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Dealing with long nails...again!

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Dealing with long nails...again!

Post by stephlisa on Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:34 am

Despite all the measures we've put in place Colin has this one particular nail which he just cannot wear down! In his cage he has rough surfaces (lava ledges, pumice type rock, bit of sterilised brick etc.) under food bowl and water bottle, sandpaper-like bridges and ladders and still it can't be tamed. Its literally just one nail (obviously the most awkward to get to - back foot, inside toe - but at least its one of the larger ones!)

Obviously vet visits are stressful on mice, so I'd rather avoid if at all possible. The vet suggested we could do the procedure at home with some proper clippers, I said that I definitely wasn't very happy doing this (and would rather take him in to visit her), so she suggested we could use a small nail file and gently file the tip off. I was wondering if anyone had any experience of doing this and/or any tips or advice (either advice on how to do it or warning me against it and just accepting the fact we'll visiting the vet regularly!)?

I know that you really don't want to do it too short as it can bleed and be very painful because of the quick of the nail.
But yes...any advice? It is literally just one nail, and what's more amusing to me is that the same toe on the other foot looks to be one of the most well used nails!

His nails are good now thanks to the vet, but just gathering advice for the future!

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Re: Dealing with long nails...again!

Post by CallaLily on Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:59 am

I don't think there would be any problem with filing the nail down regularly, assuming he cooperates with you. Maybe make it a regular part of play time, filing it just a little each time to maintain the vet's clip, and have a yummy treat for him after?

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Re: Dealing with long nails...again!

Post by scaredymouse on Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:07 pm

I very often have to cut my dwarf hamsters nails. All her nails grow like crazy, it's absurd. I've tried all kinds of utensils like pet nail clippers, baby clippers, and little scissors. Little scissors are actually my favorite. It's not that bad. Just grab 'em, secure him the best way you know how and give it a quick snip. I think hamsters are a bit easier to restrain than mice, though. But Colin seems pretty tame, so I'm sure you can do it! Or you could try to file it.

So with my ham, I scruff her pretty tight so there is minimal arm movement and do a quick snip. I'll be specific here for you, in case you decided to snip. I gently grap on to the nail where I want to cut. And if the animal starts freaking out, I let go and try again. If they don't wiggle, I give a quick snip. You are right, you don't want to cut too low. I aim to cut the nails about half way down. I can't see the quick but I cut them to the length they are supposed to be.

P.S. I've never cut the quick and haven't lost any fingers yet!

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Re: Dealing with long nails...again!

Post by Unicorn on Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:01 pm

I bought the teensiest wee pair of nail clippers I could find at the store and I use them to snip my hamster's nails, which get long and scraggly despite all my cage efforts. He refuses even to walk on sandpaper, for example, won't touch it. Little diva.

Anyway, I sometimes do it on my own but where available I have someone hold him- I do it when he's sleepy, in fact I tend to lift him right out of bed for it when I can, a bit rude but keeps him from squiggling as much and better than his feet warping from out of control toenails. I either put him on the bed and put a hand over him or else I have someone hold him, then I give him a piece of food too big to pouch that he's got to put his paws on to eat. While he's holding it and nibbling, I sneak in with the snips and nip off the tips of the nails.

It usually takes more than one session to get all the problem nails as before too long the snack and change of scene will render him awake and ready to be squirmy and one can't risk pinching or injuring or even removing such tiny toes, or cutting to the quick and making him bleed everywhere. But two or three rounds in successive days usually sees his feet good to go for the next few weeks to a month, depending.

I imagine a similar thing would work for mices, and with only one widdy foot to do you will hopefully have less issue. If you're comfortable scruffing him that usually renders mice pretty helplessly immobile and then you could nip off those nails no problem, give him a bit of a "sorry, no hard feelings" belly rub, and then hand him something tasty afters and he'll forget all about it.
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Re: Dealing with long nails...again!

Post by Colors on Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:00 pm

Considering that Colin's nails are trim right now, the things in his cage should be enough to keep them filed. But if it isn't enough, I'd recommend trying to file his nails and give him a treat afterwards. Smile My dwarf hamster's nails are always growing, but she actually developed a habit of chewing her nails so I don't have to do anything. Very Happy
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Re: Dealing with long nails...again!

Post by stephlisa on Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:25 pm

Yeah...the vet said that last time though Mousecheeks! We're going to work on gently filing them a tiny bit at a time once they grow back. Like I say, its literally just the one nail!

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Re: Dealing with long nails...again!

Post by Colors on Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:27 pm

If it's just one nail it probably will be much easier than with a whole four paws to trim Very Happy
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