What To Do If Your Guinea Pig’s Nail Is Bleeding? (Find Out Now)

Pet guinea pigs to have around the house, but they can be a little bit of work. Especially when it comes to their nails. But what do you do if your guinea pig’s nails are bleeding from an accidental nail trim?

Generally, if a guinea pig’s nail is bleeding from a trim, you must treat it by: disinfecting the nail, applying an appropriate ointment or powder) such styptic powder, and applying pressure until the bleeding stops. Make sure that your guinea pig had clean bedding to avoid infection.

what to do if a guinea pig nail is bleeding

Let’s cover the ins and outs of how to treat your guinea pig’s bleeding nail. This handy little guide will teach you how to treat your guinea pig’s nail if it happens to get injured.

What To Do If Your Guinea Pig’s Nail Is Bleeding

what to do if  your guinea pigs nail is bleeding

Try not to panic. If you panic, you won’t be able to think clearly.

And you definitely need to be able to think through how you’re going to take care of that bleeding nail.

If you have been trimming your guinea pig’s nails and one of them happens to start bleeding, it’s likely due to an accidental cut of the “quick” (more on this later).

Take a moment to relax and carefully assess the wound; try not to touch or jostle it too much.

A guinea pig’s nail has blood vessels located beneath the nail bed. The main blood vessel is called the “quick” and you must avoid cutting into it.

And as you may have already guessed, the blood supply in the quick is reasonably large.  That’s why it sometimes looks like the blood is gushing out like a fountain when you nip it.

By avoiding the quick, you can avoid bleeding in a trim situation.

7 secret guinea pig hacks

(Actually, your furry friends can sometimes tear their own nails on objects in their cage. That’s why it’s a good idea to regularly check your piggies nails for tears, splits, or other signs of damage.)

To treat a cavy whose nails are bleeding, follow these steps (which will work whether the bleeding is from a nail trim or if your piggie did it to herself:

1. Disinfect The Nail

It’s very important to clean the wound before you apply any type of powder. Move quickly to try to stop the blood flow.

To disinfect the nail, dip it in a little saline solution.

Don’t have saline solution? Make some yourself. Boil and cool about 1 pint (500ml) of water. Then mix one teaspoon of salt. Stir it up.

Then dip the bleeding nail into the warm water.

2. Apply A Powder To Stem The Bleeding

  • Styptic Powder– This is the powder form of styptic pencils (which are for cutting nails). You can buy it in a little bottle at most drug stores. Just press it to your furry friend’s nail. (Warning: This stuff does sting a little, so your piggie isn’t going to be happy.
  • Cornstarch – Works well, but it needs to be applied fairly quickly.
  • Flour – Another option!
  • Pancake Mix– Can work just as well as the other options. Only use it if you don’t have any other supplies.

3. Apply Pressure To The Wound

Now, you’ll need to apply pressure with to help stop the bleeding.

You can use one of the following items (just make sure they’re clean):

  • gauze
  • cotton balls
  • paper towel
  • Kleenex (or other type of tissue)
  • clean cloth

(Some people recommend not putting anything on your piggie’s bleeding wound except for pressure. I’ve always preferred to be safe than sorry, and just disinfect the wound first.)

Thinking about adding a piggie to your family or want to brush up on the essentials? Gotcha covered. What you need is a reliable, “all-in-one” resource to refer to when you’re struggling. A Beginner’s Ultimate Guide To Guinea Pig Care is a starting point with all the basics and more to get you on your way!

When Should The Bleeding Nail Stop Bleeding?

how to stop a guinea pig nail from bleeding

Good news!

You can stop the nail bleeding in 10-15 minutes by applying firm pressure to the nail.

You also want to make sure that you keep the powder on top of the wound until it’s completely dry.

If your guinea pig is still bleeding after that time, you need to contact your vet for an an assessment and treatment plan.

The best thing you can do is make sure your pet has a clean, tidy spot to heal.  So, keep the cage clean and make sure the bedding stays fresh.

Don’t worry about accidents – they happen.

And if your furry friend has dark-colored nails, it makes the task even more difficult – it’s tougher to see the quick.

What Do I Do If My Guinea Pig Has Long Nails?

what to do about bleeding guinea pig nails

If your furry friend has long nails, then you’re going to have to carefully trim them yourself (if you feel comfortable doing so).

Alternatively, you can take your little friend to a vet or pet store that offers nail trimming services to snip your piggie’s nails to a reasonable length.  If you don’t, your piggie will have serious foot problems eventually.

Will My Guinea Pig’s Nail Grow Back If Its Been Torn Or Cut Deeply?

Typically, a guinea pig’s nail will grow back eventually – even if it’s been torn.

What you’ll notice is that the nail will grow back thicker an darker than it was before the tear.

