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Are mesh wheels better for mice than solid plastic wheels?

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Are mesh wheels better for mice than solid plastic wheels?

Post by FuzzyMouse on Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:53 pm

I have seen multiple debates on this topic, but which wheel really is better? I know mice seem to like to grip onto thier surfaces, but since most plastic wheels have grips would this be enough? And also can mesh cause bumblefoot? I know mice are able to develope bumblefoot, but is it comman to get it from running on a wheel? And lots of people talk about how mice get bumblefoot from having a mesh bottom cage, but if they like to run on their wheel all the time isn't it almost the same? (I know with mesh bottom cages they can't really control whether they are on mesh or not and with the wheel they can, but still). Also I know another reason to use mesh is so mice don't go flying off, but wouldn't a plastic wheel be safer than mesh when it comes to having one male since there are not going to be multiple mice running on it at the same time? Also would enclosed wheels be safe? Like the wodent, trixie, or silent runner wheel? Or could their tail possibly get caught? Would it e best to just use a flying sauser without a wheel? Because I know some people like to recomend always offering at least 1 actual wheel. What would be the safest option? Also could you just get multiple wheels so that way it decreases the risk of mice getting flung off and lots of mice going on the same wheel at the same time (I know some mice will still want to go on the same wheel). Also can mesh harm their tail? And can their devolope wheel tail? (I know its commanly devoped because of small wheels). Also can mice get artritis from holding onto the mesh bars? Sorry for all the questions! Thanks for responding!
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Re: Are mesh wheels better for mice than solid plastic wheels?

Post by Rodents rock! on Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:02 pm

Hello, from being on this forum, I've learned that both plastic and metal mesh wheels are fine for mice. But not the metal wheels with bars. That being said, I've only used the plastic Silent Spinner wheels and really like them and my mouse and my hamster seem to really like them too. When I used to have gerbils, the also enjoyed them. Wheel tail is from using wheels that are too small. Hope this helps.
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Re: Are mesh wheels better for mice than solid plastic wheels?

Post by CallaLily on Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:31 am

The main bonus with mesh wheels is mice can more easily run together and less mess piles up on the wheel.  They also seem to enjoy doing loop-the-loops.

Yes, mice can get bumblefoot but it is pretty uncommon and those that do, get it from being forced to live solely on wire flooring and usually unsanitary conditions - not the wheel.  Tail injuries from wheel use aren't common with most wheel types either.  Wheel tail is mostly from too small wheels.  There are some that argue about wire wheels and arthritis, but I don't know if there's truly a connection.  

Flying saucers are great and are just a different type of wheel. I never understand when I see someone saying you have to have a "real wheel" too. Laughing  They serve the same purpose -exercise- and absolutely could be the only wheel type you offer, if you prefer.  Mice can run together on them too, though maybe not as easily as on a mesh wheel.  Saucer wheels are considered the safest wheel option by many.

I think enclosed wheels like the ones you mention are fine. It's the almost completely closed in crittertrail-type wheels that can be cause for concern because of tumbling mice and poor ventilation. Silent runners, wodent wheels, etc all have several exits so I don't think they'd have the same risk. Might be a little harder to clean than a fully open wheel.

Bottom line is this. Many in the mouse fancy have used mesh wheels for many, many years with many, many mice and find they pose no more risk (for mice) than a solid upright wheel. Yes, all wheels do come with some risk.  Freak accidents can happen.  But do you have to provide mesh wheels?  No!  If you're not comfortable with it for any reason, go ahead and stick to solid wheels or saucers. They all get the job done. Smile  The main wheels to avoid are barred wheels. Those do have a much greater risk of injury.

Yes, you can provide multiple wheels. Many of us do. But you may find they still choose to run together.

There's more on wheels here:

Rina, Tilda, Arsinoe, & Eulyn
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and wild mouse Henrika
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