Article by Laura Humphreys, RHA, Assistant Editor & Expert, with the kind co-operation of Felicity!
As this is Part 2 of a series, please ensure that before trimming your guinea pig, you read Part 1 in Issue 30 as this contains some key information and advice which will a) help you trim your pet guinea pig’s hair with a lot less hassle and mess, and b) ensure the safety of your guinea pig.
This is less of an instructional and educational piece; rather a demonstration of an alternative trimming method that follows on from Felicity’s piece, which did contain the relevant, useful and essential information that we can’t fit on these pages again!
First things first, make sure all necessary and potentially required equipment is to hand. A towel to collect the hair clippings, a comb, round-ended scissors, wipes and a brush to clean the clippers after use, and finally the clippers and their guard.
As per Felicity, Miranda receives a comb-through to ensure there are no knots or matts, and to straighten the crimped hair out a little to make it easier to glide the clippers through her hair.
..And out come the clippers! Here I’m using regular Remington clippers stolen from my dad (oops) but there are many brands out there, for humans and for pets. The important thing is to ensure the clippers come with a guard to keep the blades away from the skin.
As the clippers glide so smoothly through her combed hair, it takes no time to trim Miranda’s top and sides. As you can see, she sits quite comfortably in my hand.
When it comes to trimming the hair around her rear end, bringing it up to above ground level, I only need to lift her up slightly, supporting her body along the length of my hand and forearm and holding her against my body.
I support her declared tidy once more! rear end and keep her legs still and out of the way while trimming her ‘skirt’. Unfortunately my fingers ended up a bit lost among her hair.
Once her ‘skirt’ had been trimmed, Miranda had her belly hair, and any of the sides that were tucked under, trimmed. I laid her at a 45 degree angle on my knees, but please note that certain guinea pigs (i.e. those with respiratory or heart conditions) should NOT be laid on their backs, and should instead be held upright by another person while having their underside trimmed.
Finally it was time to ensure the hair around her inner legs and genitals was short to maintain good hygiene. Clippers are generally too big for this delicate job (unless it’s an emergency e.g. you’re treating flystrike), so the miniature round-ended scissors were used to trim this area, the same as we did with Felicity.