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Old 10-11-2021, 04:12 PM   #1
Bookish
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Default Bedding and asthma

Not sure if this is in the right place!

My asthma has suddenly gotten worse and my hamster seems to be a trigger, I have recently changed to a new type of bedding (megazorb) so that may be part of the reason Iím suddenly reacting.

Does anyone have any suggestions of beddings that are paper based and very low dust?
Preferably not too expensive as I have to clean her out a lot more frequently, Iíve used carefresh previously but still found that fairly dusty
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Old 10-11-2021, 04:32 PM   #2
sushi_78
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Default Re: Bedding and asthma

I found megazorb really dusty. It gave me breathing problems and I don't even have asthma. I use Fitch which is basically zero dust. It's paper-based and you can buy it from Amazon or from their website (Fitch First - Home page).
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Old 10-11-2021, 05:26 PM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Bedding and asthma

I use Fitch too - it's completely dust-free, doesn't smell of anything. It's recycled food grade paper. I'm asthmatic too and all kinds of things set me off. But fine with Fitch (it's also hypoallergenic for hamsters too - hamsters can also become allergic to bedding!).

It's probably the Megazorb. I remember some people saying it had an unusual smell - maybe some manufacturing process. I'm allergic to hemp bedding too (too grassy).
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Old 10-11-2021, 05:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bedding and asthma

You can only buy Fitch online. I get the 10kg bale. If that's too big you can get a pack of 3 compressed 4kg bales. The 10kg works out cheaper. I'm not allergic to our hamsters (about the only pet I'm not allergic too) but can be slightly affected by the smell of their urine after I've handled the litter tray - gets my lungs a bit - but only when I clean out the litter tray. So wash your hands after handling soiled bedding in the cage. That helps. Actually that sounds a bit obvious! Washing hands after handling litter tray.

Fitch First - Fitch Paper 10kg Single Bale Bedding For Smaller Critters

Fitch First - Fitch First Paper Pet Bedding
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Old 10-12-2021, 03:38 PM   #5
Bookish
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Default Re: Bedding and asthma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
You can only buy Fitch online. I get the 10kg bale. If that's too big you can get a pack of 3 compressed 4kg bales. The 10kg works out cheaper. I'm not allergic to our hamsters (about the only pet I'm not allergic too) but can be slightly affected by the smell of their urine after I've handled the litter tray - gets my lungs a bit - but only when I clean out the litter tray. So wash your hands after handling soiled bedding in the cage. That helps. Actually that sounds a bit obvious! Washing hands after handling litter tray.

Fitch First - Fitch Paper 10kg Single Bale Bedding For Smaller Critters

Fitch First - Fitch First Paper Pet Bedding
Thank you, storage isnít a huge issue so Iíll order bigger bags, Iíve ordered some kaytee clean n cosy to try tomorrow until I can get Fitch.

I allergic to most rodents and look like Iím dealing with some highly infectious disease when Iím cleaning out the hamster (yet I still insist on keeping them!) but sheís my first female and I seem to react to her worse and I think her urine smells stronger
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Old 10-13-2021, 06:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bedding and asthma

It helps if you do the partial clean method Better for the hamster and the human. The way that works is - you have plenty of substrate in to start with - at least 4 to 6" - 6" ideally. A litter tray with sand in and a large-ish house/nesting box that sits on top of the substrate and is open underneath - if it's large enough the hamster will move their toilet area inside the house and you can put the litter tray there. But it works fine with a medium sized house as well and the hamster continuing to use a corner of the cage to pee in (it's usually a corner of the cage) and you put the corner litter tray there. They will use it if you put it in their chosen pee place.

So then you only need to empty the litter tray once or twice a week, the cage stays clean and dry for a long time and you can just "spot clean" the substrate if needed - I rarely have to do much spot cleaning with a litter tray - only if poops start taking over a bit or if the substrate has gone flat (or the hamster has taken some of it into the house) - then I add a couple more handfuls and mix it in a bit so it smells familiiar.

If they pee in the wheel you can just wipe that out as and when needed.

With that method you can easily go 2 or 3 months without needing to do a cage clean. And even then don't replace all the substrate. I keep back about a third of the old substrate that's clean and dry (usually the bottom third) and spread that on top of the new substrate - so it still smells familiar). That layer then gets spot cleaned out sooner or later or removed at the next clean out. I have even gone 4 or 5 months with just spot cleaning!

In between you can clean the odd thing if it needs it - like the odd toy or wheel, as and when. But best not to clean everything at the same time anyway as it stresses the hamster when all their scent is removed.

When you do come to do a cage clean/substrate change, the base of the cage should be clean and dry anyway because they've been using the litter tray. You can prune hoards at that time if they've got very large. I tend to remove the bottom half of the hoard at that time as that's the oldest food (although they tend to only hoard dried food and it keeps quite well).

So I leave the nest and hoard alone - they do stay clean - hamsters are really quite clean little things and even do the odd bit of housekeeping themselves - chucking out old nesting material at the door if it becomes whiffy and dragging new material into the house.

Unless - it is pee'd in. If the nest and hoard are pee'd on then you do need to remove them but try and leave a little bit of the old nest behind (smells familiar) and just put new nesting material out in a pile for them to take back to the house and rebuild (they like to forage for it and take it to the house themselves). Likewise with the hoard - if it's pee'd on, it needs removing but put a handful of new food back in the same place to replace it - so they don't freak out (invader has stolen my hoard so I need to pee on it more to deter them!).

Baby hamsters sometimes take a while to get good habits and may pee in their nest but they usually get into good habits quite quickly and have a specific place or corner for peeing. That area can just be spot cleaned (but better to put a litter tray there once you know where that area is).

How well that all works partly depends on the type of cage as well - hamsters do better with everything at floor level and plenty of substrate - they like to bury hoards under the nest and get to the toilet area easily. A shelf is good for somewhere to go and to put heavier items or a food bowl on, but houses and toilets etc need to be at floor level or they get lazy and pee in their nest. Also they seem to be happier with more floor area - and less height is always better due to injury risks from falls.
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