Substrate = Asthma?

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PiggyOinkOink

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I have been using Megazorb ever since I got my piggies about 1.5yrs ago. I have 3 large cages and used to have 4.I have noticed wheezing in the past 2 weeks and an ache in my chest and I went to the Dr and he suggested that the bedding could be to blame and diagnosed me with mild asthma as my peak flow is nearly 100 less than for my age and given me sabutamol and a corticosteroid inhaler, which I am really NOT happy about! If it may be causing me issues then I am very worried about what issues it may be causing my piggies!

I have noticed the bedding does leave dust everywhere as I have a big glass table next to the cages and it is covered and I haven't cleaned it in months since I was intending to get rid of it. Within 2 weeks of cleaning it gets a film of dust over it. Also, the cage bars have dust on them after a clean also so the piggies for sure will breathe this in.

I am going to switch to fleece bedding and also get an air purifier (very expensive option at £300!). If this doesn't work then I'll have to get rid of most of the piggies.

Has anybody else experienced this?

Can anyone suggest if there is a UK company that makes bedding to the same standard as here: http://piggybedspreads.com/product/piggy-bedspreads/
Apparently they have even patented it and it comes with liners inside the fleece rather than just placing cotton towels under the fleece as I'm aware most of you appear to do. It is a bit pricey though unfortunately..
 

Chief Guinea Pig

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I haven't got any experience of this. But I'm sure someone on the forum has.
That's pricey! I'm sorry it had caused you this.

Do you need any information on fleece? Washing before and after etc. :)
 

PiggyOinkOink

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Well, I have some money to spend about so I would prefer to get something of (what I perceive to be) a high standard which requires minimal care. It takes me about 4hrs to clean all cages per week and it's started to get a real chore so I would appreciate some time cutting in that aspect.

If I have to change the fleece twice a week then that is an awful lot of laundry to do especially if I use cotton towels under the fleece. The three layers they stitch together sound ideal so there would only be one thing to launder but one of them costs $62.95 (£41!), and that's not including delivery and import taxes/VATto the UK, so means I would have to spend min £120 which is WAY too much for only one set of bedding for all cages.
 

Kerrie74

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I have noticed the dust from megazorb, we did use it for a short period of time for our guinea's but it was to costly and the dust wasn't great, we use it for the mice but I am now considering changing their substrate as well after reading your post.

In regards to fleece, we have three cages, I used to use mattress protectors and fleece, changed twice a week, we now use fleece liners also change twice a week but it's easy to switch them.

What cages do you have?

I get my liners from Ziggy's and My guinea pig pals

http://ziggyspiggies.webs.com/products

http://myguineapigpals.co.uk/catalog/
 

PiggyOinkOink

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I have 3 different cages:

1 x 120cm x 50cm (Skyline Maxi)
1 x 100cm x 48cm (Ferplast 100)
1 x 80cm x 45cm (iMac)

Before anyone tells me, I am aware that the last two are under the recommended size for 2 piggies but I just don't have anymore space, plus to even clean the 120cm one in the bath is difficult due to it's size so I am not going to get any larger at this moment. I may get the 3 x 120cm stacked one I saw on Zooplus when I am feeling to spend £180 on it!

I have seen Ziggys Piggies and have sent them an email asking for a quote.

I note that basically there is a lot of maintenance required for fleece i.e. cleaning 1-2x per day and 2 x per week changing. I would prefer to use a hand vacuum to suck up the poops rather than a manual method as it's quicker and also the Skyline cage has a really small front opening and it's will be hard to clean it with a scoop. I imagine the piggies would be terrified of the hoover but they are generally used to my twice a day vacuum to hoover up the mess they make on the floor outside the cages. Does anyone also use a hoover and recommends a particular one?
 

aimzer

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I used to use megazorb but it started getting really dusty, leaving a cloud of dust when I tipped it into the cage. I stopped using it and switched to fitch which is totally dust free and really absorbent although more expensive. However, I wanted to try cage liners so bought 2 liners from ziggies piggies and they are super absorbable. Although her measurement for my cage must have been off slightly as they were a bit big but they shrunk a bit so they fit better now :) I think I was around £50 for 2 for a 140cm cage.
 

PiggyOinkOink

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Yes, 2 piggies in each cage but I cycle them every week so they move from the 80 - 120 in 3 weeks and back again.

