Unlike humans, other primates and some animals like hamsters, guinea pigs don’t have ‘thumbs’ to help them pick up their food with their front feet to eat. And, unlike many other mammals, guinea pigs have a different number of toes on their front feet compared to their hind feet!
All in all, guinea pigs have 14 toes – four on each front foot, and three on each back foot.
Some guinea pigs are born with extra toes, just like some
cats or other animals are, but this is more of an exception than the norm.
Even though they don’t have thumbs, if you look at a guinea pig’s front foot from the bottom, you can feel a little paw pad near the back that helps to stabilize them. Their teeny feet are super cute!
As cute as they are, guinea pig feet are also sensitive and can be prone to problems like fungal infections, overgrown toenails and
a painful bacterial infection called bumblefoot. Thankfully, as with many preventable guinea pig illnesses, these conditions are easily avoidable with proper preventive care such as being familiar with the signs and symptoms, keeping your guinea pig’s nails trimmed, and taking time to look at your piggie’s toes and foot pads when you’re holding him or her. Depending on your piggie’s comfort level, you might feel him ‘hold on’ to your finger with his little toes and paw pads if you put your finger under it. SO CUTE. 😀