Problems with fleece?

daj

Post   » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:29 pm


[Edit by Lynx - this topic pertains to daj medical topic, located here:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=76985 ]


I am wondering if anyone has experience any sort of problems with fleece bedding. I've been having a long running problem with itchy pigs. I'm giving Revolution another try, but lately I am wondering about my bedding and laundering process. I made my blankets with fleece bought on Amazon. I do a pre-wash outside in a Brute container. I do a couple rinses and then soak in overnight with bleach and free & clear detergent. I tried replacing the bleach with vinegar, but the blankets didn't get as clean, and I didn't notice any change in the itching.

After the the soak, I do rinse twice more outside, then I do a machine wash on a 'quick wash' setting, with more detergent and vinegar. If I don't remember to turn down the heat when drying, the blankets come out with a strong chemical/solvent sort of odor. After the last laundering my pigs seemed to be especially itchy. To see if my blankets or cleaning process could be the source of our ongoing problem, I switched them last night, back to the paper bedding. It's too early to tell, but they do seem to be scratching less.

I don't want to keep them on paper long term. For one thing, the cost is outrageous. It's also dusty, and I don't see how it can't be drying to their skin (I have skinny pigs). If I try to go back to fleece, I would need to make rather than buy blankets, as I need 6 in total and could not afford to buy them pre-made. If anyone has thoughts on this I would surely appreciate it. Recommendations on quality fleece by the yard are appreciated too. Thanks!

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:25 pm


We don't seem to have any issues with fleece, other than I greatly dislike sweeping off the hay, hair and poops. I use a "rubber brush" to brush off as much debris from the towels and fleece as I possibly can, and then throw it all in the wash with Free & Clear laundry detergent. I don't pre-soak anything. If there is significant amount of odor, I will add a little bleach. Otherwise, not. I wash it on Warm with a single rinse cycle. That's it. Toss it in the dryer and I'm done.

I buy cheap fleece from WalMart and cheap white towels at Big Lots.

I do like the convenience (sort of) of paper bedding, but agree that it is very costly and, I feel, not as hygienic.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:11 pm


You need to rinse twice after you wash with detergent.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:30 pm


Why?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:23 pm


Just to make sure all the detergent is out, particularly if you have soft water.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:32 am


I use the hand wash cycle on my washing machine, which is a more thorough wash and takes longer. I then use the rinse and spin cycle to get any left over detergent out of the fleece. When drying, I don't use fabric softener. This method works out pretty well as it provides clean and chemical free bedding for my piggies. They don't have any problems with their skin or fur.

The fleece I have is from the fabric department at Walmar, some of it is fleece blankets that I cut to size, and some of it was on clearance from JoAnn fabrics.

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:33 pm


I rinse 3 times after washing to get the detergent out. I noticed that my recent washer needs more rinsing cycles than my old one, as it economizes water and energy. I know because even detergent for sensitive skin makes me itchy after 2 rinses only. I can smell the detergent after 2 rinses, so I need 3.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:42 pm


My washer seems to get all of the detergent out, and the time I do a 2nd rinse is if I use bleach. Haven't noticed any issue with it, but it's good to keep in mind.

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:17 pm


I bought a new washer a few months ago and the economy mode is pretty much useless, just sprays a little water on the clothes. So with fleece I set it for heavy duty, which is the longest wash and highest spin. And I select large load so there's enough water.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:44 pm


Ditto on selecting large load -- I do that, too.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:52 pm


Large load setting on hand wash takes about 45 minutes in my washer. The rinse and spin cycle setting does a great job of getting what little detergent is left after the hand wash cycle.

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:17 am


I have no large load setting on my recent washer, but a blanket one. That one doesn't spin enough, so it's no use. We are supposed to load each laundry at 1/4 of the top, no more, no less. My washer has steam technology, as all recent washers seem to have here in Belgium. It has air bubble technology too, at least it cleans well, but it uses very little water, and that does not seem to rinse well at all. It wasn't expensive, but if all future washers are going to be like this, there is room for improvement, much of it.

daj

Post   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:09 am


After nearly a week back on paper bedding, it's hard to say if the fleece was contributing to my itching problem. They're still scratching, so I will proceed with the 3rd Revolution treatment tonight. If they're still scratching after this, I don't know what I do next. The vet wanted to do subcutaneous Ivermectin, but I didn't want to subject them to it. It's very frustrating.

