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Back Injury And Struggling With Daily Cleaning/care

Discussion in 'Daily Care, Travel and Climate' started by Mhairi, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Mhairi

    Mhairi Junior Guinea Pig

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    I had a really bad spasm in my lower back last week and as a result am really struggling with keeping up with the daily cleaning/care/cage maintenance at the moment.

    Have 2 young kids who, although adore our 2 piggies, would struggle to do all the cleaning/maintenance themselves. My husband is not really an animal person!

    Wondering if there's anything I can cut down on to make their care a bit easier to manage at the moment? I currently clean out their cage (full clean and disinfect) twice a week, and do some daily spot clean of toilet areas. Could I get away with disinfecting once a week, or does it have to be twice to reduce risk of infection? I am also on medication which suppresses my immune system so keen to minimise risk of infection for myself too.

    We only got our 2 piggies 6 weeks ago and already they've become a really integral part of our family and we all absolutely adore them! However I'm finding their care to be alot more than I had first realised, and am ashamed to admit that I may have made the wrong decision in getting them in the first place. But as I say we all absolutely adore them and would be devastated if we had to remove them. So I HAVE to make this work. Any tips on how I could make life a bit easier just now would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Mhairi

    Mhairi Junior Guinea Pig

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    Meant to say I bought a new cage last week to see if that makes a difference. Started off with a Midwest Guinea Habitat which was fab, but was finding the canvas bottom difficult to manage, so last week bought a Ferplast 120 XL which has a solid plastic base which will hopefully be easier to clean and dry.
     
  3. Tigermoth

    Tigermoth Teenage Guinea Pig

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    That sounds hard! At the risk of sounding really harsh, hopefully the spasm is a short term thing and in a few weeks you'll be back on your feet. In the meantime whilst your husband might not be an animal person, I would like to think he is a you person and will do it to be a decent fella. It might just be if he is like my husband, that you need to actually ask rather than hope for him picking up hints...

    I don't use disinfectant (just hot hot water, soap and vinegar) but I do it weekly with no problems. They are on fleece, what are yours bedded on? If they have a specific preferred toilet area perhaps putting a pad of some type even if you don't use fleece, might make a quick freshen up easier? Just swap out the pads.

    In terms of the workload, we have had our pair for almost a year but it took probably 6 months for us to find our feet and get into a rhythm that works well for us after a bit of trial and error. The dull stuff takes minimal time now as we have a pretty slick operation going!
     
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  4. Tiny

    Forum Donator 2016/17

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    How old are your kids? As in, are they old/responsible enough to help with spot cleaning? I'm thinking in terms of making your 'main' cleans easier. My niece is 7 and likes playing 'spot the poop' and clearing them up, and she likes to take on a bit of 'grown up' responsibility with that and food/hay.
     
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  5. Kylie80

    Kylie80 Adult Guinea Pig

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    I also only do the main cleaning once a week with hot soapy water (thanks for the vinegar idea) and they are on fleece which for me is a god send as I was cleaning them out one or twice a day before and their cage is on the floor. I have a clump of scar tissue the size of a small childs fist in my pelvis from a kidney transplant so I know how hard it is to struggle with the daily spot cleaning/main cage clean with no help when you are in pain but Ive learnt ways to make it work for me and fleece was the first step (a table to put the cage on to make it higher is the next) I also take meds to supress my immune system and as long as you wash your hands after spot cleaning and handling the piggies or anything soiled you should be fine. I use antibacterial soap.
     
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  6. Mhairi

    Mhairi Junior Guinea Pig

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    At the moment we have puppy pads on the bottom, covered with a layer of newspaper then wood shavings and hay. The hay and wood shavings are everywhere all over the house as our piggies are excitable wee things that run around the cage all the time, kicking everything out of the cage, which also means daily hoovering, which is also a challenge! Maybe I should consider fleece? Can anyone recommend where I can buy fleece liners for a Ferplast 120? Do they mask the smell of wee?
     
  7. Mhairi

    Mhairi Junior Guinea Pig

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    My kids are 8 and 10, and have to say they've been a great help. Maybe I need to let them do a bit more though. Think I've just been a bit worried about the risk of infection to myself that I've taken more control over the cleaning!
     
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  8. GPTV

    GPTV Rescue Buddy
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    just a thought but it may be easier if you put the newspaper on the bottom of the cage, under the puppy pads. i'm just thinking newspaper isn't always all that absorbent especially some of the more glossy papered ones, the wee would (if its going to) soak through the pads be on the newspaper, i don't think the wet pads will smell as much as the wet newspaper? It will also be kinder on piggy feet with the soft puppy pads on top.

    would it be possible to change from the wood shavings & use either shredded paper/fitch/fina card or aubiose bedding instead?
    the piggies urine chemically reacts with the wood giving off the strong odour, this can give some piggies respiratory problems too, if your guineas are boys it will decrease the risk of getting scratchy woody bits in&around their manhood too.

    a lot of members on here have puppy pads/towels then fleece on top, wash the fleece 3 times without conditioner before using, this will stop the wee sitting on top of the fleece & wick through on to the towels (stops the piggies from paddling in it).

