How to fix guinea pig broken nail bleeding
How to fix guinea pig broken nail bleeding

How to fix guinea pig broken nail bleeding? [Care, Injury, Recovery and more]

Many pet owners may not know that guinea pigs often break their nails and if the nail is broken, it can bleed.

If your guinea pig has a broken nail and it’s bleeding, there are several things you should do: clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol wipes; apply pressure to stop bleeding; see your vet for treatment.

Read this blog to get a detailed knowledge of steps that will help you take care of any injury related to a broken guinea pig nail and the post-recovery

What is a broken nail and what causes it to break?

A broken nail is a nail that is split or cracked. Broken nails are usually the result of the guinea pig over-groom its nails with its teeth, resulting in splitting and cracking of the nail.

A broken guinea pig nail can happen for several reasons. One of them is the use of a wire bottom cage, which easily gets sharp on the feet of guinea pigs and caused a lot of injuries to their nails.

Another reason is a guinea pig playing with other pets inside a home, such as dogs or cats.

Another reason is well-fitting cages, which cause too much pressure on the nails.

How to check guinea pig’s nails are broken or not?

Signs of broken nails are the following:

Bleeding from the nail: This happens when the nail has been completely broken or split

Difficulty walking: The guinea pig may limp due to injury on its nails. It will be much more careful when it walks and might not want to move very fast.

Swelling around the nails: The swollen area is usually dark red. This happens because of blood accumulation under the skin.

Choppy nails: If the guinea pig’s nail gets cut off at an angle or it has sharp edges, your guinea pig might feel them when standing up on its feet.

Precautions to take if you cut your guinea pig’s nail and it bleeds?

Precautions to take if you cut your guinea pig's nail and it bleeds
Precautions to take if you cut your guinea pig’s nail and it bleeds

When you find out that your guinea pig has a broken nail and it’s bleeding, the first thing you should do is to remove dirt from the wound. This can be done with hydrogen peroxide or an alcohol wipe.

If the cut points are dirty, it will take more time for the bleeding to stop.

In case that you don’t have hydrogen peroxide or alcohol wipes, you can use water to clean the wound.

Then it’s time to apply pressure on the nail with a bandage (or if it’s too long, cut off part of the tip) to stop the bleeding.

To do this, wrap some gauze horizontally around your guinea pig’s foot and cut off any excess material.

Keep it in place with some tape or a bandage. Make sure that the pressure is not too strong, so you don’t cause further injury to your guinea pig’s foot.

If the nail guinea pig has been completely broken or split, then you need to look for more clean material and apply pressure on the nail to stop the bleeding.

Then it’s time to bring your guinea pig to a vet, so he can treat it accordingly.

Will a broken nail heal itself?

In most cases, a broken nail will need to be treated with antibiotics by your vet.

Also, the guinea pig will need to take some special vitamins and minerals for a few weeks to support their healing process.

Usually, guinea pig’s nails grow back fast and the treatment is usually painless.

It is important not to cut your guinea pig’s nail too short, as that can lead to the development of ingrown nails.

How can I help my guinea pig move better after the wound has healed?

Once your vet says that your guinea pig’s nail is healthy enough, it’s time to fit its nails with proper filing or trimming.

This is done by your veterinarian in most cases, but if you feel comfortable with doing it yourself, follow these simple steps.

First of all, fit the guinea pig into a moving box or basket.

Then cover the bottom with something that will not hurt its feet (such as a blanket). This will help to keep your guinea pig from jumping out of the basket.

As a safety measure, you can also tie some safe objects on top of the basket, so your guinea pig won’t be able to jump out. You can use a toy or any other object that it cannot chew on and cause injuries during the time you are trying to do its nails.

Trimming the nails will usually take around one minute.

Just be careful to not cut them too short, as that can lead to the development of ingrown nails.

And finally, give your guinea pig lots of treats so it knows you did something nice for them!

Do guinea pig’s nails grow back?

Do guinea pig's nails grow back
Do guinea pig’s nails grow back

The answer to this question is that guinea pig nails do grow back, but you need to know how often they should be cut.

This needs to be done once a month for an adult guinea pig.

A baby guinea pig’s nails should be cut every two weeks.

Do guinea pigs bleed when injured?

Yes, guinea pigs can bleed when injured and in most cases, it is because of a cut on the nail.

The bleeding happens when blood vessels inside the nail get damaged and it can be stopped with some pressure or bandages.

If you find out that your guinea pig has a broken nail and it’s bleeding, the first thing you should do is to remove dirt from the wound with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol wipes.

Then, apply pressure on the nail with a bandage (or if it’s too long, cut off part of the tip) to stop the bleeding.

If the cut points are dirty, it will take more time for the bleeding to stop.

In case that you don’t have hydrogen peroxide or alcohol wipes, you can use water to clean the wound.

Risk of broken nails in guinea pigs

Risk of broken nails in guinea pigs
Risk of broken nails in guinea pigs

Many guinea pigs owners don’t think of broken nails as a serious health issue.

But if you know how to prevent them and treat them, then it’s not a big deal.

The biggest reason for developing this type of injury is the lack of vitamin C in your guinea pig’s diet.

You should provide your pet with healthy food and avoid feeding them sugary treats.

