We are starting this page to alert people to what poor animal husbandry can do to chinchillas. It is very important to watch your chins, their feces, food and water intake at all times. Catching issues before they become problems really is your best defense.
This is a chin that we sold and later got back. As you can see in the first picture, before he left here, he was round, hand a nice rounded face and strong fur. His weight at the time he left here at 6 months of age was 525 grams. Unfortunately, something must have been wrong with the husbandry in this home, though we honestly cannot tell you what the issue was, but whatever it was, it should have been caught faster. When he arrived back here, his weight was 410 grams and he was just over a year of age.
The next two pictures are this same chin, about a week after he returned to us and had gained about 75 grams of what he had lost back. You can see that there is a slight hump in his back and his face is now pointed from being way too thin. When he first arrived home, you could see his spine through his fur. What may not show in the photos is that his fur also suffered greatly. It was literally falling out on his rump. We are working hard to get this boy back into shape and will keep this page updated on his progress. His fur has stopped falling out and is now growing back, you can no longer see his spine, though you can still feel it a bit, and he no longer sits mainly in a hunched position. He's eating VERY well and not terrified as he was when he first arrived back home, he will now let me pet him again.
We are hoping that by showing this boy, people will see how important it is to keep a close eye on their chinchillas' food intake and overall health.
As you can see above, Hocus is thriving now. He's gained over 100 grams and his fur is looking MUCH better! He even has a neck again! And just look how much his fur has improved! It is no longer stringy or falling out.
November 14, 2005 - Hocus is up to 575 grams now
This is Plix. She came to us weighing 430 grams, which was about 200 grams underweight. If you look at the picture to the left of her, you can see the distinct hump on her back, similar to the one on the chin above.
This is a direct result of too much stress and too many treats. This chin was literally being "loved to death".
Working with the vet, we learned that Plix is anemic as well as low on calcium and potassium. She also had some kind of internal infection in her body.
Plix is getting better, but its been a very long road. When she got here, she did not want to eat any hay or pellets and would only eat what was handfed her. We have been hand feeding her twice a day as well as giving her supplements for 5 months. Its finally paid off!!!
I am happy to report, Plix is finally considered fully recovered, after 11 months of care! She is now up to 630 grams and loves scritches under her jaw and on her tummy, as you can see in recent picture on the right. She's a completely loving pet!
Update: After months of happy living, Plix got two intestinal blockages and ended up passing away. Plix will be so missed here. But, the effects of her early diet just left her intestines in such bad shape she could not be saved.
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