Tips to Prevent a Messy Wheel? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tips to Prevent a Messy Wheel?

Hello! This is my first official post here, though I've been lingering awhile. I know this has probably been covered before somewhere, and I know it's an issue that probably can never be fully resolved...but I'll ask for input anyways!

My girl likes her nightly runs as much as the next hedgie. And, just as much as the next hedgie, she too likes her food. We all know what I'm leading up to here: the Poop & Run.

Yes, she's a messy gal like that. (Honestly, I admire her workout ethic! If I had that much dedication to a treadmill, maybe I wouldn't feel so guilty eating as much as I'd like either!) I clean that wheel daily and it would just be SUPER if I could find away around that. I'll maintain cleaning it like I do the whole cage...but if I could put a few days in better between scrubbing it, oh that would be delightful!

Right now I've just got a basic plastic large size wheel for her. It's nothing fancy. I've read some people put liners under wheels to catch spin off droppings and that's a great idea! But what about the ones that stick inside? My husband even joked about putting cooking spray on the inside of the wheel so it would just side off! (Yeah, it was a joke)

So, any input would be much appreciated; gratitude in advance from my hedgehog girl Maeve and from my scrubbing-distressed hands!

Tina
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There really is nothing you can do to prevent the messy wheel. All you can do is make it an easier job when you clean it. Spray it down with a mixture of vinegar and water and let it sit for a few minutes. It should be easier to clean after that.
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Agreed with Nikki. Hedgies require daily care and one of those things is the cleaning of the wheel. When I first got our little guy, I would take his Comfort Wheel to the sink and put our water as hot as it would go and use the nozzle to spray it down and then use my vinegar cleaner. I found that to be very time consuming...

However, I now weigh our hogs daily, as well as their food and enter it on a spreadsheet to keep track of how they're eating and gaining/losing weight. Now, my routine is to grab the wheel, put a paper towel under and spray it really well with my vinegar solution and letting it sit while I weigh food, and add more and put it back in the cage. Then I wipe the wheel down, wash my hands and when I put it back I get our hedgies out to weigh them. Sometimes I do need to spray more to get it totally clean but it's never a huge effort to get clean.
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's just part of hedgehog ownership (unless you're lucky and you have a hedgehog who hops off to poop somewhere else 99% of the time, like I do). I use vinegar and water as well, just spray it on the wheel and let it soak a bit. I wipe it off with paper towels.
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Agreed with all that's been said!

And trust me...the first time you find a perfectly clean wheel because of a sick or injured hedgie (or one that's just upset and makes you panic about illness anyway), you'll discover you do appreciate such an obvious sign that they're feeling great.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all! I understand the daily clean up...I spot clean the cage daily and scrub food/water containers every few days. I just didn't know if anyone had a great way to help get that poo off! Sometimes that's on there like cement!
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm guessing you've read this already, but you could try having two wheels and soaking one and just chuck the clean one in. Then it's less of a time sensitive task.

For Hector's wheel I just soak it in hot water with a little dish soap (get the level right, so it soaks as high up the rim as possible without getting the bearings wet) and then I wander off and I clean the bathroom or do some homework or whatever. When I come back nearly all of the poop has fallen off, and what hasn't falls off by a quick once over with a tooth brush.
Takes me about 2 minutes once it's soaked.

If college comes up very busy, his wheel might get done every other day for a few days, in which case part of my morning spot check is pulling anything that is still whole (flattened but not smeared) off the wheel. Depends on how squeamish you are about touching hedgehog poop, but a lot of the poops that get run flat to the wheel while slide off whole if you just put your finger on it and drag. I don't do that before I soak it because they'll come off anyhow.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikki View Post
There really is nothing you can do to prevent the messy wheel. All you can do is make it an easier job when you clean it. Spray it down with a mixture of vinegar and water and let it sit for a few minutes. It should be easier to clean after that.

This is the answer you seek. Thoroughly spray the running surface, and don't skip the sit for a few minutes part. If it is overly dry and hard afterwards, repeat. It will get easier.
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