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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok.. im well aware that people say "omg dont use pine" but as yet have heard no real reason why...

one eprson said something about neurological problems (wtf does that mean) but nobody has pointed out a case... is it proven that pine is a bit NONO

i ask this because for my birthday i was bought "The Boa Constrictor Manual - from the experts at advanced vivarium systems - writen by Philippe de Vosjoli"

and in there it clearly states

"herpetoculturists also use pine or aspen shavings as substrate for their boas, if you are a large scale breeder where efficiancy is mroe important than looks, stick to newspaper"

anybody who has that book has check page 38 ...

now... this is quite confusing.. as everybody i have asked has said "no dont use pine" then a few people say "people say dont use pine, i dont know why ..." so they are only going on what told like myself...

then i get this is a book readily available from most reptile shops/websites.. saying you can use pine :S

peace

James
 

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All I know is that several sources I've found have said Pine is suspected to be toxic. I haven't seen it on sale as substrate in any reptile shops I've been to (and I've shopped around a LOT in recent weeks) and personally I wouldn't use it if there's a safe alternative, I wouldn't want to risk my animals' health to find out if it is or isn't safe.

One book does not a gospel make - what do all the other books/resources say on the matter? It may be a simple mistake, or the book may have been written before the problems with pine began to surface?

Oh, and neurological problems would include abnormal behaviours, strange movement, extreme unprovoked aggression etc - it's basically a problem with brain function.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
im not saying tis gospel... all im saying is that somewhere someone will take it as gospel...

and from the research ive done along with emailing a company about the contents of their bedding have still come back inconclusive...

so far nobody has shown me a case in wich pine has been used ad has been proven to have adverse affects on a reptile..

the company i emailes (easibed) emailed back saying their product IS safe for reptiles... and somewhere i have posted this responce...

1 person has said it causes neurological problems... and many others have said "oh dont use pine" i ask why and i get the same responce "someone told me its bad for your reps so i dont use it"

my next step is to email zoomed a leading supplier for aspen. to ask the contents of their aspen... as reading the packaging it states "recycled white woods" wich include pine....

im not saying i will be using pine to try all this out.. i just want to know why ... it could be that no reasearch has actualy been done and that it started from 1 persons snake sying after changing substrate to pine... they then assume this is because of the pine and start spreading it...

now this could of happened 40 years ago... and now eery1 has heard of it ??

or... tests could of ben done and it could have been proven... but nobody has shown me proof yet.. and it seems nobody can.. except the odd person saying "oh its the oils causing neurological problems."

peace

JAmes
 

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Yeah I hear what you're saying. One thing that confuses me about the whole toxicity thing is that so many snakes will have pine in their environment in the wild - for example all the British species, mediterranean species and a lot of the north american ones - so what is different about pine shavings? But then like I said when I can used something else I will, I don't want to take even a tiny chance.
 

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personally iv never used pine and on the basis of what iv read on numerous sites id steer clear of it.

but i do know of a shop that sells pine chippings which they have recommended as a substrate for most species of snakes

im just as confused as you
on the matter but untill we get a difinative
conclusion as to wether it is ok or not
and not just speculation im gona stay well away from it
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
personally iv never used pine and on the basis of what iv read on numerous sites id steer clear of it.

but i do know of a shop that sells pine chippings which they have recommended as a substrate for most species of snakes

im just as confused as you
on the matter but untill we get a difinative
conclusion as to wether it is ok or not
and not just speculation im gona stay well away from it


wich is the exact reason im trying to find out..

a shop local to me has been open years... (around 30) and over the time has stayed within the same family...

they ahvestocked reptiles fo the past 15 or so years... and have always used easibed... or a pine substrate...

they keep their own reptiles aswell.. and they all live on this.. without any problems... wich is why i ask...

peace

James
 

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It's possible that the rumour started with small animals having respiratory problems with pine shavings (not bark) due to dust inhalation, esp with it's relation to cedar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
see its things like this that confuse me even more..

