brittle nails ??

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Post   » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:40 am

i come on here every so often when i run into problems with my pigs, and i found another one.
so i have 5 pigs, all of them are boys and range from 1-9 years old.
my second youngest guinea pig is (almost) 2, and he has very brittle nails compared to all of my other ones.
i got him at a pet store out of impulse, just because he was adorable and i had a spare cage, so when i got him he had some wounds on his ears and they had holes all over them. when he got old enough i started to cut his nails, and when i went to lil them i didn't even have to put any pressure on them, they would just kind of break/snap off. his nails are pretty deformed. one is completley straight, one is split in half, one has a nail growing off of the nail, and all of the other ones are twisted.
he is a fairly young pig, so i don't really get why his nails are the most brittle out of all of my pigs.
can anybody help ??

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Post   » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:54 am

I think of nails like this as a protein issue (at least it is in humans). What is his diet? The normal protein content of most guinea pig foods is not extremely high.

How are his droppings? What does he eat? Does he have to fight for his food? Can/does he eat his cecal feces? (a source of B vitamins) What brand pellet does he eat?


Post   » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:18 pm

he eats 5 different types of fruits/veggies 3 times a day, i have him housed seperatley, he eats pellets called sunburst, and he eats his feces (they look pretty normal) . he does the same stuff as my other pigs, but he's the only one that has nail problems

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:06 pm

Sunburst pellets are pretty much crap. Guinea pigs need a plain timothy pellet with no colored bits/nuts/seeds/junk added. The only two brands we recommend in the U.S. are Oxbow and KMS Hayloft (available online).

What about his hay? Hay is the most important thing in a guinea pig's diet. It's what keeps the back teeth ground down and the gut moving properly, and supplies the major portion of the protein in the diet. All pigs need a good long strand grass hay -- timothy, orchard, meadow or blue grass. Again, most hay sold in pet stores and places like Walmart/Target are dried out and have lost a lot of nutrition. They also the most expensive hay, per pound, that you can buy. The cheapest way to get good hay is to find a local farmer that grows it. The middle option, which a lot of us use, is to order it online in bulk. It's less than half the cost of pet store hay. Good sources are Small Pet Select, American Pet Diner, Sweet Meadow Farm, and Oxbow, which will ship in large boxes to stores for you to pick up.

You also need to severely limit fruit. Guinea pigs weren't designed to process sugar well -- it doesn't occur in their native diet.

Why is he housed separately? Most pigs will eat more, and more variety, if they're housed with other pigs.

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