I have been quoted £65 for 2 sets for each cage...thou I have decided I am going to upgrade them all to a 3 tiered stacked cage..but it costs £199!

http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small_pets/hutches_cages/rabbit_cage/120_cm_cages/137450

I have considered C&C but I don't see how I can layer C&C cages on top of each other safely, also providing me with some method of adequate access to give them food and stuff. The thing that puts me off C&C cages is that I did once have a cage where the bars were very high so I split the cage into 2 by weaving in some wooden slats and placing a coroplast base on top. Scoring/Cutting\Making the Coroplast base was a bit of a nightmare and also took SO much time, and that was just one! You have to be very precise (as I did have to rescore a few times from getting it wrong). Plus, I have to source some white 4mm coroplast at a reasonable price as I found the 2mm was a bit floppy and companies seem to charge an arm and a leg for simply what is corrugated plastic which costs them pennies....I guess ultimately, this would still work out cheaper than £150 for the 3 cages but the cages are more convenient.
 

Kerrie74

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Mine are 2 x 5 because I have 3 sows in one and from what I've read when you have boars your meant to go one size up, so I have 2 boars in the top one, we have a 2x5 in the living room as well with two younger boars. Can't have them in the bedroom as ones VERY hormonal!

They are pretty solid, lots and lots of cable ties, some people even put wood underneath to secure it. but I've been lucky and it's pretty stable, going to put some grids underneath as well though.

Yeah we hoover, it's just a lot easier when cleaning three cages. We used a hand hoover but it went all weird when we moved :/ so it's the normal cylinder hoover, however once I have some spare money I will be getting another handheld.
 
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aimzer

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Yes, 2 piggies in each cage but I cycle them every week so they move from the 80 - 120 in 3 weeks and back again.

I have been quoted £65 for 2 sets for each cage...thou I have decided I am going to upgrade them all to a 3 tiered stacked cage..but it costs £199!

http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small_pets/hutches_cages/rabbit_cage/120_cm_cages/137450

I have considered C&C but I don't see how I can layer C&C cages on top of each other safely, also providing me with some method of adequate access to give them food and stuff. The thing that puts me off C&C cages is that I did once have a cage where the bars were very high so I split the cage into 2 by weaving in some wooden slats and placing a coroplast base on top. Scoring/Cutting\Making the Coroplast base was a bit of a nightmare and also took SO much time, and that was just one! You have to be very precise (as I did have to rescore a few times from getting it wrong). Plus, I have to source some white 4mm coroplast at a reasonable price as I found the 2mm was a bit floppy and companies seem to charge an arm and a leg for simply what is corrugated plastic which costs them pennies....I guess ultimately, this would still work out cheaper than £150 for the 3 cages but the cages are more convenient.
That's great! I'm sure they will love that. I would be the same as you and opt for the stacked cages as I'd be wary of stacking c&c's too incase they collapse! I know many people have done it and it looks good but it's just not for me haha
 

Kerrie74

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A tiered cage wouldn't collapse if it was made properly with the correct support and plenty of strong cable ties :P

The links I gave above aren't just C&C :)

That cage is a bit expensive... £199 ouch.
 

lissie

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If you don't want/or afraid your stacked C&C won't be strong enough, why not buy a hutch and put it inside? Some hutches are huge, compared to the other stacked cages.

http://www.rabbithutchwarehouse.co.uk/hutches.php

Grand Deluxe Maisonette Three Storey Rabbit Hutch With Added Depth
5ft = 62" x 25" x 52"
£189.99

They also have 6ft ones.
6ft = 77" x 25" x 68"
 

Chief Guinea Pig

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I use a BUSH handheld Hoover from argos, was about £40, it is good, but sometimes it is just as easy to hand pick up poop. Hands can be washed so it is perfectly fine.
 

PiggyOinkOink

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PiggyOinkOink

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Hi @PiggyOinkOink I got my correx from this seller, which works out around £9 cheaper than the one you linked. Just thought I'd let you know so you can save yourself some pennies :)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/171327377282?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
Hey thanks! I was just about to buy the other one but thought someone might point me elsewhere.

The only problem with this one is that it is clear not white. I would have thought one that is solid in colour would prevent the piggies from being startled by any movement they would be able to see through a clear correx?
 

Kerrie74

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Ermm it's not exactly clear. Let me link you to a pic I have of my cages. My piggies are perfectly fine with this. I have fleece over the young boars correx because one of them thinks it tastes nice lol. Some people don't even use correx. From what I've read guinea pigs like to see their humans.

Some make their cages like this

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=59174&d=1388324045
 

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