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I woke up this morning and to my horror there was what seems to be blood on Haydens wheel. His poo and the possibly blood made 2 distinct tracks (like a car) on the wheel, he must have been running a LOT last night. I pulled him out and gave him a foot bath (his feet were covered in poo) and I really can't figure out where the blood (if thats what it was) came from. It seems that it was only from one side, possible a foot, since the inner track ring he made with his poo didn't have any in it. He seems fine and active now, but I can't bring him to the vet till later on today. I read sometimes they run too much and will wear down the skin on their feet? His nails all seem fine and I can't see anywhere the blood could have come from. Would there be any way to tell if it came from his feces or from a foot?

Thank you for your replies.
 

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If he'es fairly new to a wheel, I'm 99% certain it's from a foot. Look closely between his outer two toes and see if there is any pinker areas. Often that is where they bleed from and it is just about impossible to see.

Wash his feet and keep his wheel out for the night. :)
 

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Bella left blood on her wheel for me this morning, could easily see it was little bloody footprints. Gave her a quick footbath and spotted the tiny raw spot on the toe pad of one of her middle toes on her front left paw. It was not bleeding after her foot bath at all. She is not limping when walking.
Just want to verify - how many days should I keep her wheel away from her? And is there anything I should put on her foot (such as vaseline)?
 

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What kind of wheel do you have? One our my guys ran himself raw because of the grooves on a comfort wheel. I gave him a foot bath and let him walk on soft, squishy surfaces for the night. As soon as we switched to a bucket wheel, we've had 0 problems (other than his figuring out how to unscrew it from the base).

I would take the wheel out for tonight and give it back to her again tomorrow. If it happens again, I'd definitely switch the wheel to a smooth bucket (or sheet metal) wheel.
 

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The one I have is a smooth interior bucket wheel. It's the only wheel she's ever had. When she was a baby I used to wonder what was wrong with her because she rarely used her wheel. But over the past 2 weeks she has started running constantly. Here's a pic of her wheel from when she first came home. It was so clean back then, because she hated it.

 

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Awe. It's probably good that she didn't run on it seeing as how tiny she was.

I don't have any experience with bloody paws on smooth surfaces and I can't think of why her feets would be bleeding. Maybe she's running so much that the friction is causing her feet to bleed? Does she have a litter box? The only other thing I can think of is perhaps the litter is cutting her feet.
 

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No litter box. Just paper towels in a corner. I didn't notice any toenails that were too long or curled, keep her nails trimmed pretty good. Of course, she could have just gotten her feet crossed up while running and stepped on her own toenails I suppose. She doesn't roam around freely, she's always either in her cage or on my lap. The spot on her toe pad basically looked like a small blister that had been popped. So, I don't think anything cut her. Just tender from running maybe?
 

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Sorry to make so many posts, but thought I should post a newer photo of Bella's wheel. I should have mentioned that I did put some little "bathtub tread" strips on her wheel months ago because when she first started using it, she would go get a few good rotations in and then she would slide right out of the front of it and land on her side. They've been on there so long I don't think they would be the problem, but I should point them out just in case.

 

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haha she's so funny!

The bath treads may be the issue. It may be that the friction from running so fast and the friction from the very... grippable (for lack of a better term)... bath pads could have given her a blister.

As far as her falling out of the wheel, I'm not sure what to suggest for that-- I've never seen any of my guys fall out, mostly because I'm either in bed long before they start wheeling, or they know I'm watching them and they just stop in their tracks. I can only assume though that with more running, she'll get used to the wheel and not fall out; just something she has to get the hang of?
 

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My hedgie falls out of his wheel a few times a night. I used to blame it on the wheel being too narrow (his old one was only 4" deep) but this one is a good 6", so I don't know what to do about it. I don't think he evens falls out, so much as a foot slips off the side and he face-plants. I thought about adding traction, but don't want this whole bloody feet issue. Anyone have any suggestions?
 

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Usually they fall out because the wheel is on too much of a downward angle. Try tilting it back slightly and see if that helps. Ideally, the wheel should be just about level with a very slight downward angle, just enough that the urine will run off. :)
 

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I don't know if I would be able to take the treads off the wheel at this point. Might not ever get the adhesive off. Do you guys think that is what might have caused the bloody foot? She's been running on it (with the treads) pretty steadily for 6 weeks or more and has never had a bloody foot before. But I certainly will try to remove them if the general consensus is that they are causing the problem.
 

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I don't thing the treads would cause bloody feet but I am not a fan of anything sticking to the wheel because of the possibility of it starting to lift. Some of the glues used on those sticky things will stick anything and I'd worry about it sticking to a little foot. Also, sometimes the glue is on the edges as well. Doesn't look to be the case with those treads but for some it is. :)
 

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Hmm if this is the first time in 6 weeks she's had bloody feet, then it probably isn't the treads. Maybe she tripped? Or lost a quill and poked herself in the foot? As long as she's stopped bleeding and isn't injured and is eating/drinking/pooping properly, I wouldn't be too concerned about it. Just keep an eye on her after you put the wheel back in. The glue thing is concerning to me too-- especially since it's supposed to be in the bathtub-- it's water-proof. I would keep the treads on :)
 

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From what I'm seeing, the wheel looks fine - no need to remove the treads. My little one has the same type of thing in her bucket wheel. And I've seen others with those too.

My thought on what happened was that your little one ran a bit longer than usual (combined with drier winter air) and that caused a small abrasion on her foot or crack in the skin between his toes. Just clean his little feet up and consider taking the wheel out for a night so it has a chance to heal.
 
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