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Thread: bad types of wood for reptiles

  1. #1
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    Post bad types of wood for reptiles

    Im wondering if there are bad types of DRIFT wood for reptiles, even after its been cleaned and sterilized....or even if they are not bad for them but should be avoided for possible other reasons.
    A Person Who Asks A Question Is A Fool For Five Minutes, A Person Who Doesn't Is A Fool Forever ...

  2. #2
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: bad types of wood for reptiles

    I was always led to believe that wood coming from an evergreen is bad.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: bad types of wood for reptiles

    Avoid strongly aromatic conifers.

    Cypress and Douglas fir are both evergreen conifers which are commonly used. Spruce, fir, and pine are evergreen conifers commonly used in homes, caging, and bedding without common problems.
    Larch is a conifer but not an evergreen. It's likely suitable, if available. Many hardwoods are evergreen and not conifers, but I have yet to hear of any which are problematic.
    Cedar, incense cedar and a selection of conifers refered to as "cypress" or "cedar" are often highly aromatic and contain enough VOCs to be harmful in a cage. Cypress and cedar are common names however, as are pine, fir, and spruce. They don't always refer to trees which have much in common with each other - some will be safe, some not.
    The trend is to post names and numbers of "pets" here. That seems...um...bulky.
    23+ species of salamander
    28+ families and subfamilies of reptile, amphibian, and arachnid.
    Only one has a name. The Beast.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: bad types of wood for reptiles

    You know, I've always heard to avoid this and avoid that when it comes to wood products for either human or pet exposure. Problem is, I haven't seen one lick of fact to back up these claims and see tons of evidence to refute them. For example, cypress has high VOC content, and yet it is one of the most promoted wood beddings for reptiles in the US. Cedar as well is often called toxic, not only to reptiles but to humans as well. I've had people claim first hand experience about the oils in cedar and its harmful effects. And yet the fact remains that not only is cedar a commonly used wood in many things humans are exposed to (cedar is the typical wood for wood shakes, saunas, even some furniture) but the west coast natives called it the "tree of life" because of the many uses they had for it (from "diaper" material to medicines - or in other words, they traditionally had frequent, direct contact with said material in "sensitive" ways). Perhaps most damning to the claims that it is toxic is the popular culinary trend of cedar plank cooking, wherein food is baked upon a soaked plank of cedar. Simply put - the toxic stories don't hold water. I think they are just one of those tales we like to "pass along in order to sound informed".
    That being said, from what I've seen, the toxic substances known amount to plicatic acid in cedars, and abietic acid in pines. While there are numerous documentations of both of these having adverse reactions in people, the fact of the matter remains that the people having the adverse reactions are asthmatics and allergy sufferers. In other words, only those that are already sensitive wind up being affected. Personally, while there are a lot of people allergic to peanuts, I wouldn't go around calling peanuts toxic.
    There's nothing wrong with being cautionary and avoiding using these materials with your pets, but there isn't enough substance behind the claims to spread rumours of them being toxic.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: bad types of wood for reptiles

    My dad bred rabbits for years and he made the enclosures/nesting boxes out of cedar and never had issues.
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