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Old 08-06-12, 02:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dangerous pet products that should never be used for pets

I'm getting very frustrated with the amount of threads I see all over the internet about issues. It starts with something along the lines of "what's wrong with my pet"? and upon digging further, I see some of the most dreadful things they use in their enclosures for their reptiles. So, let's make a list of products marketed towards reptiles that should never actually be used. I'll start:

1: Calci-sand- This innocent enough looking bag of substrate may actually be the number one cause of non-health related impaction (meaning the animal is otherwise completely healthy). It even comes in fun colors! Why is it dangerous? First and foremost, Calci-sand is made of calcium. When an animal is low on calcium, it will be tempted to actually eat the substrate. Secondly, even if an animal is completely healthy, an animal will in some point of its life accidentally ingest its substrate. This can happen when it's hunting, eating greens, drinking, digging, or even just walking around. Calci-sand binds when it gets wet. Basically, it turns to glue in your animal's digestive tract. If your animal ingests this substrate, unless emergency medical care is sought soon after, it is likely that your animal will die an extremely painful death.

2: Heat rocks- Heat rocks are marketed as a great way to achieve a source for belly heat. Why are they dangerous? In the past, and even sometimes presently, they experience internal wiring shortages. When this occurs, instead of shutting off, the heat rocks will get so hot that they have actually been documented as causing third degree burns on reptiles.

3: Care fresh/ pet fresh/ recycled newspaper pellet bedding- These products are made for ease of cre when cleaning your pet's enclosures. They were made for animals that make large messes, such as rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, girbils, mice, and rats. Unfortunately, some of this bedding ends up in the reptile side of the pet hobby as well. To be honest, I'm not even a fan of using it for mammals. Why is is dangerous? Similarly to the first substrate, this type of bedding is ultra absorbant (exactly as it's advertised to be). If it's ingested, and it will be if you use it as a substrate with no barrier in between, it will actually absorb digestive fluids while in the digestive tract, causing impaction. This substrate also sucks humidity straight out of the environment, and can actually suck humidity out of your pet through skin contact if your pet is directly exposed to it for long enough periods.

4: Excavator Sand- Now this product is actually quite cool if used correctly. It's basically a molding sand. Get it wet, and you can build some very intricate landscapes. Why is it dangerous? Exactly the same reason that makes it so cool. If the slightest amount of water comes in contact with this sand, it will stick itself to whatever is wet. For example, if you use it for your bearded dragon and your bearded dragon walks through its water bowl and then walks onto the substrate, he will have a thick layer of Excavator Sand coating his feet and toes. There are documented incidents of this happening and the reptile involved will have open sores that can get infected, and in some cases lose limbs. This product should ONLY be used on the few desert reptiles that never need water bowls provided to them in their enclosures, such as uromastyx.

Alright folks, add your own dangerous pet product.
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