Other than that, your piggie’s nail should be completely normal.

7 secret guinea pig hacks

Hazards Of Long Piggie Nails

When your guinea pigs’ claws start to get longer, the blood vessel known as the “quick” will also become exposed. As a result, they might curl. When this happens, it puts more stress on their feet and can lead to injuries.

  • Difficulty moving: If guinea pig nails grow too long, it can be hard for them to walk. This is dangerous because they might stop running around (exercising) and won’t be able to make their way to their food bowl. If your piggies don’t eat, you’re cavies are going to have health problems that’ll be much worse than bleeding form a cut nail.
  • Foot injuries: Long toe nails can get caught in bedding and carpeting easily. Sometimes when that happens, the toe will hurt. If it tears, you might need to go to the vet.
  • Skin infections: Without clipping the nails of your Guinea Pig, their nails will grow too long. And it’s going to become really painful as the nails start to dig into their footpads. At first they might be irritated or red, and even get an infection.

Guinea pigs need nails trimmed. Just be as careful as you can not to hurt your fur babies while you’re doing it.

Wanna avoid getting scratched by your furry friend so much? Those nails need to be trimmed.

Useful Guinea Pig Nail Trimming Tips

Nail clipping for piggies is sometimes hard and nerve-wracking. Follow these tricks and it’ll be much easier for you and your little friend.

  1. Find someone else to do it. If you don’t want to trim your pet’s nails, then find an exotic animal vet.Or you can ask local pet shops if they do it too. There is nothing wrong with letting a professional do the job.
  2. Get big, delicious treats. If you use treats to distract your piggies while you trim their, use larger treat that won’t be eaten in a short time. This will keep him occupied for longer.
  3. Bond with your cavies. It’s easier to clip your pig’s nails if they are used to you touching them. The more comfortable they are, the easier it will be for you to trim their nails. Before clipping their nails, make sure that they have time where all of their feet can be touched. Then give them a treat afterwards so that they won’t mind the actual trimming.
  4. Use a sturdy nail clipper.  Use once that’s meant for pets – preferably cats.  If you use a human one, go for the thick ones meant for the toes.  
  5. Protect yourself. Put on gloves to protect yourself from getting nip or bitten by your piggies.
  6. Get some backup. If there’s two people, someone can gently hold the animal close to their body and support it. This way its legs will not be dangling. The other person does the clipping. If there is only one person, then the animal should be wrapped in a towel like a burrito and held “football style” under that person’s arm,
  7. Use a nail file instead of clippers. If you’re using a pet or human clippers and they are not working, try a file. This will take patience and you will have to win the animal’s trust before doing this – because this takes a bit of time.

Active guinea pigs get their nails worn down faster than inactive pets. This is because they walk on hard surfaces and not soft bedding like lazy pets do.

7 secret guinea pig hacks

Things To Remember About Bleeding Nails

A guinea pig’s nails may need to be trimmed when they get too long for the animal’s comfort or if their toes are getting caught in things. 

However, keeping your pet groomed can prove challenging because they’re so squirmy and fast!  

But what do you do if your guinea pig’s nails are bleeding from an accidental nail trim?

Guinea pigs and other animals have blood vessels in their nails. If the nail is cut too close, they will bleed (sometimes an awful lot!).

If you accidentally cut into one nail and it starts bleeding all over everything, don’t panic! Just follow these steps

  1. Disinfect the nail.
  2. Apply powder to help stop the bleeding.
  3. Apply pressure to the nail.

And there you have it! Make regular nail trimming a part of your furry friend’s grooming routine. 

But if you can’t get the bleeding to stop, don’t worry. Because you did everything you could and it’s time to take your pet to the vet – pronto.

Did any of the advice in this article help you out? I hope so.

If it did, let me know in the comments below.

American Association for laboratory animal science (An Easy Way To Trim Nails). (2018, May 15). AALAS. https://www.aalas.org/articles/2018/05/15/an-easy-way-to-trim-guinea-pig-nails

Cavy Level Testing Study Guide. (n.d.). Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. https://ucanr.edu/sites/slo4-h/files/203931.pdf

DVM, S. L. (2015). The Guinea pig handbook. Barron’s Educational Series.

Grooming Guinea pigs. (n.d.). Companion Animals. https://companion-animals.extension.org/grooming-guinea-pigs/

What do I need to know about my Guinea pigs’ health? (n.d.). RSPCA Knowledgebase – Let Australia’s most trusted animal welfare charity help you answer the big questions. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-do-i-need-to-know-about-my-guinea-pigs-health/#signs-of-a-potential-problem

Your Guinea pig’s diet. (n.d.). Saving pets, Changing lives – PDSA. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/small-pets/your-guinea-pig-s-diet

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