On the Revolution their skin looks fine. They don't get the accumulation of dead skin they often have (they're skinnies, so it's obvious), but the scratching persists. This is the 3rd try on the meds. Once before with 2 doses of Revolution and once with pour on Ivermectin for 3 doses. This time we have spaced the doses 10 days apart. From a skin scraping, the vet identified what he thinks are pieces of dead mites. I looked at the slide, and it's a tough call. It looked inconclusive to me.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:11 am


I am pretty sure someone posted about dry skin problems in skinnies. So if after thoroughly treating for mites and ruling them out (and make sure it is not fungal), it sounds like your focus should be on dry skin.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:15 am


You might be thinking of Daj's medical thread that talks about their skin issues. The skin discussion starts here:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=77051&p=2301716#p2301716

There may have been another similar case recently, though.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:01 am


Yes, I think we've covered a lot of the possibilities on his topic.

daj

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:04 am


I've now completed the 3rd Revolution dose, and they're still itching. I suppose it's time to conclude it's not mites. I switched them back to paper bedding for a week and still the itching. The beds they sleep on were still laundered in the usual way. I give the most sensitive one about 0.45 ml of Children's Benadryl at night, but I don't want this to be a long term solution. My next thought is to try all virgin material, make new blankets, pads and use new cloth as their bed cover for a week and see if it makes any difference. It will be a lot of work and take some time though.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:24 pm


That's very strange. Have you ruled out anything in the general household environment that could be triggering it? I think dust was discussed awhile back, and I still think dust mites could be a possibility. Otherwise, anything out of the ordinary that you might be using lately to clean, mop, spray, etc. anywhere near the guinea pig cages? Is anybody there a smoker? Do you use air fresheners? Candles? Any indication (probably not, in AZ) of there being any mold or mildew in the environment? Any new plants or trees in or around the house that might throw off pollen? Does anyone in your neighborhood spray crops (doubtful) or the yard, or have anything else going on near you chemically? Any indication of cockroaches in the house? Or mice? Any other pets in the house whose dander could be a problem? I'm just trying to think "allergies" here. Have you ever tried HEPA filter?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:29 pm


Have you tried cold pressed coconut oil to moisturize your skinnies' skin?

daj

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:43 pm


Everything on your list is a no. If it were dust mites, wouldn't the Revolution take care of them? I've thought of dust mites too. I bought an air purifier, but haven't used it yet. I will get it running tomorrow and get back on the mission to reduce dust. I have tried cp coconut oil. It doesn't seem to make a difference.

One other thing is that my pigs tend to stay put a lot of the day. I made 3 features in each of their pens. They are PVC pipe frames. One is a bed with a fleece pad, like 8-10 layers. On top of this I use a cotton wash cloth for them to lay on. So, it's raised up and very cushy. I change the washcloth about once per day, slightly longer if it stays really clean, or sometimes an hour later if it gets peed on. This bed sits inside a PVC cube with a terry cloth cover. In cold weather I place a quart jar of hot water in a cardboard and cloth sleeve. So, they each have very cozy and warm places, with their hay racks right in front of the cube's opening. They can eat from their beds and snooze and hide away as much as they like. The other thing is a roof out of one C&C panel on PVC legs with terry cloth draped over it. It's just another little roof for them to hide under.

I wonder if saying put on a bed for large stretches of time makes them more vulnerable to things like mites? But then again, multiple attempts with meds, Revolution and Ivermectin has failed to do anything for the itching. If it's an organism of some sort, I don't know what, and the vets haven't been of any help. Then there is environmental or something about my setup or some combination. It's pretty maddening... expensive too, and worst of all is their suffering. More recently they've been rapidly shaking their heads to flap their ears, so their ears itch, in addition to their backs, limbs, groins...

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