- Almost Inbred
I have the worst time with Al. I can get his back feet alright--he doesn´t like it, but I can manage it. But I´m not able to get to the front ones. I have tried distracting him with food and wrapping him up in a towel, but neither works. He pulls those front feet so close to him that I swear they retract into his chest. I can force him to extend them when I wrap him in a towel, but it really stresses him out. I tried again tonight, and it was a disaster. He cried and cried and struggled, and after I gave up he literally curled into a fetal position and sobbed like a hyperventilated toddler for about 15 minutes. And for the next half hour he just laid there and didn´t move a muscle. It´s like he just shut down.
I hate doing that to him, and I´m afraid of stressing him that much, so it ends up that I go too long between trimmings. I would guess that there´s something wrong with his front feet, except that the only time he acts like they hurt him is when I try to trim the nails. They look healthy and he walks/runs (on the rare occassion he decides to get off his fat butt and break a sweat) fine.
I also tried keeping a brick in front of the food dish thinking that it would help keep the nails worn down, but I didn´t keep it in there for long. Al is a chewer, and he kept trying to chew on the brick. I had nightmares of broken teeth, so I took it out.
Do y´all have any advice on this? Should I continue to force his legs out, no matter how stressed he gets? Really, I can´t emphasize enough how bad he gets. It´s not just the bloody murder wheek. He really seems like he has panic attacks when I try to trim those front nails. What am I to do about this?
I hold her with her back against my chest and grab one paw and hold on tight while nudging the head out of the way. (Half the time they´re chewing on my thumbnail while I trim theirs.)
I remember someone mentioning using a lose woven towel and the nails stick through. I don´t know if this would help you at all. I´m always a little more nervous clipping front nails because I feel I could get bitten.
I don´t know how much you hold him but always handling his front feet may in time get him used to it.
Peace, Love, and Happiness, Always
- Almost Inbred
If it still seems like Al is getting to stressed, then I´ll try Pinta´s approach and just do a couple of nails every few days.
Thanks for the advice. Oh, and I hope that a beam torch is a flashlight. I´d hate to think she´s using a butane lighter or something like that. It might be quicker, but I bet it´d smell really bad
- I gave what I could!
It is interesting how their nails grow at different rates--even on the same pig. Shmi´s back nails grow fast and require frequent trimming, yet her front ones stay short.
- For the love of my girls!
Humphrey hates having his nails done - I can only do it in sessions as the longer I take the worse he gets.
I´ve tried it with someone holding him but that doesn´t work for me - it´s too awkward. He does bite me but not hard - never breaks skin but I think I´m becoming tougher since I got the parrot! I often find that the less tightly I hold them the less they panic. Humph stands on my lap and I get hold of whichever foot is available. He does shuffle around a bit but they all get done eventually. But if I try to get him in a half nelson or whatever he flips out totally. Seems to make him feel like he really has something to panic about.
In a nutshell - keep it low key and quick.
All the new ones are as good as gold - not a peep! The late Brownpig was an abject coward and had to be done like Humphrey - but the late greypig was a real stoic. endured anything without complaint.
Wonder why I gave my pigs a whole room? It was the nails! I had the crazy idea that if they ran around on a stone floor (400 square feet of soap stone), I wouldn´t have to trim their nails. But it was only wishful thinking.