Grooming Long Haired Guinea Pigs With Gorgeous Guineas Posh ‘N’ Go
You will need:
- Hairdressing scissors and possibly some smaller scissors for trimming the trouser area
- Micro fibre towel or thick towel
- Hand towel
- Shampoo, for longhairs we recommend Gorgeous Guineas Posh’N'Go (Posh’N'Go is beneficial for all longhair types, it rejuvenates ‘old looking’ hair, gives body yet calms flyaway hair at the same time.
- Bristle Brush
- Pegs or hair grips
- Nail scissors or clippers
- Otodex (available from VetUK)
- Hair Dryer
1. Thoroughly wet guinea all over, lift up the layers hair and ensure the undercoat is wet too. Often water will run off the top coat leaving underneath with dry patches. It is essential to do this thoroughly so that the whole coat is washed and the lather gets down to the skin. Take the opportunity to have a good look at the skin and see what is going on e.g. flakes, parasitic evidence and treat as needed.
2. Put a strip of Posh’N'Go from Gorgeous Guineas (for a conditioning bath) down the middle of the back. Posh’N'Go is very liquid and very rich, only a small amount is needed.
3. Set timer for 4 minutes, during which the shampoo needs to be worked into the coat. This is what makes step 1 important; shampoo will not lather if the coat is dry. Ensure that lather is worked into the whole coat, not forgetting the face coat and belly (a great ‘safe place for any lurking parasites!).
4. Put a small amount of lather (not shampoo!) into the ears and work out any wax etc. Some long haired guineas seem very prone to very waxy ears and will need attention more frequently than monthly- get to know your guinea). If guinea has a ‘line’ going from his ear to his eye (where there is no hair) this is likely to be an ear mite infestation and a visit to the vet for an Ivermectin treatment is needed. Localised treatment such as Otodex is also useful. Use Swarfega on grease glands where needed.
5. When the 4 minutes is up rinse guinea thoroughly, again lifting up layers of hair and running water over the coat either by holding under a shower tap or tipping a jug of warm water over. This may require 2 people, the main concern is guineas safety and if it takes 2 people or more so be it. When guinea has been thoroughly rinsed rinse again to make sure, there is always lather lurking somewhere!
6. Place guinea on your previously set out micro fibre towel, this will help absorb the excess moisture. Use the hand towel to dry the body coat as thoroughly as possible before drying.
7. Ensure all escape routes are closed- these only encourage some guineas to make a bid for ‘freedom’. Sometimes it is a good idea to line a box with the Micro Fibre towel and place guinea inside. Cut out the side that will face you so that you have access to drying the hair near the ground. A piece of Parsley etc wouldn’t go amiss either.8. Hold guinea firmly while you turn on the blow dryer at a low heat setting. Lift the hair and dry the under layers first, work your way through the coat without directing heat at one area for too long. Putting your hand in front of the heat is a good indicator of when the dryer needs moving. A dryer with a loop on for hanging is a good idea, leaving you two free hands.
9. As the top layer of coat dries use a bristle brush (as opposed to wire pin brush) to gently tease out knots etc.
When the belly is dry remove the micro fibre towel and place newspaper under guinea ready for trimming.
10. Take the top layer of one part of hair that needs cutting and use a peg or hair grip to separate it from the undercoat. Put the peg/grip in about half way up the length of hair so as not to pull at the skin. When you have enough pegs/grips in to trim a line eg one at the back and one either side, use the hairdressing scissors to trim the under layer. Hold the hair between two fingers, close to the body (near the roots of the hair) that way there is a barrier between the scissors and the guinea.
11. Remove pegs/grips and trim the top layer as above but only so the coat is just above the ground.
12. The fringe of Peruvians and the like may also need trimming, once again put the hair between your two fingers and cut next to your fingers- not the skin. At any time if you are not happy or confident with anything recruit someone to help you.Trim the trouser area with a smaller pair of scissors if possible. For this guinea will need laying on his back (in your arms) at some stage.
To trim boars, place the palm of your hand under the belly, and cup the testicles between your fingers to protect from nasty snips. Sows can be held in the same way when trimming the skirt (this also ‘immobilizes them’) obviously there is nothing to ‘cup’.
13. It is a good idea to put 2 drops of Otodex in each ear when your guinea is dry in case of any lurking parasites. Now the coat has been trimmed above paw level check each nail to see if it needs trimming. Some guinea’s nails will need trimming more often than monthly- get to know your guinea.
Curly coats can be combed out using a wide toothed rake comb available from Superdrug (UK) and similar. Ensure guinea is thoroughly dry before returning to cage.
See our YouTube video for more information on bathing.
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