Cavy teeth, hair and nails all need regular attention. You now know about a guinea pig's front teeth and how they grow constantly. Unless the animal keeps the teeth pared down by chewing on hard things like carrots, turnips, chew sticks, branches or wooden blocks, they will grow so long that it hurts the cavy to eat, and then it will stop eating altogether. Each week, check to make sure that your pet's teeth are not growing inward or getting too long. If you see that this is happening, then take them to your vet to have their teeth trimmed.
If your guinea pig is not getting all of the vitamins she needs, then her teeth may simply break off. Again, she will have trouble eating if this happens. Deal with this situation by getting your vets advice and feeding the animal a softer diet until the tooth grows back.
Early on we discussed guinea pig hair and how longhaired guinea pigs need to be brushed on a daily basis. If you can't brush your long-haired guinea pig one day, you will need to get someone else to do it for you or the hair will become so tangled it will be a nightmare.
Long hair grows about one inch a month, so a bi-monthly trimming is also important to do. Just cut the hair short enough that is does not hinder the guinea pig's normal movement. If you plan to show your guinea pig and so don't want to cut its hair, wrap up the extra hair to keep it clean and away from the cavy's feet. Ask your local breeder or guinea pig club about where to buy these wraps.
Shorthaired guinea pigs need to be brushed with a brush about once a week to remove dirt and tangles.
Contact with hay and other guinea pigs can account for your pet having small parasites called lice living in their hair. Don't worry about the lice moving to you or your children. Even so, to treat your cavy for lice, ask your vet for a shampoo that will kill the lice. The next step is to shampoo your guinea pig and completely clean her cage. Seven days later, repeat this process. Lice usually hatch in one week and this procedure kills any hatching lice.
In the wild, a guinea pig's nails naturally file down with wear. In captivity however, this does not happen. Nails that are too long can cause injury and pain to your cavy and you. Ask your vet or a guinea pig groomer to teach you how to clip your pet's nails. This is very important because cavy nails are like dog nails and they contain blood vessels. If you cut them too short, your guinea pig will bleed and could even bleed to death. If your guinea pig begins to bleed from her nails, it's very important to have a special stop-bleeding powder on hand to stop the flow. You can buy this at a pet store or from your vet. It's hard to hold a guinea pig still long enough to cut its nails. Your vet can demonstrate some postures and holds that make this easier.
Once again, note that while your child may want to help and observe the grooming processes, you should be the one performing these duties. This practice keeps your pet and your child safe from accidents.