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Thread: Nail cutting

  1. #1
    Warren Scout
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    Default Nail cutting

    Can I have advice about cutting nails please? Benji's were checked a couple of months ago at his vaccination appointment and the vet said they were fine, but I don't know how to tell when they actually need doing. I know some people do it themselves, but is it better to have it done by a vet if you're not confident that you know what you're doing, or is it fairly straightforward?

  2. #2
    Mama Doe Scrappy's Little Helper's Avatar
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    Hi there

    The best way to tell if their nails need a trim is if the nail is starting to protrude from under the fur of their feet. If you can, pick him up and check to see how much the nail has grown from the quick. The quick is a red vein inside the nail. You really want to avoid cutting the quick as it will bleed an awful lot and will be quite painful for them. I always try to leave a couple of mms gap before the quick.

    I trim my rabbits' nails every six to eight weeks. They're indoor buns and spend most of their time on rugs so have to be trimmed more regularly. Outdoor buns who spend a lot of time on concrete may not need their nails trimming as often as they naturally file down on the concrete.

    It's certainly something you can do yourself. However if you do feel apprehensive about doing it yourself, you can always get them done by a vet nurse the first few times just so you can see with your own eyes how it's done.

    Just as a warning in case you decide to have a go yourself: they do not make your life easy while doing it! Expect a lot of fighting and kicking and over dramatising like you're chopping their feet off with an axe!

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    Mama Doe Scrappy's Little Helper's Avatar
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    Oh I forgot to add something. Some rabbits have black nails, which makes it very difficult to see the quick. In that case, you would need to try and hold a torch or light beneath the nail to see the quick. So, you may need to grow another arm!

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    Mama Doe Beau Belle's Avatar
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    My partner and I trim nails as a duo We wrap bunny into a towel burrito and he holds them whilst I cut. Some bunnies donít mind, others strongly disagree with the faff

    I once cut into the quick by accident and I almost vomited when I saw all the blood :/

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    Moderator Graciee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau Belle View Post
    My partner and I trim nails as a duo We wrap bunny into a towel burrito and he holds them whilst I cut. Some bunnies donít mind, others strongly disagree with the faff

    I once cut into the quick by accident and I almost vomited when I saw all the blood :/
    We do this, well, I hold the bunny and cut the nails.. OH holds the phone torch it's okay with the white buns, nice white nails, can see everything whereas the rexes have dark nails, have to shine a torch through to see the quick

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    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Just to add to wisdom already imparted. There is a method of trimming dark nails by guesstimating but then putting the tiniest pit of pressure on the clippers & if it too near the quick bun will find it sensitive and pull paw back (this rarely happens). There are 2 American ladies all over youtube who use this method. Don't use human nail clippers & don't forget the dewclaws. finally wear your claw wounds with pride.

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    Moderator Graciee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey&boo View Post
    Just to add to wisdom already imparted. There is a method of trimming dark nails by guesstimating but then putting the tiniest pit of pressure on the clippers & if it too near the quick bun will find it sensitive and pull paw back (this rarely happens). There are 2 American ladies all over youtube who use this method. Don't use human nail clippers & don't forget the dewclaws. finally wear your claw wounds with pride.
    See Clementine does the "YOU GOT ME!!" and snatches back her paw every damn cut you make, even though I'm nowhere near the quick other three don't do that so maybe she's just a drama queen, but you'd think you were seriously hurting her if you didn't have the torch shining on it


    Something to add too - get some good quality clippers, some of the small animal ones are small and hard to use I find. Oh and if you do get the quick, dip it in a pot of cornstarch apparently? It stops the bleeding.. (Google this before you try it )

    If you've never done it before I'd get the vet nurse to do it

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  8. #8
    Mama Doe Scrappy's Little Helper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graciee View Post
    See Clementine does the "YOU GOT ME!!" and snatches back her paw every damn cut you make, even though I'm nowhere near the quick other three don't do that so maybe she's just a drama queen, but you'd think you were seriously hurting her if you didn't have the torch shining on it


    Something to add too - get some good quality clippers, some of the small animal ones are small and hard to use I find. Oh and if you do get the quick, dip it in a pot of cornstarch apparently? It stops the bleeding.. (Google this before you try it )

    If you've never done it before I'd get the vet nurse to do it

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    Both of mine do that. Does my nerves absolutely no favours!

    Last time my two were at the vet for their vaccinations, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and get their nails done as well (to save me a job!). Fudgie made such a song and dance at one point the vet was convinced he'd caught the quick. Not a drop of blood, so he clearly hadn't.

    We had to get a vet nurse in to help hold her down after that. Three people just to give a 1.8 kilo bunny a pedicure!

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  9. #9
    Moderator Graciee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappy's Little Helper View Post
    Both of mine do that. Does my nerves absolutely no favours!

    Last time my two were at the vet for their vaccinations, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and get their nails done as well (to save me a job!). Fudgie made such a song and dance at one point the vet was convinced he'd caught the quick. Not a drop of blood, so he clearly hadn't.

    We had to get a vet nurse in to help hold her down after that. Three people just to give a 1.8 kilo bunny a pedicure!

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    Yea it's so dramatic every time I'm like oh **** what if I did get it! There's never any blood

    Kinda related, Idk if I mentioned this before.. Gus my syrian hamster, took him to get his eyes checked a while back and whilst I was there I thought hey let's get his nails trimmed, then I won't have to do it!

    My Vet tried with a nurse to do it.. No luck.. He wasn't cooperating, my Vet said she'd get another nurse maybe it would help.. Well it ended up with 4 vet nurses and my vet all trying to restrain this tiny hamster who weights like 65 grams.. It was all rather comical tbh, now normally he doesn't bite ever.. All of a sudden I hear "OW! He bit me!" from one of the nurses she let go, then he bit another one.. They managed to clip 3 nails in the end before giving up..

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  10. #10
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    I have to do bunny pedicures on my own as I don't trust OH to hold them firm enough not to stop them wriggling just as I'm about to cut. Joey is an absolute sweetheart, so easy to pick up, hold where you want, uses the touch response appropriately. He does do that disgusted body shake when you put him down but thats ok as he is a rabbit. After he lies & contentedly licks his front paws.

    Mousey has wonky toes, long quicks & an unfeasibly big dewlap. Hence she is done by a semi cradle on my lap, she's ok with this so long I support her leg to stop it going in to shaky mode.

    Boo is 98% fluff & muscle. TBH I can't do her claws with her on the ground either though I bet my vet could.

    Luckily Boo & mouses nails are all white & Joeys very pale too

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