Why ARE Mesh Wheels Safe?

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Why ARE Mesh Wheels Safe?

Post by CallaLily on Sat May 07, 2016 5:23 pm

Originally posted on The Fun Mouse Forum.
@Upendiparrot wrote:People have been critcizing my partner-in-crime's mesh wheels with incredible hate, and each time we have to explain its safe. I got attacked TWICE as of today, but anyhow... Why ARE they safe?

October wrote:People confuse the metal barred wheels that existed for several decades with the modern ones made of tiny mesh squares. The ones that just had bars going across meant that the mouse had to correctly anticipate each bar landing exactly under each of his four feet or else he risked having one of his legs fall through. At a high rate of speed, that could easily break bones.

The modern mesh ones leave no room for feet to fall through, so they are much, much safer. They are in fact safer than solid plastic wheels because mice cannot grip on to solid plastic and often go flying off. With metal mesh, mice grip on with their toes and enjoy going upside down in loop-de-loops. With solid plastic, going upside down can cause a nasty fall. This is why I find metal mesh wheels to be essential for groups of does who share a wheel. When two or three run at once on plastic, the momentum of the others often causes one mouse to get flung off. With mesh, all of the mice hold on safely.

Feel free to copy and paste this response to other sites. Please credit me, the moderator at thefunmouse.com forum as your source.

MunchyMousey2015 wrote:I have a solution for preventing fly outs out of solid bottomed wheels, although meshed wheels are okay by me. The idea I have is best for one mouse, I'll explain as I go. Smile

My idea is that:
1. Cover one side of the wheel with a solid piece of carboard, you can skip tis if your wheel already has a back.
2. Cut out another panel for the front, but cut holes for your mice to get out of the wheel as they please.
3. Hot glue it to the wheel with NON-TOXIC hot glue.
4. After the glue has dried and cooled, let your mouse play with a new conpletely safe wheel! Smile No slip outs, no foot infections (according to some sources) and best of all a happy mouse!

This idea is only good for one mouse because with two one mouse can get jumbled around while the other one runs, which does not sound happy!

If there are any problems with this idea, please tell me! Smile I want to make sure this is good before making a video to help other mouse owners.

*A note on loop-di-looping... this might not be such a good idea...

AnimalLover wrote:Here there are no mesh wheels, just wheels with big enough holes to get tails caught in it. It's the same design as mesh, just with bigger holes. What about the cross bars? If more than one female is running on it, and one wants to jump off but hits the cross bar, couldn't that be dangerous? Personally I think that flying saucers are safe for females.

October wrote:Where do you live, Animal lover? I am curious about these non-mesh wheels. Are they moulded out of soft plastic? If the squares are large, then they are not safe for mice.

Saucers are great, too! No exercise toy is perfectly risk-free. Mesh wheels have the potential for a mouse to get hit with a cross beam and saucers have the potential to fling a mouse off at high speeds.

AnimalLover wrote:I live in Canada. It's metal bars that have the same design as mesh, just slightly bigger squares. I would find a picture on the Internet and post it here but I don't know how to. Here's a link to an online shop selling one though.
http://happytailspetshop.com/product/prevue-pet-products-spv90012-wire-mesh-hamster-wheel-toy-for-small-animals-6-inch-colors-vary/

@CallaLily wrote:Do you know how big the squares are? It's hard to tell with the picture there. I can't remember the brand I've got but it looks very similar, except it's an 8 inch wheel. The squares are 1/4 inch. It seems safe enough but my girls don't seem to like it as much as the Silent Spinner or Flying Saucer.

AnimalLover wrote:I'm not entirely sure but I think that they are slightly larger than 1/4 inch. It's big-holed mesh essentially. I can see a mouse's tail getting caught in these holes.

October wrote:The mesh wheel I use for my 3 big lady mice is 6.5 inches in diameter. It has 12 squares across. The ones in your link look like they have 10 across, but it is impossible to know the actual dimensions of the wheels that were photographed. Just because that listing sells a 6 inch wheel doesn't mean that the ones in the photo are 6 inches.

I'm trying to picture if mine would be less safe with slightly larger squares. I can't tell, unfortunately. Anyway, mice do not poke their tails through mesh. I have never read of anyone having that happen in the hundreds of thousands of posts I've read on mouse sites.

AnimalLover wrote:They don't poke them through big hole mesh? I guess you can't really call it mesh, it's bars with the same design as mesh. I can understand standard size actual mesh, but I thought that maybe their tail would get caught in the one I listed?