    if your guineas wee or poop in the same place maybe a cat litter tray/corner tray could be used, then you would only have to clean that small area each time instead of the whole cage/fleece. this would save on washing/cleaning time and effort :)
    Wilko Small Animal Litter Pan or
    Wilko Cat Litter Tray Assorted Colours Large

    if you have an upturned cardboard box or a piece of fleece draped over an area(fleece forest), they often like to retreat under the shelter & do their poops/wees there, this might even train them to be a little tidy (yeah right :whistle:).

    i would say a major clean once a week is enough if you spot clean & clean any badly soiled areas daily. ( mine are normally in a wooden hutch & i use johnsons Clean & safe http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/p...isinfectant-for-small-pet-trigger-spray-500ml
    which i've never had a problem with, some people use a product called "F10" which is stronger &more of an antifungal cleaner too i think.)

    a lot of members also use a "horsewear washbag" to put the laundry in which stops all the hairs getting caught up in your washing machine (& filter) if you have fleeces/towels as bedding (i havent quite got round to buying one for the dog towels/bedding yet but i'm going to)



    this should all reduce the amount of time &effort needed to clean them out & keep them odour free.

    Hope this helps? :nod:
     
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  9. Mhairi

    Mhairi Junior Guinea Pig

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    You're a star. Thank you for taking the time to type up that response. Hadn't thought about putting the newspaper on the bottom. Am tempted to try fleece liners. We did buy a "litter tray" when they firtst brought them home but they pee and poo all over the place, although do have a couple of favoured areas. Thanks again.
     
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  10. GPTV

    GPTV Rescue Buddy
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    try popping an old towel over the litter tray (peg it on the sides of the cage) they may like the secluded toilet area & keep it more together :)
    oh & as gross as it sounds put a handful of hay in their litter tray, they are by nature rather lazy creatures that like to sit & munch & poop in the same place. (just as well capitalise in their design fault ;) )

    lol your welcome to response but it did take a while i'm a two finger's typist, i'd never make a secretary! more "minutes per word" than "words per minute" :mal:

    oh & edit to the above... with the washbag above members seem to recommend the larger sizes either large or jumbo as the washing moves around more in them to get cleaned more thoroughly. xx
     
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  11. AlbiePercy

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    I also only do a main clean every week and replace the fleece. I use towels and fleece liners in my c&c. I made them myself (thank goodness piggies don't care!) and they're just two pieces of fleece with towel sandwiched between them. I spot clean daily with a handheld vacuum cleaner, mainly in the corners they like to sit in (your kids could manage this with supervision) and then replace the whole lot each week. I wash everything at the laundromat (I have a month's supply of fleece!) and then hang it on the line to dry. I also have hay trays under my hay bags that are kitty litter trays filled with wood shavings and cheap hay on top. I find this keeps most of the hay off the fleece itself making it easier to clean. My pigs also love sitting in the trays and this takes care of a lot of pee and poop as the trays are easier to lift out and clean than the fleece! I also have back pain and find that kneeling over the cage can be near impossible some days, so this is what works for me. :)
     
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  12. Crystella

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  13. Mhairi

    Mhairi Junior Guinea Pig

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    This might seem like a really daft question, but, if you use fleece,do you still need to put hay into their hidey to sleep on, or do they just sleep on the fleece (or snuggle pod)? And then just have a designated hay area/tray for them to eat? I usually put hay out in the cage for them to eat, but also have a container for hay that clips onto the bars of the cage? So many factors to consider, I had no idea!
     
  14. Crystella

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    Mine have a separate area called the kitchen or the hay pit. They have snuggly fleece sleeping pods /cuddle cups but every now and again they will just flop out on the fleece.
    You could use a litter tray and have the the container on the side over the tray to make it easier to clean and change.
     
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  15. AlbiePercy

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    No not daft at all!
    This is my current set up...
    So as Albie is demonstrating, they like to sit in the hay trays. Looking over right now, one pig is asleep in one, and another pig is eating in the other. Other times, they just flake out on the fleece, in a tunnel or in a pigloo. I only have hay inside the haybags or the hay trays.
    New C&C.jpg
     
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  16. Mhairi

    Mhairi Junior Guinea Pig

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    That's a very cool cage. The Midwest one we had was similar to that in that it was open topped and fab for interacting with the piggies. Feel as though they're shut away in the Ferplast cage.maybe the midwest one would be more manageable with a fleece liner rather than wood shavings. Pros and cons to both I guess. Thanks for the tips.
     
  17. AlbiePercy

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    Yeah I love having them sitting with me in the lounge. That way we get to see all the shenanigans they get up to, and it's easy to reach in and pluck Ollie up when he's being a pest to everyone else!
     
  18. Tiny

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    I have a Midwest cage with fleece liners from Ziggies piggys. They (and other suppliers) will make exactly to your measurements. I use fleece with puppy pads only underneath (newspaper gets soggy/smelly where puppy pads 'lock in' wee) though the pads rarely get marked, I use them as an extra precaution to protect the Midwest canvas.
     
  19. Mhairi

    Mhairi Junior Guinea Pig

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    Were your piggies on woodshavings before you changed to fleece? If so, in what way have you found fleece easier?
     
  20. AlbiePercy

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    I used to use woodshavings before fleece and the shavings used to end up from one end of the house to the other. One of my boys isn't very good at cleaning himself around his boar bits either, and was always getting shavings stuck in there. So that was the deciding factor to switch to fleece for me. It can be annoying and expensive to initially set up, but now it's far easier and cheaper.
     
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