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Hi there! This is my first time posting a topic and I have a question concerning different types of bedding.

I first purchased Piyoko in July, from an exotic pet shop owner a little over two hours away from Miami. It was well worth the drive (and the $100 alone for gas); but on my way home, I noticed that he seemed to be throwing up what looked to be like aspen bedding. As the owner purchased him from a breeder, and that the hedgehog was kept on astroturf in the shop, I knew the owner had done nothing wrong. So, when it came to deciding what type of bedding to use, I decided to use astroturf. Nothing wrong came of it, but I as time went on, I felt bad seeing him claw at the astroturf, as if he wanted to burrow.

After a month of Summer vacation, I went back to college in Gainesville. A few months later, I met someone who had a hedgehog and spoke to him about the kind of bedding he used. I explained to him how I used astroturf and how he often clawed at it at night, and he told me to use CareFresh. I researched SEVERAL websites and found that CareFresh had been claimed to be "the safest litter", but some hedgehogs were known to choke. I then checked pictures on hedgehog cages, and, once again, quite a number of people had seemed to use it. The next trip to the store, I decided to buy some. For the next few days, I put some in, aware that some hedgehogs had been known to have problems, and found that everything was a-ok! He never put any in his mouth, and, as weeks progressed, I put a little bit more and more. Still, I checked several times a day when he wasn't sleeping, to make sure everything was fine. 3 months later (about 2 weeks ago), I'm in class for no more than 2 hours, and as soon as I get back to my dorm, he's dead. He's on his side with a piece of CareFresh in his mouth. After 3 months of having no problems, he's dead? :/ He had more than enough food, more than enough water, and I just cannot comprehend as to why he decided now, of all times. I'm absolutely torn, I have no idea where I went wrong, and I can't help but blame myself over and over again on how I'm a terrible owner.

My Mother has asked several times if I've wanted to get another one, but now I'm not so sure as I don't know what to do in terms of bedding. I had checked online with interest in using aspen, but I still don't understand why he was throwing some up when I first got him. Does anyone have any information on that?

I also know quite a number of people use liners, but as I live on a campus with two other roommates; having to wash them daily, or at least have to set them aside and use different ones until I wash them, isn't that good of an option.

So, if any of you could be so kind as to share your experiences with different kinds of bedding; aspen, astroturf, pellets, fleece, what have you; I would more than appreciate it.

Thank you in advance. :)
 

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I'm sorry for your loss.

The problem with Carefresh and any other loose bedding is that even if they don't intentionally eat it, it gets in their dishes and they can get it in their mouths when they are eating and/or drinking. When Carefresh gets wet, it gets soft so they can easily swallow it, unlike shavings that when it gets wet, it's just wet and they can spit it out. I personally can not use aspen. It gives me asthma attacks and I find it very dusty and sharp edges. My moms get kiln dried pine.
I have 30ish hedgehogs and all but the moms and babies are on cloth liners. They are the safest and healthiest choice for a hedgehog. I don't see how liners would be any different than astroturf except that they would be easier to wash and much faster to dry.
 
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