Now the warmer weather is coming, us humans are getting our feet out of hibernation and into sandals. They may need a bit of attention to remove hard skin and moisturise them ready for summer.
Guinea pig feet also need regular checks to ensure that they stay healthy…when did you last trim your guineas’ nails or look closely at the rest of their feet?
Foot Basics: what should you be looking for?
- the soft pad under the foot should look healthy and free from any dry skin, cuts, splits, swelling or redness. If your guinea’s feet are a dark colour, you will not be able to see redness, so gently feel each foot to see if they are the same temperature. If one foot is warmer than another, check for any swelling which my not be obvious at first.
nails – should be kept short and trimmed regularly. Long nails can put pressure on the back of the foot pad and may cause inflammation. May lead to Pododermatitis (Bumblefoot) if left.
- spurs – some guineas have hard, horny skin growing on the bottom of their feet, around the side of the foot or in between the toes. If you are confident enough, these can be carefully trimmed off with nail clippers to avoid them getting caught on bedding and potentially damaging the foot pad.
- dry skin – this may be caused by the type of bedding being used. Shavings in particular can be quite drying for guinea pig feet. Ideas for other types of bedding can be found here.
What can you use to help piggy feet to stay in good condition?
Perfect Paws Ointment can be used to help guineas with dry or cracked skin on their feet. It can be applied 2 or 3 times a day until things improve, and then once or twice a week to keep the feet in good condition.
F&M Ointment can be used where the feet are red, irritated, swollen or crusty. It is also helpful for scabby nose / crusty mouths and crusty ears.
Regular foot inspections are really important so any problems are picked up early. Swelling, redness, cuts etc, need to be investigated promptly by your Vet.