I think that is awesome. He is so onery but so cute! Everyone thinks he is so cute.
If the chin is an addition, he must be kept apart quarantined from the others and the facilities they use until after he's been examined by the vet, until then it's vital that you wash hands and keep things especially sanitary and separate between the addition and the resident chins.
Chinchillas don't require check-ups or vaccinations after their initial vet examination, but we strongly advise getting a yearly head x-ray because that is the only way to confirm and address malocclusion at the earliest stage. Chinchillas themselves have few contagious diseasesbut a chin that has been exposed to other animals and their fecal droppings, Pa chins family.
You can print out the list below and go over the points with your exotics specialist vet to ensure that at least these basics are covered in the new chin's initial examination. This list may also be used as a checklist for routine health maintenance.
Ears and Paw Pads need to be examined and treated, if necessary, for dryness or callouses. Check for ear mites.
Eyes should be bright and clear. There should be no white, yellow or milky discharge or any dampness in or around them. Dampness around the eye may indicate an advanced case of malocclusionbut usually it's just an eye irritation. Chinchillas practice Coprophagy, or, more accurately, Cecotrophy, they reconsume some of their own droppings as part of their normal digestive process.
These droppings, that differ from the final deposit, are called, "cecotropes. A change in droppings is actually symptomatic of a problem rather than a problem in itself, and usually the problem is related to some aspect of husbandry, such as: Once the underlying problem has been addressed, e.
If the environmental stress factor is the stress of a move, say, if the chinparents have relocated or just brought their new Pa chins family home, then he may just need a little time to settle in.
As long as there are no other symptoms besides a change in fecal droppings if there are, see an exotics specialist vet immediatelyand as long as there isn't rank-smelling diarrhea see Giardiathen squashy droppings, even a regular case of diarrhea can be helped by trying ONE of these suggestions.
Be aware, though, that although this will treat the SYMPTOM in the short term, if the underlying problem goes unaddressed then the symptom will continue to recur: This will not cause GI stasischins can safely go up to 24 hours without water this is vet verifiable; a state of extreme stress either mentally or physically can put a chin temporarily off his food or water barring other complications and we've treated squashy droppings this way at our rescue for years.
Parasites, Giardia in particular, are a contagious condition and a new chin or any chin with foul-smelling diarrhea must be checked and cleared of this by an exotics specialist vet BEFORE contact with other chinchillas. This is not a common problem, but parasites can be present in tap or well water and this is why chins should have only distilled or filtered water.
Hard, unusually small fecal droppings are an indication of inadequate food intake or constipation. It is not unusual for a chin who is experiencing environmental stressor who is recovering from a recent operation, illness or injury to eat less for a time until the stress factor is resolved or until he recovers from his condition and regains his full appetite.
Constipation can indicate a temporary intestinal blockage, sluggishness from lack of dietary fiber or potentially GI stasisbut the far more likely and common cause of constipation is environmental stressespecially the stress of a move or from prolonged confinement in a smaller cage or carrier.
If the latter is a possibility, give the chin extra out-of-cage exercise time and restore him to his larger cage at the earliest opportunity. A small piece of prune, fig or a raisin can encourage gut motility as long as other symptoms are not present that would indicate illness rather than environmental stress, if illness is suspected see an exotics specialist vet immediately.
Fur needs to be looked at for signs of fur biting or fungus. Chins that check positive for fur biting should be considered NFB. Fungus, Ringworm in particular, is a contagious condition that a new chin or any chin exhibiting signs of fungus must be cleared of BEFORE contact with any other chinchillas.
General Attitude should be observed to determine if there are any abnormalities of movement, response, or use of limbs. If the chin is acting limp and lethargic, check for diabetes or hypoglycemia.
If he has a seizure, examine the many causes and pursue a remedial course of action. Heart and Lungs need to be listened to for health and clarity, the heart should be clear of murmurs. Chins that test positive for a heart murmur should be considered NFB.
A wet nose and hair thinned around the nose from pawing at itaccompanied by wheezing and sneezing are signs of a cold or respiratory problem.
Be aware that sometimes chins expel air sharply through their nose to clear it of some irritating particle, however, this is an infrequent occurrence and it woud be better to have the chin examined by your exotics specialist vet if in doubt.
Teeth should have dark orange enamel outer coatingwhich indicates sufficient calcium levels in the body. Malocclusion is NOT always a "death sentence," it may be reversible in the initial and mid stages with vitamin C and calcium supplementing among other things, see Implementing Changes and Positive Results.
Your exotics specialist vet should check the growth of both molars and incisors to ensure that the teeth are properly aligned and are receiving sufficient wear.
Incisors are readily observable, as in the photo illustration, but viewing molars requires the use of a veterinary otoscope.
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