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I was a big fan of fleece liners until the day came when even after a full cage cleaning i could still walk into my room and the first thing i would smell would be hedgehog poo. I had my rat boy on aspen and changed him over to liners and i noticed that he too started smelling stinkier quicker.
on a whim i changed my rat (Buck) back over to aspen and decided to put Cloud on it too.
Aspen definently keeps down on the smell. its been three days and i still cannot smell cloud (with the liners i'd have to keep my window open to air out my room the smell would be so bad, even if i cleaned his cage that day) and it is more absorbent. Cloud seemed weirded out by the feel of the aspen on his feet but now he's adjusted and seems to like it better. i guess by question is...
is there any benefit to using liners over aspen
and
is there any downfall to aspen?
 

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I can tell you the many reasons I switched to liners.

1. We had a mite outbreak. We found mites in the aspen bedding. There have been other reports of mites coming in from wood bedding.

2. Wood chips and splinters can get stuck in sensitive areas, including eyes, mouths, and genitalia.

3. Some wood chips can be dusty and cause respritory problems.

4. Cage liners are washable and resuable. No need to run out the the store or have to throw away dirty bedding.

5. No wood chips on the floor!

6. A light colored cage liner is going to allow for faster detection of health issues. It is far easier to find a small blood spot in feces or urine on a light colored liner than it will be to find in wood chips.


My questions for you. How often are you changing your liners? Are you spot cleaning the poo out daily? I have not had an issue with smell with my hedgehogs because of their liners. Another thought, what are you feeding your hedgehog? There have been instances where certain types of food cause feces to smell stronger than others.
 

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Aspen is not as bad as it's made out to be. Breeders have no choice but to use wood shavings when babies are due. Thus, if it's safe enough for a pregnant or nursing mother and her babies, then it's safe enough to use on adult hedgehogs. Yes, there is a risk of mites. So I've found it's better to purchase the shavings from a horse supply store, than the pet store. Most pet stores keep the shavings near their birds, and birds are carriers of mites. Since I started purchasing from a horse supply.....where no other live animals are sold....I have not had a single mite outbreak. Personally, I prefer to use shavings over liners. In the past 2 years, I've only had one outbreak of mites (and the shavings came from a pet store). There are pros and cons for either of them. But the personal preference is up to you. Using aspen or KILN DRIED pine shavings is not as inhumane as most people have been led to believe.
 

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How do you wash your liners? Do you use vinegar in the rinse?

I have 28 hedgehogs on liners and they don't smell. I did have an issue for a while that the liners seemed to smell despite washing with a vinegar rinse. I had to start using a scented laundry detergent. The vinegar cuts the scent of the detergent so it is not an issue and the smell is gone. The room never did smell, just if I had the liners or bags close to my nose I could smell them.

You should not be having a smell issue with one hedgehog. What are you feeding him? Do you clean his wheel daily? The wheels are often what smells. Also you need to pick the poops daily.

Not all pet stores keep their shavings near birds and that is not usually the issue. Often the mites get in the shavings when they are being shipped and while in storage.
 

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Like you, I recently switched to aspen, after having a hedgehog pass away from choking on Carefresh. I currently live in Gainesville, in a dorm on a college campus, and though I haven't had time to try liners; I, personally, would find it incredibly hard to keep up with while having two other roommates around. I've been using aspen since, and haven't had ANY of the problems. Just make sure you check your hedgehog thoroughly, for mites and any other problems every so often each and every day, and make sure none of the chips have gotten got anywhere, and you'll be fine. :)
 

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I would start by getting a good high quality cat food (see pinned thread in the diet section) and start adding it into his diet. Sunseed Sunscription hedgehog food is not that great of a food. In fact most hedgehog foods are not suitable for a total diet for a hedgehog. You may see some smell change if you change to a higher quality diet.
 

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I don't like to use air fresheners. To me, air fresheners just "cover up" a foul odour with (potentially harmful) chemicals while not dealing with the real issue. I feel the same way about replacing liners with wood shavings. No matter how you look at it, your hedgie will produce a certain amount of feces and urine everyday. Sure, if you use aspen shavings, it may "mask" the stink and your roommate(s) may stop complaining, but more poop and pee will accumulate in your hedgie's cage over a longer period of time between your bedding changes, and your hedgie will have to live and breathe in it for 24/7. :(

If it were you, would you choose to keep using a dirty and smelly toilet with a help of an air freshener, or would you rather clean your toilet more often so that your toilet actually doesn't smell?

I understand college students have very busy schedules and often cannot afford to use a coin-operated laundry whenever they want to. However, a few students have solved the problem by buying polar fleece to make extra liners and replacing them almost on a daily basis. They also figured out clever ways to keep their laundry cost down (e.g. pre-washing by stepping on well-shaken soiled liners while taking a shower and do a big load every other week, etc.). They're using vinegar as a very effective deodorizer in their rinse water too, like Nancy mentioned above.

I hope you'll find a way to keep using liners without the current odour problem because liners are, IMHO, more sanitary for your hedgie as Kalandra pointed out. Good luck! :)
 
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