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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you clip your rats' toenails? I bought a cement block for their cage to keep them dull, but it's not working. Somewhere on this site someone said to use regular human nailclippers, but when I used them on Ichi, he squealed at me at the 2nd toenail. I know I didn't hit flesh and when I looked at the nail, it looked like I barely touched it! So I gave him a yogie for compensation for his time and gave up. :)

Any advice? Also any good ways to keep them calm/not as squirmy for this process?
 

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Its still in the "testing phase" but i made a ramp that should wear down their nails. It is wood, with gutter guard on it and a piece of wet/dry sandpaper under the gutter guard to keep the toes from hitting it, just the nail touches it. I havent seen much progress in it as of yet, but i am going to make another and put it in another place in the cage, they like to climb, not walk the ramp lol.

baby nail clippers are what i use for my gliders, they work great. Your rattie may have squeeled as a defense mechanism, he knew you would let him go if he whined lol
 

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I recently did this... yes the squeal is a natural reaction and is not a problem. You have to hold the rat firm and probably have someone else do the back legs... just snip the tips, you don't need to get much for the clipping to be effective. The fronts, well you nestle the rat in your lap and hold out the front palms and hold them firm and then do the same thing... it may be also easier to have someone do the clipping and you the holding for both backs and front. The rat will squirm, may squeal, and generally not like it... you have to take little breaks every couple snips... try to be calming to the rat and when it is over have a treat ready.

Trust me, the rat won't hate you for it... but if you are worried about bites, hold the rat with work gloves. I did this, but the rat did not bite... he actually licked me between doing the backs and fronts. Weird eh?

The rat squealed doing the fronts, but only when the snip was sideways, and I think they do this because they are anticipating something bad, like when you have to get a shot when you are a kid.

Just make sure you only snip the tips and you will be fine... no need to snip any more than just the very tips.

It sure helped the quality of out-time with my rat Tiny... he is the one that a brick did nothing for, and the nails were cutting me and snagging on everything... it just had to be done, and I am glad I did it, and am not worried about doing it again.

Oh one more thing... the rat may fear poop when you are holding him firm... this is also natural... and a good treat after the entire thing is over is the way to go... treats in between parts is not going to teach them.
 

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I doubt that would be quicker, with a file you might spend 3X as long on each nail having to sit there and file. The idea is this needs to be done very quickly.

Plus, it is a strange feeling for humans and we are 100X larger. I would imagine it feeling like a really rough grit sandpaper on them.

It is not hard to snip the tips of the nails if you are careful and know how to handle and reassure your rat. I have done it, with the wife clipping while I was holding and keeping the rat calm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a friend at vet school who said "less restraint is more" when it came to clipping her rat's nails. 2 others said it was a 2-person job. Unfortunately, I live by myself!
This was all great advice, thanks! I'll have to try again. In all honestly, I was a little afriad of bites. They haven't bitten yet and I'd hate to get bit over something as insignificant as a nail trim.

So, do you recommend holding the nail clippers vertically or snipping sideways? And you don't think a round cat-claw trimmer is necessary? I would think this would be clunky and hard to get just the tips.
 

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make sure you dont cut of one toe while clipping the other.

I just cut my rats nails yesterday. Pain in the butt but i did it. I used a small towel and wrapped him up nice and comfy but firm also so he couldnt squirm around. I just let one foot hang out at a time.

He didnt bite at all...just squirmed around a bit...and squeeked a few times. Not from the cutting though,,the squeeks were more of like a ...cmon man just let me go...what are you doing! lol.

Oh btw...i used regular nail clippers...same ones i use, lol.
 
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