Broken nails are a common occurrence in guinea pigs. It usually happens when the nails grow too long and bent, resulting in an injury or ripping off the nail.
An injured nail can result in pain, excessive bleeding, and even infection in some cases. You might also find that sometimes your guinea pig’s nail just fell off without any sign of injury or blood.
A torn nail in guinea pigs will usually grow back within a few months. It usually takes over one month to see any sign of a new nail. Sometimes, a broken nail might never grow back if there is extensive damage to the nail bed.
If your guinea pig paws are bleeding, then you might need to treat it carefully.
Open and deep wounds can lead to infection in some cases, thus taking care of it in the first place is crucial.
When a guinea pig nail gets ripped out, it is vital to keep the nail bed clean and dry to avoid infection.
Bumblefoot is a common infection that happens when their nail bed is exposed to wet flooring/bedding for a prolonged period.
Any redness or swelling occurring within the first 48 hours in the feet is an obvious sign of bacterial infection in guinea pigs.
Now you must be wondering what you can do to prevent any sort of bacterial infection and help in quick recovery of the wound?
Don’t worry. We have done extensive research and consulted the vet to create this comprehensive guide for you all.
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What to do if your guinea pigs nail falls off?
Torn toenails can result in excessive bleeding and a lot of pain to your guinea pigs.
It mainly happens when your guinea pigs have long & sharp nails that get stuck in the bedding, wire bottom cages, ramps, toys, hidings, etc.
However, there is nothing much you can do about torn or broken nails once the bleeding has been stopped.
It would help if you still looked out for any signs of bacterial infection for a few days, but that’s all you can do about it.
Guinea pig nail fell off
Guinea pig’s nail might fall off even without bleeding in some cases.
It usually happens when your guinea pigs nail gets injured or bruised, and a new nail starts growing from the root, which soon pushes out the old nail away.
It is a natural process, just like it happens in human beings. Although it might not bleed, it can be painful for our guinea pigs.
One day you may check your guinea pig and find that one of their nails is missing.
What actually happened is the nail has fallen off, and a new nail has started growing.
There is nothing much you can do in such cases. However, you must still look out for signs of infection.
Some of the common symptoms of infections are:
- Swelling in the paw
- Discharge from the paw
- Difficulty in walking
- Redness or Stiffness in the paws
- Any foul smell
If you notice any of the above signs that the chances are, it is a bacterial infection, and you might need to rush your guinea pigs to a vet.
However, if they are happy, walking, and eating regularly, and you didn’t notice any of the above symptoms, you might let them be as they are. They must do completely fine, and chances are the nail will grow back naturally.
Guinea pig nail broke
Broken nails can result in some pain and mild bleeding in guinea pigs.
If your guinea pigs nail gets stuck in the cage bars, toys, hidings, fleece beddings, etc. it might get broken from the middle or from the nail bed itself.
You can apply some pressure at the bleeding point to stop the bleeding. Be aware your guinea pigs might get aggressive and bite you when you try to apply pressure as they are already in pain.
Once the bleeding gets stopped, you might need to watch your guinea pigs toe for the next few days to ensure there is no infection.
Also, make sure you keep the cage clean and their feet dry to avoid infection just in case.
Guinea pig nail hanging off
If your guinea pig’s nail is broken and hanging off by a thread or skin, then it is best to trim the nail carefully right off the nail bed.
Removing the nail will allow you to treat for the bleeding and will also help in quick recovery of the wound.
A hanging nail might be painful for your guinea pigs while they try to move.
It may even bleed continuously, leading to some fatal health issues in your guinea pigs.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use a good quality nail clipper to make sure things go smoothly.
- Apply some Styptic powder at the tip of the paw to stop the bleeding
- You can also use cornflour in the same manner, if Styptic powder is unavailable.
- You can also try applying some beeswax as it acts as a natural antiseptic.
- Always make sure their nail bed remains clean and dry for quick recovery.
Sometimes there is a possibility that your guinea pigs nail gets ripped apart right from the nail bed. In such a case, clean the nail bed with Nolvasan and apply some antibiotic ointment like Neosporin.
Avoid using Neosporin plus or any other antibiotic containing cortisone as it is harmful for your guinea pigs.
If you see any signs of bacterial infection rush to the vet immediately.
Do guinea pigs nails have quicks?
Yes, guinea pigs nails do have quicks. Quicks are blood veins present in the nails of our animals. If we cut through one of the quicks, then it may result in bleeding in guinea pigs.
Many new guinea pig owners often make this mistake while they are trimming the nails of their guinea pigs for the very first time.
Sometimes even experienced owners make a mistake, and as a result, they end up cutting through quicks.
In case you end up making a mistake, make sure you follow the steps we discussed above to stop the bleeding and quick recovery of their wound.
Do guinea pigs nails grow back?
Yes, guinea pig’s nails usually grow back within a few months after getting torn out.
It may take at least 1-2 months before you start noticing any new growth. Sometimes it even takes up to 6 months for the toenail to grow back.
However, if your guinea pig’s nails are torn due to extensive damage to the nail bed, there is a chance that the nail will only partially return as a small nail, malformed stub, or may not return ever as well.
Even if the nail doesn’t grow back, there should not be any side effects of the same on your guinea pigs.
Risk of broken nails in guinea pigs
Some guinea pigs are prone to breaking their nails more often than others.
This is most common in active guinea pigs, who runs a lap around the cage, tries to climb objects, etc.
Sometimes not trimming the nails on time can also result in broken nails.
In either case, you must be aware of a few health hazards that can happen if you don’t take care of a broken nail on time.
The bacterial infection is one of the most common problems diagnosed in guinea pigs if they have an open wound.
If this happens, you will notice some redness, swelling, discharge of some fluid, and other similar symptoms in your guinea pigs.
It is best to visit a vet if your guinea pigs show any sign of bacterial infection.
Bumblefoot (pododermatitis) is another fatal health problem diagnosed among guinea pigs.
Usually not trimming your guinea pigs nail on time, broken nails from the nail bed due to some injury, Poor sanitation around the cage & wet beddings are some common cause of Bumblefoot in guinea pigs.
Once your guinea pigs get this, you need to visit a vet as soon as possible to make sure the situation doesn’t worsen over time.
How to avoid broken nails in guinea pigs?
Here are a few ninja tips you can remember to make sure you avoid broken nails in your guinea pigs:
- Trim your guinea pigs nail frequently and make sure you only use a professional nail clipper for the same.
- Avoid wire bottom cages and use good quality bedding to cover the bottom of the cage.
- The bedding you use must be super absorbent and odor-free to avoid bacteria buildup. Thus, preventing health issues in your guinea pigs. ( P.S. I personally love Guineadad Fleece Liners)
- You can add some natural wood slices around the cage. These help in sanding the nails naturally thus helps in avoiding a lot of health issues.
Yes, guinea pigs kept as pets often require nail-trimming as a part of their regular grooming schedule.
It is recommended to clip your guinea pigs nail once in a month or so. The frequency of trimming often depends upon the growth of their nails.
If you want a professional Vet or nearby rescue to clip your guinea pigs nail, then you can expect to pay them anywhere between 10$-20$ per guinea pig. The prices may vary depending upon the area you live in.