October wrote:Those ARE mesh wheels in the picture you linked to. Maybe you had a different idea in your head of what they should look like, but those are normal mesh wheels. Mouse tails are prehensile. They are full of strong muscles and delicate nerves, so they feel everything around them and react to the slightest touch. Tails don't clunk behind mice like a dead weight.

Oh, I forgot to give the more important measurement of my wheel: The 12 squares are across a space of exactly 3 inches, so each square is 1/4 inch across.

@CallaLily wrote:My 8 inch wheel is exactly the same as October's. So it would seem the size of the squares do not change when you go up or down in wheel size.

AnimalLover wrote:Okay. I'm not sure. It sounds like they're completely fine. It's just that With the ones I have seen, I could see a mouse's tail getting caught. But they might be completely different. Maybe I'm just worrying too much!

Oh okay thank you for clearing that up October! I think the ones I have seen in the pet shop are bars, but I'll have to check.

October wrote:Petco makes an open-face mesh wheel with a solid back and open front. I think the few members who tried one said it was disappointing.

AnimalLover wrote:That sounds interesting. It would get rid of the risk of being hit by a crossbar. I don't believe there is a Petco where I live.

MunchyMousey2015 wrote:October, I really do not want to seem rude and dissagree, but I previously did some research into hamsters and the dislike towards meshed wheels is not falling thru the bars and breaking legs. It is the fact that meshed wheels cause bumblefoot, a painful foot infection that occurs from being on meshed wheels/floor for periods of time. However, I understand the concern against solid bottomed wheels, everyone should be able to determine which is worse: broken bones or a foot infection. This by no means is saying that people with meshed wheels should be shamed, everyone makes their own decisions for their own reasons. Smile I really hope I didn't come across as rude. Sad

October wrote:You are talking about HAMSTERS, Munchy. This is a mouse forum. Mesh wheels do NOT cause bumble foot in mice.

@Norman's Mom wrote:Using wire-mesh wheels, unless they are too small - rarely causes Bumblefoot in mice OR hamsters. They just aren't on them long enough to do that kind of damage. Most cases of Bumblefoot occur in rodents that are forces to live on wire flooring/shelving.

Hubbabubba wrote:oh i am pretty positive these are the types of wheels Animal Lover is talking about? they have vertical and horizontal bars but they are not exactly mesh


October wrote:Those are some STRANGE wheels, hubbabubba! Super dangerous. All of the equipment in that photo looks like it's from the 1980s.

Actually, Animal Lover posted a link to the wheels he/she was talking about (page 1, third post from the bottom.) They are common, safe mesh wheels.

MouseyLove wrote:Hello.
I'd like to also say something about this topic. I've read all of the replies and there's something none of you really talked about exept for mentioning it shortly like Animal Lover did right here. Mesh wheels are usually ok although I think it's important for mouse to have a flat surface to run on. It's just better for their feet and really: they don't need to cling onto the wheel. However, as long as no body part can get caught in the mesh it's alright. But the thing with mesh wheels is that they usually have crossbars and holders on each side of the wheel. This can cause severe accidents due to the 'scissor effect'; especially if a whole group of mice is using the wheel. The scissor effect is basically when your mouse gets caught between the crossbar of the wheel and the holder. This can cause really nasty wounds that might even be life-threatening.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that it's safer to use plastic or wooden wheels. I don't know anybody who uses mesh wheels for their mice where I live and there's a pretty good reason for it.

October wrote:Hi MouseyLove,

All of the mesh wheels that I see nowadays have a good-sized gap between the stand and the crossbeams. I remember the nasty old-fashioned ones from a few decades ago that had the potential for the scissor injuries you mentioned. They are no longer a problem.

I disagree about mice not needing to cling on to upright wheels. When 2 or 3 mice are running on a solid plastic wheel all at once, high speeds can and DO cause mice to be flung out of the wheel and crash into other parts of the habitat. I have personally witnessed this with my own eyes happening to my own mice.

As Norman's Mom said, saucer wheels are the safest. No form of artificial exercise substitutes that we provide for our domestic mice are without risk.

MouseyLove wrote:Alright then. I personally don't know how the mesh wheels look nowadays but if that has been fixed then it is not a problem anymore. Thanks for clarifying!  Smile

I have never had a problem with mice being flung out of the wheel and I have been using solid wooden wheels ever since I first got mice. The wheel slows down immediately if two or more are trying to run in it at the same time. But since you have witnessed that before then you should probably stick to the mesh wheels.  Wink

**I only moved over replies that contained important info to the topic.**

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