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by Dr Liam Brown, The Vet Connection, Perth, WA
These are fibreglass cages that we use to house inpatients in our wards and recovering patients in our treatment area. Each cage is individually heated from underneath although we still use a Bair Hugger when a patient is waking up after surgery.
What’s good about it
As they’re made of fibreglass, they’re very quiet. There’s no sound of things banging around like you get with stainless steel. The cages are also much warmer than stainless steel. If an animal should move all their bedding aside and lay on the floor directly, they’re not lying on cold stainless steel. They’re also recommended by the Fear Free program.
The reduction in noise means the animals are less stressed. Some dogs will push their bedding aside, no matter how much you put down, and the sound of nails and food bowls being pushed around is constant. Fibreglass tends to deaden sound rather than create echoes.
Our cages are thermostatically heated by heating pads underneath the floors so, in the middle of winter, the animals are on warm bedding. This is much better than using heating mats where there’s a chance of a dog chewing through the wires.
The cages are solid, easy to clean and can be ordered with or without drains. We chose grey but they come in a range of colours. When clients come back to see their animals, they are much more appealing to look at than stainless-steel cages.
What’s not so good
The downside of the fibreglass cages is that they come in one big module. We couldn’t fit a standard module through our door so we had to get two modules designed and then put them together inside the room. They’re also more expensive than stainless-steel cages.