Me holding Gus getting ready to trim nails on left hind foot. Gus is about 3 months old and has had this done twice (I think). He's not real comfortable being handled yet, but is a pretty calm pig. His body is up against my stomach and he really can't go anywhere. He would probably be even happier if he had a towel to stand on, because the counter is a little slippery. He is nice and calm here.
Clipping his left front foot. He's still not worried.
This is the right hind foot. He is kicking a little bit here, but overall doing well.
Right front foot. It isn't real obvious from the pictures, but he is well restrained. His body is against my stomach. He can't go backwards because my arm and hand are there and my other hand is in front of him.
This is Gizmo, my bitey pig. He is high strung and does not take well to handling (but is only 3 months old, so I have hope!). He does not tolerate hands in front of him (he races forward to push me out of the way) or hands over his back or shoulders (he will fling and push until he is out from under my hand). I probably should wear a long sleeve shirt since I have bare skin right by his face if he should become unhappy with me... So far he has handled trims really well. I just have to be a bit more patient about him wiggling!
[Pictures cropped, added - Lynx]
- Supporter in '13
LS in AK - There is some stink eye going on. During the day I often drop treats in the cage. This isn't what Gus had in mind. And I'm not so sure about those abbys - what a spunky little pig Gizmo is. He certainly wants to do things his way!
I also added an entry on the nail clipping page:
I especially like countertops as they allow your pig (often) to feel more relaxed if hand feeding or, in this case, clipping nails.
- Supporter in '11
What clippers do you use? We've had good luck with small animal clippers. They are small scissors with a round hole in the blade. We found these work better on their round nails than human nail clippers which are designed for flat nails.
Even after almost a year, I need my partner to physically restrain Harvey. He fights, bites and squeals like he's being murdered... Drama king. Roger needs restrained, but he's not a fighter. He'll stay there and it's over so much faster and I have less wounds. I'm going to try the Gus method myself - I just got small rodent clippers.
Gizmo is a nipper. Anything that doesn't suit him 100% earns me a nip. Brat. :) So doing his nails is more challenging! He has never bit hard enough to hurt or leave a mark, but he makes me NERVOUS!
- LS in AK
- Upside-down & Backwards
I've found that a few carefully selected treats shoved in piggy mouths at strategic times (ie when chisel teeth need something more useful to do than aim for my fingers) helps make nail clipping easier, especially when you have a nippy pig.
I use human nail clippers, too, the larger ones as my piggies have developed thickened back nails as they've aged. The smaller ones are great for babies and young pigs. The opening is narrow enough that it is harder to take off too much at once.
I now can do solo clippings with Roger! Absolute sweetheart. :)
Harvey is officially being called 'Problem Pig'
He was given treats, gentle strokes, soft murmurs and light grips on the feet. Got two nails done, now have a bloody bite on my arm and a genuinely huffing pig. I spent 30 minutes on him alone, giving him breaks for hay and to cool off. No dice. Even the piggie burito failed. Very irritated mum here!
Anyone have bratty pig tips?
Is there a special treat he isn't allowed to have normally, but that he loves? Bits of apple? Something? If so, maybe you could make that the nail clipping only treat. It would still take some blood, sweat and tears (literally, in your case) to get him to the point where he understands that the treat and the nail clipping go together.
I would do it slow. One nail. One treat. Put him back. Done for the day. Try not to let him get to the so mad he could huff stage. I say this knowing that 30 min got you 2 nails... Do 1 nail a day for several days, always giving a super special treat. See if you can reach a point of grumpy tolerance before you move on.
BTW when you find an answer - make sure you share!
- LS in AK
- Upside-down & Backwards
I second Quiet Wren's suggestions. While my little boy has been squirmy and nippy since he was a baby, treats prove sufficiently distracting to get the job done in one or two sittings these days. If magic treats don't work, then I would get out the heavy duty work gloves, wear a thick baggy sweatshirt, burrito his upper body, ask for help with restraining him, and work fast. Or pay the vet to do it for you.
I was using bits of cucumber skin which he devoured so quickly I didn't get a chance to move to other nails. He still complained while eating it anyway.
Day by day with Parsely then!
I do get irritated, I just can't take it out on him. Even though he lets me touch him in the cage. I can pet and fuss away. But no nail clipping or I get chomped!