HOW MANY TOES DO GUINEA PIGS HAVE?
OK, we admit it, it’s not a topic that is going to change the world, but, on the other hand (or foot), have you ever noticed how cute a guinea pig’s feet are?! And don’t we just all need a little bit of cute in our lives to keep our spirits up from time to time?
So, we bring you guinea pigs’ toes. They have fourteen toes in total, with four on each of their front feet, and three on each of their back feet. All their toes have nails that grow continuously (just like ours!) and need regular trimming. (See our previous post on nail trimming for more on this.) Piggies have a soft pad underneath their foot and it’s always worth checking their feet as part of your regular health checks. That way you can keep an eye out for any potential problems like bumblefoot (the common - and much easier to say - name for ‘pododermatitis’), which is a painful infection on the bottom of the foot. Also look out for spurs on the underside of the feet, usually the front ones. Some piggies will never get any, others may have them growing quite regularly. These flaps of hard skin don’t generally cause many problems except perhaps if they are large and then tear and get infected as a result. Spurs that are large can be cut off (VERY carefully) with nail clippers to be on the safe side and avoid any potential knock on issues.
Sometimes, guinea pigs can have more than the expected number of toes, and if they do, it’s most likely to be an extra one on their back feet. These can be removed, if necessary, by a vet, so seek advice from a professional if you are concerned.
But, extra toes, bumbles and spurs aside, guinea pigs’ toes and feet are just totally CUTE! And if you catch sight of your precious piggies chilling out, then you will more often than not see them kicking out their back feet for all to see just how happy and relaxed they are!