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What is the risk of using cedar shavings for guinea pig bedding?

Feb

17

2012

So, I’ve seen a lot of websites warning you not to use cedar shavings for bedding in a guinea pig cage. When I was a kid and we kept guinea pigs, we never saw those warnings so cedar was all we used – it didn’t seem to have any ill effects at the time, but now I’m wondering. I’m not considering using them again but I am curious – can anyone enlighten me as to why they’re harmful to pigs and what the risks are?

Best answer:

Answer by OBXMAR
When we had gerbils, we mixed pine and cedar shavings because the cedar has some oils that seemed to cause irritation to their noses and underparts (that were in direct contact with the bedding). The oils in cedar make it smell good but can be a little too strong.

Answer by Dave B
While cedar is nice and aromatic to us humans, it is a powerful allergen for just that reason. Not all piggies will be allergic, but the incidence is huge for them, and they have their noses into it all the time, and will also gnaw it. In general, you are better off attacking the real issue and using absorbent recycled paper based bedding rather than cedar to mask odor. If you use shavings with some paper over the top, use the aspen shavings instead of cedar and you’ll do OK, and it helps control the cost, too.

Answer by Maggie
I used to have a rabbit and I read that cedar was poisonous to bunnies. I’m not sure why, though. I can’t imagine that they eat it.

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In: Other Pets Asked By: [ Grey Star Level]
Answer #1

The reason Cedar and Pine shavings can be harmful to guinea pigs is because they can cause upper respiratory infections to guinea pigs, well any rodents really which have proved fatal. It is dusty and they also contain dangerous compounds like Phenols and Aromatic hydrocarbons, which aren’t good for them…
It can also cause effects on the enzymes in the liver, and in school i have learnt that enzymes break down the food, so healthy enzymes are needed as a part of digestion. Also, i’ve heard that they can cause effects on humans and can worsen asthma slightly and cause inflammation. People have been allergic to it too but you’re obviously not since you have used this product before, but allergies to pet bedding can sometimes cause bad reactions.

I hope i helped and pointed out the clear information on why cedar shavings shouldn’t be used. Also, the risks for pine shavings aren’t as clear as cedar but both contain the compounds which are bad, but it is not yet known if pine is as bad or is worse as cedar shavings.

Answers Answered By: Lou-Lou★ [ Grey Star Level]
Answer #2

upper respiratory infection

Answers Answered By: CrazyWhiteGirl [ Grey Star Level]
Answer #3

Aromatic Oils in the cedar chips and pine shavings as well get into their bodies and basically can destroy their respiratory system. It may not happen very quickly but there have been many studies and all have proven to have negative effects on small animals, some more than others.

Basically URI’s are the most common, it can kill an animal within 48hours or so of you noticing something might be wrong. As a kid do you remember your pets dying suddenly? Or not living as long as they do now a days? Could be why, if not then maybe you had some tolerant pets! lol

Aspen shavings are the safest wood you can use, they are a hardwood and have no oils in them so they are safe to use and cheap too!

Answers Answered By: .:Kimberly:. [ Grey Star Level]

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