Also, you should try to keep your guinea pig as active as possible as that will help it develop stronger nails that won’t break or split all the time.

If your pet is overweight, then you need to adjust their diet accordingly, so they can lose some weight and develop stronger nails.

How do you treat a broken toe on a guinea pig?

In most cases, a broken toe in guinea pigs is not considered to be a serious health issue.

But it can lead to other injuries and infections.

As soon as you notice that your pet has a broken nail or toe, you should set up a safe place for it where the wound will not bother the animal at all.

After that, you can take it to a vet if you suspect something more serious than just a broken nail.

If the vet diagnoses only a broken nail or toe, then you will need to clean and treat your pet’s wound to avoid infections and other complications.

For the treatment of this injury in guinea pigs, vets usually recommend applying an antibiotic ointment and a bandage.

As soon as the guinea pig’s nail grows back, it should be cut off again so that its other nails won’t grow at different lengths.

What happens if guinea pig’s nails get too long?

The most common problem with long nails is that it can lead to foot injuries.

This usually happens when the guinea pig tries to scratch itself against surfaces such as wood, wire, or anything else that is not soft. 

In this case, just cut off part of the tip of the nail so you minimize injury risks.

However, there is another issue that might occur, if the nails are too long.

When they get too long, it will be difficult for your guinea pig to move normally and exercise.

If you notice this happening, then cut off part of the nail so your pet can move without discomfort.

How often should I do nail trims?

It’s important to do regular nail trims.  Guinea pig’s nails will grow fast (around one inch per month) and then the treatment is usually painless.

Usually, you need to do this once a week or twice a month.  This depends on how fast your guinea pig’s nails are growing.

What is the correct way to do it?

Several techniques can be used, but here are some basic steps that will help you out.

First of all, fit your guinea pig into a moving box or basket. Then put some clean material on the bottom (such as fabric) so your pet won’t hurt its feet.

Then, tie some objects on top of the basket so your guinea pig won’t be able to jump out.  This will help you do a quick and painless nail trim.

Most importantly, have some treats at hand! Guinea pigs can get agitated when they see something sharp coming towards them.  If that happens, just give them lots of treats to keep their mind off the procedure.

Can guinea pig nails get infected?

Yes!  Guinea pigs rapidly grow new nails.  Usually, they break the old ones within a few days of growing them out.  If it’s not removed, your guinea pig will end up with very sharp points on its feet that can cause great discomfort and even infection.

The most common infections are foot abscesses.  This happens when the guinea pig cannot break its old nail to let it grow out, so they are forced to walk on the sharp tip.

The best way to prevent this is by doing regular trims.  This will allow you to remove the sharp point before an infection develops.

How to avoid broken nails in guinea pigs?

As you have learned, broken nails are one of the most common health issues in guinea pigs.  They can be very painful for your pet and lead to unpleasant consequences.

Here are some important things that will help you avoid broken nails on your guinea pig:

  1. Make sure that they have appropriate housing with soft flooring.
  2. Make sure they always have enough space to move around freely.
  3. Inspect their nails every day and cut them regularly.  If you can see a sharp edge or point, then do not remove too much of the nail because it may cause bleeding.
  4. Doing these things will help you take care of your guinea pig’s health in a proper way.  Most importantly, they will help you avoid a lot of pain and discomfort for your guinea pig.
  5. Lastly, make sure you inform yourself about any health issues and always consult a professional for advice.

Understanding the recovery process of a broken nail

Understanding the recovery process of a broken nail

The recovery process for broken nails is similar to the wound healing process.  

First, there is an inflammatory phase where the body will try to stop bleeding and fight any harmful agents to avoid infection.  

Next, there is the proliferative phase where the cells multiply rapidly and re-establish structure before starting tissue loss (this can be a long phase).  This response is a very important part of the recovery process because it allows the body to prepare for tissue loss and start working on restoring the structure.  

During this phase, there is a lot of pain and discomfort while your guinea pig will need an adequate amount of rest.  

After this, there is the last phase, which is the maturation and remodeling phase.  During this process, the cells that were lost start to regenerate and tissues lose their initial structure and then become more mature.

However, there can be complications due to infection or an inadequate response of the wound during this period.

Some common complications:

Malnutrition – your guinea pig will not be able to eat normally and will not be able to obtain the nutrients it needs.

Dehydration – due to an inability to drink, your guinea pig may become dehydrated and may suffer from organ failure.

Infections – this is probably one of the biggest complications that can occur during wound healing.  You will need to take your guinea pig to the vet if it has an infection.

Other conditions that may occur during this time are septicemia, pneumonia, and bacteremia.  These are all very serious conditions that will require treatment with antibiotics for your pet’s recovery to be successful.

Also read – Best Guide on Guinea Pig Teeth | Cost of getting it trimmed in 2021

Final Thoughts

If you’ve ever had a pet guinea pig, chances are you know how difficult it can be to find the right information on taking care of your furry friend.

We understand that when something goes wrong with your little one, it can seem like there is no end in sight.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of helpful tips for recovering from broken nails and other injuries as well as some common mistakes many owners make without knowing better which could lead to further injury or infection.

Give these suggestions a try and let us know if we missed anything!

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