Posts Tagged ‘nesting’

Fluffy Bedding Dangers

Fluffy Bedding is a cotton wool like material sold as a nesting material for small animals. It comes in many colours and under several different names, such as, Hamster Fluff, Sweet Dreams Color and Night E Night Bed Fluff. It is sold as a safe, comfortable place for your pet to curl up and sleep, unfortunately it is not safe at all.

Fluffy bedding has been the cause of countless injures and deaths in small animals. Because of the material used, it does not breakdown when eaten, and it is also very easy for your pet to get tangled in. It can tighten around limbs, cutting of circulation. The animal is unable to get his limb free, this can cause damage to the tissue causing the limb to swell up painfully, and turn black from tissue death. The animal may also attempt to chew off the limb which could result in death from blood loss, shock or infection. The bedding may also become wrapped around his neck strangling him. This can also be the cause of death for babies, if your hamster gives birth to a litter in the fluffy bedding.

Hamsters have check pouches which they use to carry food and bedding to their nests. The bedding can get trapped in the pouch, causing an impacted pouch. An impacted pouch will often become infected making eating and drinking painful. Impacted pouches require a trip to the veterinarian for treatment.

If the animal swallows the bedding it will not break down in his digestive tract and can cause a blockage. This requires surgery to correct, however, if not discovered in time it will result in death.

What can I use for safe bedding material?

A simple way to tell if the bedding/nesting material you are using is safe is to place some in water. If it breaks up, the way toilet paper does, then it will also break down if eaten and is easy to rip should it become wrapped around your pet. In fact the safest thing to use for nesting material is plain, unscented toilet paper. Your pet will have fun shredding it, fluffing it up and dragging it around the cage. It is warm and soft to sleep in and is also cheap and easy to find.