PDA

View Full Version : Injury Willow Twig Hideys Dangerous to Piggy Mouths?



mufasa
01-29-13, 07:33 pm
The girls have one of those hidey half-tunnel things made out of willow twigs, and they LOVE it. They chew the ever-lovin' heck out of it every chance they get. TOday I cleaned the living room section of their cage and they went over there while I worked on the kitchen. They were both chewing the willow tunnel as usual. I happened to look over and saw two spots with what looked like diluted blood on the fabric (I use white so it's easy to see anything suspicious). They weren't pee spots and they were only about the size of maybe half a dime. Both girls looked at me like, "What's wrong?" and a quick examination revealed nothing amiss.

I wondered if one of them might have poked and cut her mouth on a sharp willow twig. I served up their hay and lettuce, and they both tucked into the food without any hesitation. Neither one seems to be in pain, but now I'm worried. I hate to take that hidey away because they love it, but I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had a problem and if it's potentially dangerous.

RubyRain
01-29-13, 07:52 pm
I don't have an answer because I've been wondering the same thing. I'm actually on my second one in just 2 months because Oliver literally chewed the other one to bits! I've been checking it each day because sometimes there are really sharp pieces sticking out and I cut those off. There have not been any wounds but I do worry if he gets startled he could run into a "spear" sticking out.

I've been thinking I would probably get a grid and bend it in half and put fleece over it when he chews through this one. But he's a bar chewer so not sure if he will chew it too or not.

ellisa
01-29-13, 07:54 pm
I have no experience with a willow twig hidey, but my pigs have chewed willow twig rings before and never had problems. It's very possible, but I would keep a close on them. In my opinion it's more likely for the blood to be swallowed if they was bleeding in the mouth (unless you can see anything on their lips).

mufasa
01-29-13, 09:08 pm
I'll have to watch for and remove sharp pieces. I've never seen them love a toy quite as much as that hidey. The only other thing they chew consistently is pine cones. They've had it for about three weeks now, and this is the first evidence of blood I've seen, so hopefully it's just a fluke.

YourSoJelly
01-29-13, 09:13 pm
I suggest the willow balls. My girls loved them and they are better than the hideous because the sticks aren't at eye level. :)

MissJean
01-29-13, 09:19 pm
I used to have a willow tunnel, but tossed it because I was scared of injury. My pigs would try to eat the twigs. I figured it was possible it could scratch their throats and mouths.

I obviously can't say for certain. Better safe than sorry, though. They didn't need them. Fleece tunnels are more cute anyways.

mufasa
01-29-13, 10:00 pm
I actually have an Oxbow hay tunnel and a compressed hay tunnel, so I'm going to substitute one of those just to be safe.

BernieAndBert
01-29-13, 10:15 pm
I suggest the willow balls. My girls loved them and they are better than the hideous because the sticks aren't at eye level. :)

I would still be careful with/keep a close eye on the willow balls. My boys had one and absolutely LOVED it too, but one day Bert got his head stuck and couldn't get it off. He jumped into his hidey because he was scared. Luckily the entrance was big enough that he didn't bump into anything as he jumped. I just feel that he definitely could have injured an eye.

BernieAndBert
01-29-13, 10:15 pm
I actually have an Oxbow hay tunnel and a compressed hay tunnel, so I'm going to substitute one of those just to be safe.

That's what I have, I think it's a good idea just to be on the safe side.

foggycreekcavy
01-30-13, 02:07 pm
Occasionally people donate the willow twig tunnels. I just cut off the sharp pointy parts, and throw it out once it gets mostly chewed up.

However, I think you need to consider that it's not an injury, but something else that caused the blood spots. Have you fed red chard, or beets? Sometimes this food will temporarily color the urine. Or, it could be a stone, sometimes the movement of the stone in the bladder or urethra can cause irritation and intermittent bleeding.

xanima
01-30-13, 02:58 pm
I use them and have never had any injuries. But I have also never found a sharp end on the tunnel.

janinehunt
01-30-13, 03:26 pm
I chucked out a willow tunnel as I was worried about sharp bits poking out. I had terrible visions of eye injuries. I (ie my piggies) have since discovered the joys of paper bags (from an organic food shop) for danger-free chewing fun.

Love your avatar pic, by the way!

Okiesmokes
01-30-13, 03:29 pm
I don't have any experience with that particular tunnel. But just yesterday I thought about buying one of those willow balls but decided against it.. They just look so dangerous to piggie mouths to me.