I have had such a hard time trimming my all-black pig's nails! I heard that if you shine a light under them, you can see the quick but that hasn't worked either. I've only had her for 3 months and she's still warming up to me so I don't want to accidentally trim too far and have her be afraid of me again. I've thought about bringing her to a pet store or shelter and having them teach me how to trim them properly, but I don't even know if they would do that. Does anyone have any tips on trimming black nails?


With the back toes there is a crease on the underside of the nail that seems to start after the quick. The quick will be a full round nail and after it should start to have a curl on the underside (not sure if im explaining it correctly). That's what I would use as an indicator.

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Make sure to only take off a mm or less at a time to help prevent any accidental damage. If the nails curl round, do not go shorter than horizontal to the pad (I hope that makes sense...).

Keep some paper towel and 'quick stop' powder or bicarbonate of soda about to stop the blood, just in case.

Cutting encourages growth so leave it as long as possible before trimming or give the sweet angel some floor time on concrete to wear them down if possible.

A petsmart vet should be able to trim the nails. One of my pigs has black nails and you have to angle the flashlight just right to see it. What I do though is I trim them more frequently but in small pieces and not very far just In case. You can try distracting with veggies if they wiggle alot.

My one pig has several black nails, I just clip off less than her other nails, but I trim them more often (basically I wait like 4 days until I can see the quick has receded on the white nails and trim again). Luckily of my 3 pigs she is the easiest to get to sit still for trims.

Get some styptic powder if you're worried, it's available at pet stores. Have a friend hold her firmly while you're in good light. Use your best judgement and try to do it with confidence, confidence is quick and doesn't give the piggie time to squirm and squeal and make you feel guilty. Our local shelter has a monthly 'Bunny Day' with free nail trims, so see if there is something like that by you.

Our vet tech showed us how to clip nails, since we have a guinea pig with 4 black nails. He instructed us to cut just the tip off and keep cutting little by little until you see a bit of pink inside the nail and then stop.

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I will never take my girls back to the vet to have them trimmed. I didn't like the way they were holding my babies :(


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