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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Broken leg and not eating! Help!

Last night, my chinchilla somehow managed to escape from his cage. I found him in the corner of a room and my dogs were sniffing him. The dogs did not hurt him, but I fear that the fall may have hurt him. His back, left leg appears to be bothering him. We brought him to our vet and they apparently do not know a lot about chinchillas.

Alright, now that I've said that, this is my main focus and problem. Kujo (My chinchilla) is not eating or drinking. We've been giving him water through a syringe but I don't think he is getting enough. Have any of you had this problem before? I really need help so advice is appreciated greatly! We are working on getting a vet who can help with his leg but we are focusing on his lack of eating. Is this normal? Someone help!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 09:03 PM
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I'm going to write more in just a moment but would like to know where you're located so that I can help you get to a knowledgeable vet.

Stephanie

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in Montgomery, Alabama. Thanks for helping!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kujo_Chinchilla
Last night, my chinchilla somehow managed to escape from his cage. I found him in the corner of a room and my dogs were sniffing him. The dogs did not hurt him, but I fear that the fall may have hurt him. His back, left leg appears to be bothering him. We brought him to our vet and they apparently do not know a lot about chinchillas.

Alright, now that I've said that, this is my main focus and problem. Kujo (My chinchilla) is not eating or drinking. We've been giving him water through a syringe but I don't think he is getting enough. Have any of you had this problem before? I really need help so advice is appreciated greatly! We are working on getting a vet who can help with his leg but we are focusing on his lack of eating. Is this normal? Someone help!
There may be several reasons why he isn't eating, among them stress and pain.

Chinchillas have a GI tract that needs to be consistently moving fiber through it. You can make a pellet mash by grinding the pellets and mixing with water or softening them with water. Grinding them usually works best. If the chin won't take it, you can mix it with some juice and sweeten it a little.

Fluids are very important to chinchillas as well. They need about 30 CCs daily to maintain them. When they don't drink, usually sub-cutaneous (under the skin) fluids are recommended to help them stay hydrated. You can check hydration levels by lifting the skin between the shoulder blades. If it bounces back into place, that's good. If it takes a few seconds to go back into place, you'll know he's dehydrated.

I'm going through the exact same thing right now. There's a thread here titled Praline's hurt that may give you some treatment questions to ask the vet.

Stephanie

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, well I'm going to try some of that tonight. Thank you so much for your help! Any other suggestions?
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 09:16 PM
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http://www.aav.org/vet-lookup/
Most avian vets also do exotics and that can help you locate one in your area

http://www.aemv.org/newsite/alabama.html

I asked my exotic vet (she's in the office on an emergency) and she said she didn't know of anyone in Alabama, unfortunately.

Stephanie

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, well, we'll have to find someone. I volunteer at the zoo and we have a chinchilla up there so maybe someone up there can give me some more guidance. Thank you so much for your help! Do these forums post the replies slowly because I'm not seeing my posts show up.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kujo_Chinchilla
Okay, well I'm going to try some of that tonight. Thank you so much for your help! Any other suggestions?
You will want to keep him in a one level cage on some soft bedding to cushion the leg and keep him from moving it. Keep an eye out, if it's painful, he may bite the leg. If that happens it could get infected.

Also, if he'll eat treats, let him. Whatever he wants at this point is better than nothing. Alfalfa hay is usually better liked than Timothy (which should be your main hay), as it is richer. You may want to try and tempt him with that.

Best wishes to you and your chin!

Stephanie

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kujo_Chinchilla
Do these forums post the replies slowly because I'm not seeing my posts show up.
You should've received an email explaining, but we approve the first 10 posts of all new members due to some inappropriate posts that have been made by trolls.

Stephanie

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much! We have Timothy hay but we'll see if we can run back out to get the other type. He has all the other things though, one level, cushioning and all that. We got him a little house-type thing to lay under. He's just laying down, nearly asleep and he's been doing that since last night. That's a good thing, right? I know with some animals it isn't, so I'm just checking.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 09:38 PM
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You want him to rest but you don't want him to be lethargic. If he doesn't hop up and acknowledge you when you nudge him, you should probably have him seen this evening. He may be severely dehydrated and need some fluids, at the very least. Any ER vet can do at least this for you if you explain that he hasn't been drinking.

Buprenex is commonly used as a pain medication for chinchillas, though it can slow the GI tract since it's a narcotic. Pain can also slow the GI tract, however. It's kind of a catch-22.

Stephanie

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2004, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, well here's an update. We took Kujo to a vet today and they gave him some shots so that he gets hydrated. He did a have a bit of white gunk in his left eye but it's gone now. We've also received some kind of supplement from the vet that has plenty of protein and all that, so we are going to try it out tonight. They may do X-rays but for now, he seems to be doing a little better. No huge changes but we're hopeful.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2004, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Still sick :-(

Kujo still isn't eating on his own. He still doesn't want to move much and lays around most of the time. We've been syringe feeding him water and alternating between applesauce and peach babyfood to try and keep his nutrition and hydration up. His weight is stable so he's not losing. It is so frustrating to see him so sad and we can't find a vet that seems to know what to do with him. Would like to know if people think what we're doing is enough to keep him going until we can get this figured out. Also, any other nutrition suggestions would be greatly appreciated... thanks!
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2004, 09:51 PM
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You could grind up some pellets and make a mash with some applesauce. There's a thread in this section titled "Ernie Update" that has details on feeding a chin who won't/can't eat. If you can get some, try some Critical Care. http://www.oxbowhay.com will send you some if you provide them with the name and info for the vet who's seen Kujo.

You might think about pain management too. Pain will cause a chin to stop eating in and of itself. My girl with the leg injury just went on Metacam and is much more comfortable now with the pain med. She's more alert and willing to acknowledge me.

I would absolutely x-ray at this point. You need to know if it's broken. If it is, it'll need to be splinted to promote proper healing. An un-supported fracture can be excruciatingly painful.

I hope he does well for you soon.

Stephanie

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2004, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for all the information and support. You have really been a great help and comfort to us. I read through the "Ernie Update" and got some good ideas. I'm going to grind some pellets and mix with applesauce tonight. The vet we found that at least seems to know a little about chins is out of the office tomorrow, but I'm going to see if we can get Kujo x-rayed by the staff and get him some pain meds. Hopefully, if pain is the reason he's not eating or acting like "himself" then maybe getting the meds will get him back on track. Again, thank you for taking your time to help us. :-) Kujo's mom
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alfalfa hay, avian vet, exotic vet, level cage, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, timothy hay


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