"but not yet proven in herps"

this leads me to believe that someone somewhere got panicy and started spreading it kills your herps... and now we are all afraid of it...

lets hope sum1 is testing the substances in pine somewhere to see if it is harmful :D

peace

James
 

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Yeah I hear what you're saying. One thing that confuses me about the whole toxicity thing is that so many snakes will have pine in their environment in the wild - for example all the British species, mediterranean species and a lot of the north american ones - so what is different about pine shavings? But then like I said when I can used something else I will, I don't want to take even a tiny chance.
The difference is in the wild there is an abundant supply of fresh air and rain whereas in a viv the toxins are confined.
 

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I think every herp keeper has heard this rumor at some point, but no-one knows where it started. It's like an urban myth. It could have started with something really silly; like someone wanting to introduce a new type of bedding for sale, as it was cheaper to buy in, and easily available. So to get it started off they tell people that pine is bad for their animals. This customer then tells his friends, and then they tell their friends and on and on it goes from there. We as rep keepers want the best for our reps, so if hear that something is bad for our reps from loads of people, we want to eliminate the risk, and make sure our reps are going to stay in good health.
 

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its down to everyone what they do, however with newspaper ther is deff no way its goin 2 have any probs with it, so i don see in taking the risk, however with some of my problem shedders, well shedder i give him moss when he is goin 2 shed and don feed:2thumb::2thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
its down to everyone what they do, however with newspaper ther is deff no way its goin 2 have any probs with it, so i don see in taking the risk, however with some of my problem shedders, well shedder i give him moss when he is goin 2 shed and don feed:2thumb::2thumb:


wrong... several sources i ahve looked at say that enwspaper must eb 2 weeks old or the inks will rub off onto the snake releasing toxins ...

again something iv read...

it seems there are many different views on substrates... for now ill stick with aspen and aged newspaper...

peace

James
 

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It isn't just Pine.

The reason you probably can't find anything is that it is actually all woods which produce resin with an odour.

The odour is the toxin. I had a paper on it but i haven't got a clue where it is. The paper is actually written with fish in mind IIRC.

Essentially Pine produces more of this toxin than the others.

It was probably me that stated it has cumulative effects on the neurological state of the animal but as i don't have the paper to hand i can't refer you off anywhere.

I think there was a thread on the venomdoc forum a few weeks back aswell. If anyone's going to have the paper in question it will be one of the folks on there.
 

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The initial fear came from rats. Both cedar and pine shavings give off phenols. That is proven. Studies show a consistency in both of these to be high among the deterioration of health in rats.

Cedar manages to repel bugs like fleas and moths. Pine-sol is also the main staple is a number of disinfectants. You wouldn't place your snake in an unwashed viv, so why would you place one of the main ingredients of pine-sol based disinfectants into their viv?

Basically, the phenols released by all bedding is absorbed through the respiratory tract, which then enters the blood. This is where it's harmful to their health. Autoclaved pine and cedar shavings under lab testing have been shown to inhibit micro-organisms.

The toxicity of the acids emitted by these two substrates destroy the cells that line the lungs and trachea. They don't just affect rats. They affect other animals such as chickens, and also humans. In timber mills, where cedar and pine is used, there are higher rates of asthma compared to those with a lower dust exposure.

More so though, the rats which were tested on had more liver enzymes, which had a consistency which showed that they were fighting off toxins more so than those kept on say aspen. Only 24 hours of exposure to cedar had enzymes increased in mice, yet it took 12 days away from the cedar to return to a state of normal. Even treated pine which removes some phenols still has occuring effects, though not as great.

56% of rats kept on cedar died within 2 weeks, whilst only 0.01% of the pups on aspen and such died. That's a huge difference, and highly favourable of avoiding pine and cedar. The stress on the body was huge also, with cedar-raised rat pups 23% less in weight than their aspen tested counterparts. The mice which survived on pine shavings had abnormally enlarged livers with a decreased fertility rate.

