Disabled or chronically ill chinchillas
Most people here know about Tinsel who was my first chin. She was epileptic and had an amputated hind leg. It's been 7 months already since she passed and I think of her every day.
I was just wondering if anyone else is living/has lived with a chin that is either chronically ill or disabled. What kind of illness/disability do they have? Do they require special treatment? How do you handle the situation?
With Tinsel, we had to feed her phenobarbitol every day for her epilepsy. Luckily, she thought it was a special treat and would always gulp down her meds. She required three feedings per day in the end, which meant always making sure we didn't come home late or always had someone as a backup in case we were away for the day. She also required regular health checks at the vet. As for her missing leg, no special treatment was required other than what was needed when she broke the leg and we had to get it amputated.
I had not truly realized how much "work" was involved in her care until she passed and I got a completely healthy chin to keep company to Jigsaw. I sometimes feel like I'm not doing enough for Jigsaw and Calypso since I have much less work to do while caring for them. I'm also a lot more nervous when they seem to be acting odd. I often start panicking and thinking they will have a seizure. I am also still getting used to the fact that I don't have to be on a strict time schedule every day.
Has anyone else experienced this? Tinsel was a very special part of my life and I miss her dearly. I never regret the endless hours I spent holding her during seizures or medicating her. But at the same time, I am very thankful now that I do not have to be going through all of that.
Sophie, I have never had this experience but I always remind myself how thankful I am to have healthy chins. I often read the posts on Chins N' Quills and I am amazed at how many people have sick or disabled chins.
I know Tinsel was such a special part of your life and you would have done anything to help her. Like you said, even though you never regret all the time and care that went into Tinsel's life, it is nice to have a healthy chinnie.
Sounds like you made life as good as possible for your Tinsel. It's good you found each other. I have a few chins that have problems...none as serious as epilepsy though. They do require a little special attention and close observation...more than anything the difficult thing has been determining what was causing the problem.
I've got one chin, Gizmo, that only has one ear, and the spot where his other ear should be was prone to infection. Antibiotics helped some, but made him constipated even with giving him acidophilus and left him with a hunchback. The infection always came back after a while so I decided to try something else. After ditching the antibiotics and trying various homeopathic things (as suggested by my dad) and diet supplements I think the problem has been taken care of (fingers crossed). I've been adding Animax and my own supplement to his diet for some time now and it seems to have what he needs in it because he hasn't had another infection since January, so hopefully that's over with. He still has a hunch that we're trying to cure (if possible) but he's doing alright and he really likes the supplement.
I've also got a fur chewer, Beauty, who is allergic to pine and prone to eye infections. She has to have Aspen bedding (which I'm allergic to, but I can tolerate the itching as long as it's only in one cage). Eye infections are treated with Terramycin four to five times a day...she hasn't had one since January though. (Yay!) She also gets Animax and my supplement.
The supplement is nothing special really....oats, wheat germ, and dandelions (as suggested by dad...in humans they help liver function, purify blood and and improve the function of the spleen, pancreas, stomach and kidneys. I figured since we had plenty of them outside and hadn't used any fertilizers or anything like that, they were worth a try.) Now Dad suggests adding vitamin C. For now, I'm trying rose hips as a source. Gizmo has grown to like them, but the other chins (including Beauty) don't really care for them. I'm also planing on adding Barley and seeing if it has any effect.
I've been making special treats for them with the food dehydrator that are a little less sugary than raisin and they only get them a couple times a week.
Sophie this is a great thread. I still feel depressed when I think about poor Tinsel, & what both of you went though.
I think you were brave & did everything you could for her.
I as you know have a chronically ill chin, Cub: the vet suggested euthanasia last year because he said she had the teeth of an elderly chinchilla.
She drools on her chest frequently, there is always a little sticky spot there. It worries me but there is nothing to do about it, except take acre of flare ups when they occur.
Last year Cub spent a long time on antibiotics, eating a mix of organic baby cereal, warm water, Mazuri & Critical Care, topped w/ applesauce.
She has rebounded remarkably, & her recent eye infection went away w/ Polysporin eyedrops.
The way I see it, my income will be increasing as her teeth deteriorate, so hopefully I'll be able to afford the most advanced chinchilla dentistry techniques as they become available. Cub has a wonderful vet who teaches exotic medicine.
I think it's always worth a fight to save a chronically ill animal,so long as they are not contantly suffering.
Cub is thriving.... but still drooling.
I just lost my first and only chin last sunday.......not sure how old he was as i had bought him from a pet store (cuz he looked soooooo pitiful) and all they said was hes more of an adult.............he was perfectly healthy besides a cataract on his eye........then one a.m. he was acting peculiar...running in circles....needless to say he died about an hour later.......sooooooooo sad to watch him suffer for an hour.....i cried and cried........i almost gave him a pain pill.....which i knew would end his suffering but fortuantely he died before i had to make that decision. I still dont know what happened and im sooooooooo sad ......every day i look at his cage and just wanna cry!! we just made him a new huge cage out of melamite(sp) board.........
So sorry for your loss
Awwe, poor guy. Sounds like he had a great home with you though. He looks so cute in that pic.
I've got some good news....Gizmo has gained 50 grams!!! He's been underweight for a while so this is a big deal for him.
What a SAD topic! Sophie - I know EXACTLEY the feeling a freaking out when any of the chins act weird. I lost a chin, Chucker to pneumonia and Peeps had some kind of sneezing thing for 3 whole months when she was a baby. I decided to put Chucker down when the meds weren't working and we tried every single meds chins could have. Her sneezing was awful and with Peeps we still don't know exactley what was wrong with her but finally the chloramphenicol worked. But if I here sneezing I freak right out, my stomach starts turning and my heart races. When Peeps was sneezing it was the worst experience. I don't know how to control myself and not to panic. I really wish I could get over this.
I remember Tinsel. What a little troper she was. You took such good care of her. It's hard to watch a chin suffer so I understand what a relief it was to not see them sick anymore. It's really stressful.
yeah im not an euthanasia advocate.......esp since im a nurse......but when he was suffering soooooooooo bad i could barely take it......i knew he was dying and just wanted to try and let him go peacefully........... ........luckily he died before i needed to make that choice..........its so easy to get attached to these little guys......i want another one but .....afraid of getting attached and losing another one.........i still miss koke
Sorry for your loss swimmingupstream.
Maybe if you tried a healthy chin from a breeder s/he would live longer than koke? Pet store chins often have health problems no one tells you about.
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