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Guinea Pig Foot Spur: Sign, Cause, Treatment and Prevent

As a new guinea pig owner, you must be wondering what foot spur is, what are its signs, causes and how to prevent it. Foot spurs in guinea pigs are small and hard growth of skin that develop on their feet. 

Many people search for the right treatment to prevent their guinea pigs from foot spurs. The guinea pig foot spur occurs due to several reasons which we will discuss today.

We will solve all your queries through this post as we will tell you how foot spurs in guinea pigs can be controlled, what are its symptoms, causes and risk. 

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Cute Reptiles as Pets

How Do You Know If Your Guinea Pig Has Foot Spur

guinea pig with longer legs than usual
Guinea pig with longer legs than usual | Credit: Brooke Ottley /

Foot spurs are very common in guinea pigs as they grow flaps of hard skin that jut out from their front feet. 

Foot spur is also known as corn and these flap corns are defined as horny material between the toes on the bottom of the foot.

Spurs can develop on all four feet but many pet owners find them on front feet of their guinea pig. 

The most common sign of foot spur in guinea pigs includes difficulty in moving. 

The spurs which are small look like a small bump or lump from the foot pad. The bigger spurs feel like a hard, cracked, and crusty flap of skin. 

The foot spur can affect the health of your pet and it can be controlled with proper maintenance.

Causes and Prevent Foot Spur in Guinea Pigs

guinea pig with long nails
Guinea pig with long nails | Credit: Mr_Mozymov /

There are specific reasons for occurring foot spurs in the guinea pig. Genetics and lack of care by the owner play an important role in the guinea pig foot spur.

Other reasons for foot spurs are poor sanitation, lack of exercise and other activities. Around 25% of guinea pigs suffer from foot spurs and it is all about preventative care and with good hygiene and husbandry they should not occur.

Guinea pigs with foot spurs need to provide proper husbandry to prevent them from any illness or infection which is caused by tearing or irritation.

But you can keep a few things in mind to prevent your guinea pigs from having foot spurs. Keep their cage sanitized and trim the extra spurs of the feet of your guinea pig.

An unhygienic cage might cause infection to the guinea pig’s feet. You should check your guinea pig’s feet regularly and if you spot there is a foot spur then remove it right away. We should also prevent obesity and encourage regular exercise

Also read: Complete Guinea Pig Care Guide

Treatment Foot Spur on Guinea Pigs

guinea pig with sharp toenails
Guinea pig with sharp toenails | Credit: Billion Photos /

Guinea pig foot spurs are not harmful but they can cause other problems. Foot spurs actually fall off themselves but you need to remove them if they grow long enough, as the guinea pig can face difficulty in walking due to the condition.

You just need to use clippers or nail scissors to remove the guinea pig spurs. Be careful and gentle while removing the spurs and if you do not have experience doing the same then do visit the vet for help.

The guinea pig with spurs might undergo scaly, cracked foot pads, mostly in cold or dry temperatures. To provide relief to your pet, you can rub organic, cold-pressed coconut oil onto their feet in a small quantity. 

What Happens If Foot Spur Goes Untreated?

guinea pigs have not had their toenails trimmed
Guinea pigs have not had their toenails trimmed | Credit: Olena Kurashova /

Foot spurs are not dangerous to guinea pigs but they can cause several issues if not treated well. For instance, if the spur grows too long then your guinea pig will be unable to walk properly. 

If the spur starts coming out through the foot then it can expose guinea pigs to cuts. The worst thing is if the cut becomes infected then it can lead to fungal infection, or Pododermatitis (Bumblefoot).

The natural behavior of guinea pigs also gets affected by foot spurs. They start feeling uneasiness, pain and even in some cases, they stop drinking or eating. 

These things can ruin the mental health of guinea pigs which can lead to other problems. 

When guinea pigs have spurs they lift their front feet into the air to get away from the discomfort. Many owners confuse it with popcorning but it is different as guinea pigs leave all four feet with joy when they popcorn. 

Check out: What do Guinea Pigs Popcorning Look Like?

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How do I get rid of my guinea pig’s foot Spurs?

You need to check your guinea pig’s paws regularly and keep trimming their spurs to prevent them from developing the foot spur. Also, keep their cage clean to maintain proper hygiene. 

What causes guinea pig foot Spurs?

There are several causes of guinea pig foot spurs. For example, lack of care by the owner, lack of activity and exercise, unhygienic environment and genetics of guinea pigs play a vital part in it.

What is growing on my guinea pig’s foot?

The footpads of guinea pigs become inflamed, start developing soreness, or infected foot overgrows. This condition is known as bumblefoot. 

Check out: Bumblefoot in Guinea Pigs: Signs, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Is bumblefoot painful for guinea pigs?

Yes, if not treated well then bumblefoot can be painful for guinea pigs and can cause unbearable infection and even death. 

Also read: Guinea Pig Foot Spur Vs. Bumblefoot

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Final Sentences

In short, guinea pig foot spur is not dangerous but if not treated properly then it can lead to other health problems for them. 

The guinea pigs start feeling difficulty in walking and their feet get exposed to cuts which can cause them an infection.

You need to take care of your guinea pig to avoid occurring foot spurs in them. Regularly trimming spurs, maintaining cleanliness, proper exercise and activities can help solve the issue. 

Bedding or flooring are not the reasons for occurring foot spurs but genetics, activity level and husbandry development can develop the issue.

While clipping the spurs, make sure to be gentle to avoid accidental tearing which can cause bleeding. Proper care and maintenance is the ultimate key to preventing guinea pig foot spurs. 

To maintain proper hygiene, it is advisable to give a bath to your guinea pig regularly. 

If you are not experienced or afraid of trimming your guinea pig’s spur then take the help of a vet.

Also read: The Complete Guide about Guinea Pig Grooming

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