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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Guinea Pig with 5 fingers?

Hello all, 1st post.

While trimming my GP's nails, I noticed he had what appeared to be a hidden fifth finger/nail on his upper paws. But only on the right side. Has anyone ever seen this?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 08:49 PM
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Well, from your description, it could be one of two things: Polydactyly or a spur.

Polydactyly is just an extra toe connected by a thin strand of tissue, usually on the hind feet. It can be present on the front paws, though. It is usually the result of inbreeding, and can be removed by a vet to prevent it from tearing off. A common method of removal is a ligature. Here's a picture:



A spur is a flap of tough skin that can grow out of a Guinea Pig's front foot. My boar, Smokey, has one of these. They can sometimes look like a nail. You just have to keep cutting them down every time you cut nails.

Those are just my guesses. My apologies if you already knew this information, I'm just posting it in case you don't.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 07:53 AM
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my guinea pig has a flap of nail looking skin on his front right foot too. its attached to the skin on his paw. I just adopted him from another family over the weekend & i'm afraid to cut it off, even though it looks like it's already going to rip off. how much do you think it would cost to have the vet do this?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 11:11 AM
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It should be a minimal charge, the same as clipping a nail!

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 01:17 PM
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I didn't even know how many fingers they had. Sorry I've never had a guinea. Sounds painful to cut off an extra extremity...or is it just me.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 01:20 PM
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You're misunderstanding. If there's an actual extra toe, you DON'T cut that off. If it needs to be removed (because it's being caught on things, etc), a vet will have to do that surgically.

However, guinea pigs commonly form "spurs" on their feet that may resemble extra toes. These are almost like calluses. They have no feeling in them, but they can be ripped off by accident while they're running around and can hurt them. In that case, they're clipped off, generally with fingernail clippers. It's like cutting a hangnail on your own hand.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 06:32 AM
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yeah, i agree with jennicat,it may just be a spur in which you can cut it off. but it may also be polydactyly in which case DO NOT CUT IT OFF! but i was noticing this post was from over a year ago, what did you end up doing with your guinea pig?


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 12:43 PM
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The original post was a year ago, i googled 5 fingered guinea pig & found the forum and posted a reply just yesterday. I am almost positive it's a spur[especially because when i soaked his feet in salt water it expanded like skin/nail does], but i'm going to take him to the vet to get it clipped anyways.. i'll probably do that next week. Thanks for the replys!
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