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#923066 - 03/25/10 12:51 PM Rusty cages, what's the big deal?
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
I have seen all too often gliders kept in rusty cages. I've had people say to me, "It's only a little rust, what's the big deal?"

Well, the big deal is the potential dangers of the rust. Rust itself is not dangerous but it does harbor a potentially fatal bactaria called tetanus. Without treatment, one out of four infected people die. Imagine what the death rate for gliders would be!

There is a really great explination of tetanus, it's symptoms, treatment and associated problems I found HERE.

I encourage everyone to read this. It isn't long and it could save your glider's life.


There is a reason we are told to go to the doctor if we step on a rusty nail. The reason is tetanus. It can be serious. Most of us humans have little to fear from tetanus as we get vacinated every 10 years.

So please, if your glider's cages are rusting, it is time to replace them.
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#923079 - 03/25/10 01:24 PM Re: Rusty cages, what's the big deal? [Re: Dancing]
Gizmogirl Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 13454
Loc: South Africa
Great information and a great reminder for all of us to prevent rather than cure.
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#923080 - 03/25/10 01:25 PM Re: Rusty cages, what's the big deal? [Re: Dancing]
suggiemom1980 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 13744
Loc: Vincennes, IN, USA
Good thread, Dancing and informative article. As a small rescue home, I have seen some pretty horrible cages covered with rust, leftover food and feces. In every case, the gliders were sick. Rust and filth don't make for healthy gliders.
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#923254 - 03/25/10 07:58 PM Re: Rusty cages, what's the big deal? [Re: Dancing]
Berg Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 09/04/09
Posts: 490
Loc: Champaign Co., Illinois
Rusty cages are undesirable for a lot of reasons.

Rust is oxidation of iron and causes pitting of the metal surface. The pitting can harbor dirt and bacteria. If the surface is exposed to moisture (like from urine) rust is only going to get worse. Also, I would be worried the rough rusty surface could cause abrasions on the glider's feet and potentially be at the least painful, and the worst, become infected.

However, in the general scheme of things tetanus is not one of the reasons. Although all warm-blooded animals are susceptible, the chances that our gliders will contract tetanus are minuscule unless perhaps you keep them outdoors. Rust, as Dancing points out, is not dangerous. By itself, it has absolutely nothing to do with tetanus. The "rusty nail" story probably results from the fact that rust on a nail means it has been lying around and is dirty. If you step on a piece of glass that has been lying in the soil outside and it causes a deep wound, you may potentially be exposed to tetanus.

Tetanus is caused by a bacterium, Clostridium tetani, that lives in the soil and the intestinal tracts of animals. Grazing animals (horses, cows, sheep etc.) are particularly susceptible to this nasty bug. When exposed to oxygen, the organism forms a protective capsule around itself. It can remain inactive for years, but grows in the absence of oxygen and in dead tissue (such as in a deep wound), releasing a neurotoxin that causes the symptoms. Dogs and cats have some resistance to tetanus, but can acquire it.

Unless your gliders or cages are exposed to soil, not cleaned, AND the glider has a deep wound, it seems the chances of tetanus are extremely small.

With a dirty and/or rusty cage I'd be more worried about streptococcus or some other nasty bug that could quickly go systemic.

I'm not disagreeing with the premise. I think good "cage hygiene" is important to keeping these guys healthy. Just trying to avoid a "Rusty cages expose your gliders to tetanus" myth from starting.
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gangel Virga 9-10-2012
gangel Cirrus 4-29-2013


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#923264 - 03/25/10 08:18 PM Re: Rusty cages, what's the big deal? [Re: Berg]
eterrell84 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 3047
Loc: atkins arkansas
good thinking Dancing! im glad i have my rept so i dont have to worry about rust at ALL! my wire cage scared me to death, from chipping paint (not mine! but i looked constantly!) to rust.... ugh... i dont like em.
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#923273 - 03/25/10 08:31 PM Re: Rusty cages, what's the big deal? [Re: eterrell84]
Paige
Unregistered


I thankfuly got my little girl out of her old rusty cage this christmas. Now she's in a much better and safer cage. smile yea. I agree compleetly though, it is important that us as well a our furry family members are safe and healthy.

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#923274 - 03/25/10 08:32 PM Re: Rusty cages, what's the big deal? [Re: eterrell84]
heidi Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1661
Loc: conway south carolina/ us
this topic should be lockeded in its verry good reminder to keep a look out for
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"promise me you'll always remeber:you're braver than you believe,and stronger than you seem,and smarter than you think" christopher robin to pooh

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