Did you notice your guinea pig’s has broken a nail? Wondering what to do now? So What To Do When Your Guinea Pig Breaks A Nail?
If your guinea pig has broken a nail the first thing you need to do it to check if they are bleeding. Once the bleeding stops, you should cut the remaining nail to make sure no more will come off, then keep the nail bed clean and a new nail should pop by in a few months.
What to do if your guinea pigs nail falls off?
First things first, you need to stop the haemorrhage. Applying gentle pressure or using styptic powder is recommended.
If your guinea pig’s nail has broken and is hanging off by a little skin, it is wise to trim/cut the nail, so it is not attached to the nail bed anymore. This is because hanging nails are often painful for our fur babies. This helps you control the bleeding better as well as reduce any complications that could’ve risen from the hanging nail.
It is also essential to keep the nail bed clean and dry. If there are any signs like swelling or redness in the toe, the nail bed might be getting infected and it’s time to take your little piggy to the vet. Some common signs that can develop because of an infection include:
- Redness and swelling
- Pain on palpation of the toe
- Discharge from the paw
- Difficulty walking
- Any foul smells
Do guinea pig’s nails grow back?
Yes. 90% of the time these injuries are not very serious, and the nail bed is fine. There may be that one exceptional case where the nail bed is irreparably damaged in which case the nail won’t grow back but this is very rare.
A broken nail in guinea pig’s will usually grow back within a few months. You should begin seeing a sign of a new nail after about a month. If the nail bed is extensively damaged, you might only have partial and/or malformed regrowth of the new nail. This should again happen within 6 months.
It is important to remember to monitor the new nail growth and to keep the nail bed clean in order to avoid bumblefoot. This is a very common bacterial infection that can develop because of the nail bed being exposed to wet flooring/bedding.
Is it bad for guinea pigs to have long nails?
Most certainly yes. Not trimming a guinea pig’s nails has a lot of adverse effects. They initially start to curl disabling them from performing normal activities. As they grow more, they become prone to injuries.
When the nails start growing out, they start to curl towards and under their feet. This makes it hard for them to move around. In the beginning it’ll only be slightly uncomfortable, and your pig may adapt but as time goes by it will become painful to even walk. This will demotivate them from moving. If it is painful enough your pig may stop trying to walk to eat food or drink water as well.
Guinea pigs are also highly social animals and to play with other pig mates they must be able to move freely. Since they are in pain they will not try to play with other pigs and start feeling lonely and depressed.
In addition to this, long nails can lead to injuries of the foot. They can get swollen, sore, develop bumblefoot and hair loss.
Lots of new owners are hesitant to trim the guinea pig’s nails. It can be quite terrifying trying to restrain a squeaky pet and perform an action they’re not familiar with. Some guinea pigs may make the process harder. But what you need to understand is the side effects of not trimming them are far worse than the act of doing so.
You can save your guinea pig from excruciating pain just by cutting their nails regularly. Some owners accustom their pets to the process but if you can’t just seek the help of a veterinarian.
You may try and add stone and brick objects and depend on them to trim the guinea pig’s nails in the cage itself, but these seldom work. Clipping has proved to be the only efficient way to keep those nails in check and your little guinea happy and healthy.
Can a guinea pig die from a bleeding nail?
The short answer is no. Woohoo! Even if your guinea pig is bleeding, there are several ways you can stop the bleeding. Do not put her/him back in the cage without making sure that the nail has stopped bleeding.
Pet parents usually worry too much, especially if they’re first-time guinea parents. The consensus of experienced owners is that it looks much worse than it is. The key is staying calm, using first aid and monitoring the wound. Guinea pigs are robust creatures and will certainly not die from it.
So what are the various methods to stop the bleeding?
If it’s a minor bleed, just applying pressure with your finger on the wound should help stop the bleeding. Word of caution though, it may take 10 minutes to an hour depending on the severity of the wound.
Styptic pencils and Kwik stop powder
Vets often use styptic powder (Kwik stop). It is a combination of aluminium based products that hasten the clotting process. Styptic pencils are easily available at pet stores and vet clinics. This may initially sting your pet but are known to be very efficient.
In case the top 2 methods didn’t work/weren’t available, one could use items available in a house such as cornflour, normal flour, Chapstick, a bar of soap, beeswax or pancake mix. It’s always best to confirm with a local veterinarian before using these.