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!
- Supporter in 2019
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.
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.
- Cavy Comic
- Cavy Comic
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.
- Supporter in 2019
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...