelling or injury. Guinea Pigs Toe Nails grow continuously. Some grow Straight while others have a tendency to grow to one side. Short Sharp pointy nails are characteristic of young cavies. As a Guinea Pig ages their nails tend to become thicker, more brittle and grow more irregularly.
Guinea Pigs kept as pets need to be checked and clipped regular as they do not get enough wear to keep them at a proper length.
You may wonder about the age of your Guinea Pig. By looking at the Nails use can usually determine if your Pig is especially young. Begin a nail trimming routine while your pet is Young by removing the very tip of their pointy nails.
Common Feet Conditions
This condition is not very common in Guinea Pigs and is thought to be caused through Inbreeding.
Polydactyly is best described as having an extra toe or toes. This is normally found on the hind feet although that is not limited .
Removal of the Vestigial or Polydactyly digit by a Veterinarian is recommended this will prevent tearing, bleeding and un-necessary pain to your loved pet.
Occasionally a Guinea Pig’s nail may catch and tear completely off. If bleeding is excessive, Styptic Powder may help. If this does not work See Your Vet Immediately. Usually nails will grow back, although this can take over a month before a new one is visible. If you contact your vet over the telephone they may wish to prescribe an Antibiotic to prevent an Infection from occurring, If they do not, look out for signs of infection i.e. Swelling or Feeling Hot to the touch.
In the case of a partial nail rip (nail hanging on by a thread) we recommend contacting your Veterinarian Immediately for advise. In the case where Two of the team have ripped a nail but not completely off the Vet has performed a Nail Removal which consists of giving your Guinea Pig Anaesthetic Gas and removing the nail completely. If the break is half way down the nail your Veterinarian may choose to either Sedate your Guinea Pig or give your Guinea Pig a whiff of Anaesthetic Gas and clip at the break of the nail.
Your Veterinarian will choose the relevant treatment which he/she feels is best
Some Guinea Pigs develop flaps of tough skin that protrude from there front feet. These Spurs can be carefully removed with nail clippers to prevent accidental tearing.
• If you attempt this be careful not to cut to close to the pad and cause bleeding.
If your unsure Your Vet will more than happy to do this for you.
Bumblefoot is a serious infection which left untreated could lead to amputation of the infected foot or worse still could lead death. Please see our Bumblefoot page here for more information and pictures.
Quick View Of Symptoms
- Red Feet (Foot Pads).
- Swollen Feet.
- Limping on affected leg.
- Squealing Out in Pain when gentle pressure is applied to foot
- Loss Of Appetite
- Anorexic (In Long Term Affected Feet)