Early studies in Germany are noticing patterns in softwood linking them with cancers.

There's a great deal of scientific evidence which supports the avoidance of these two being used. Especially in vivariums which aren't as well ventilated as the wild, as someone else picked up on earlier in this thread.

The aromatic hydrocarbons released by these two in particular softwoods are having devastating effects in a wide range of tests in many animals. Even though it applies to rats, chickens, and rats, and also humans, in the way it attacks the tissues of the lungs, it makes a reptile susceptible too. Remember too that snakes usually have one elongated lung, with a small second either superfluous in many, or unable to sustain life should the other become damaged.

For the sake of a couple of quid, is it worth ignoring scientific studies? That couple of quid can easily become hundreds in vet bills, not to mention the death of your snake which you've also shelled out for. It's a no-brainer in my eyes. Ergo, I avoid them.

You're correct about the newspaper too. Aged by a fortnight is a good guide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thankyou for clearing this up :D

although it still doesnt cure the problem... as still no tests have been carried out with reptiles...

reptiles can survive some of the harshest conditions and yet kileld by a bit of pine ??

somethign else my partner noticed... wood shavings readily available at wilkinsons stores, clearly states oon the back of their wood shavings "suitable for use with reptiles" and also "99.9% dust free"

however does not state what kind of wood it is...

the issue of money isnt the problem... im asking out of interest... why people are "raised" being told that pine WILL kill their reptiles... from 1 person i was told that it will give it IBD ... and since then have found that the neurological effects show symptoms similar to IBD but can take years to kick in.. much like IBD

a bail of thie easibed is available to myself at £10 per 25kg ... aspen is available to myself at £17.50 per 14kg ... and i use maby 4kg at a time.. so aspen is a no brainer...

along with newspaper and lino in my larger vivs :D

peace

James

peace

James
 

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although it still doesnt cure the problem... as still no tests have been carried out with reptiles...
Would you wish to though? It affects chickens, rodents and humans in the same way by attacking the lining of the lungs. As aforementioned, in snakes, the consequences could be even more so disastrous. I personally see little point in something which is proven to be fatal to many pets.

Certain snakes can survive harsh conditions. Take temperatures for example - prolonged exposure to temperatures of 32c+ will cause brain damage. That's more long term than the time it took the pine and cedar shavings to affect the rodents.

Don't forget there is a huge difference between being in a safe box inside, with artificial heating in what is usually a highly clean environment compared to that of the wild. If we wrapped kids in cotton wool like we do with our snakes, their immune systems would be considerably weakened through a lack of exposure to bacteria. It's the same with germophobes in humans, or people who take paracetamol as soon as possible for headaches. Over time, their immune system will weaken, and the latter will also be needing to be taken a larger dosage of paracetamol.

So in that sense, it's not just a bit of pine. Or to compare, pine is natural, air freshener isn't - yet someone recently lost 21 snakes or so from his mother who killed two flies with an aerosol. Two sprays, 23 deaths - It's being trapped in a humidity controlled ventilated box only, in which pine or cedar cannot air well, of which there is no escape of it from the snakes perspective. It's a chosen exposure from the snake owners, and a rather unnecessary one in my opinion, which I shall not be taking.

As for Wilkinsons wood shavings, can you find a link to the product, or a manufacturer, if so, I'll get onto them and find out for you.
 

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Are most of these findings based on shavings? as it's the phenols in/from shavings that causes problems in rodents I believe.
I personally think the orchid bark (normally pine) marketed for reptiles tagged "safe and hygienic" would be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
been talking to a arb----arbe-- tree person 2day... adn they were saying that the oils in cedar are dangerous.. but the dust from pine is dangerous...

but to be safe.. people avoid it all :D

and no i wouldnt rather it be tested on reps to be sure.. all im saying is different things can live with different surroundings...

hence rats can live native in this country... but in labs they are kept under heat.... why.. because they deem it right :D

peace

JAmes
 
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