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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy does my furball have ringworm?

I have a male chinchilla named Damien (he's a demon XD), and lately, I've been noticing some large tufts of hair outside the cage, and also some marks on his ears when we wake up in the morning. I took him to the vet, but he wasn't an expert on chinchillas, so he couldn't say what the problem was for sure. At the time, we both assumed that Damien was playing on the wheel too hard and he ended up hurting himself.

He gave me betadine and some antibiotics and told me to use them for the next little while and to come back when the antibiotics were done for a follow-up. Well, when we were giving him the meds the other day, we noticed two large bald patches on his sides, right by his hip joints. There were sores that were slightly reddish, and looked dried around the edges. I swabbed them as best I could with the betadine, and continued with the antibiotics, but I'm concerned that they won't work in the case of ringworm, since it's a fungus and not a viral infection.

I tried giving him a bath with some tinctactin in it like I've seen suggested in other threads on this forum, but he knew something was up and didn't even look at the bath. I was hoping someone who is a bit more experienced than I am could take a peek and give their input.

i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk1/Aariana_Greenleaf/PC270120.jpg
Theses are the marks on his ears. They look horrible, but they seem to be healing somewhat nicely. They only look bad cause we had horrible lighting while I was trying to take a picture. Damien does NOT like staying still!

i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk1/Aariana_Greenleaf/PC270113.jpg
The marks on his other side look almost exactly like this. They look a bit redder than they actually are, since I've been swabbing them with betadine once a day. He hates it, but it seems to be helping a bit.

As for the antibiotics, the vet gave him enrofloaxcin at a concentration of 100 mg/mL and he's taking 0.3 mL twice a day. I figure we have about enough for ten days or so, then it's back to the vet if he's not doing any better.

Basically, what I'm asking for here is a bit of input on whether or not the munchkin has ringworm, and if so, is there anything else I should be doing to help him? He doesn't seem to be acting differently, but I still feel bad for the little guy

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 07:47 AM
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I've never seen anything like this before.
I guess it could be ringworm, but then it's VERY bad, and the chance of you not noticing it in the head before it got this bad, is very slim.

I would suggest that you take him to the vet as soon as possible, and make the vet do a full check up. You need some blood work done on him.

I'm not sure I would use the same vet. Just giving you antibiotics with out being sure what's wrong is not a good thing in my book.
The antibiotics will kill off all the natural bacteria in the intestines as well as those who are not suppose to be there.
If it's not some thing the antibiotics can take care of, you just kill all the good bacteria, and then he might get some problems with digesting.

Good luck with him

/Pia

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply. I just assumed it was dry skin combined with him playing really rough on his wheel (we have one of those wire ones - I know they're horrible but they're the only one we could find). I definitely plan on taking him back to the vet for a follow up, but I have to say I'm rather hopeful that he'll get better on his own, since he doesn't seem to be acting any differently (and yes, I know that doesn't necessarily mean he's actually ok).

If this is what ringworm looks like when it's really bad, then I have to say I doubt that's what he actually has, since he lives in the same cage as his brother Dominik, and Dominik looks perfectly fine.

I guess I'll be looking around for another vet today. Thanks again!
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 07:08 PM
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So he has a brother?
I didn't get that >_<

Then it could be some very bad fighting. That would explain it a lot better.
Or maybe the brother is over grooming.
Have you seen anything that looks like furbithing on either of them?
It's not uncommon for animals to over groom each other. But if that's what it is, it's a very bad case of over grooming.
You might want to thing about getting an other cage, and separating them, just until this problem is solved. If it's an illness, the brother might get it. On the other hand, if it isn't you might be able to see an improvement quite soon, if it's a fighting or grooming problem.

And as for the wheels, rather no wheel at all, than a bad one
You need to go online if you want a good wheel.
I'm not even sure you can get a "normal" rodent wheel that's big enough for a chinchilla.

It doesn't look like wheel problems though. Then you would see problems with feet and tail rather than ears and one spot on the body.
I don't think it's a shelve problem either. Mine tend to eat at their shelves so they have some rather sharp edges, and they never get hurt on them.

To be honest, I think it's a problem with the brother. Those marks sure look like chinchilla biting wounds. But that doesn't have to mean the brother is aggressive at all

/Pia

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry about the brother thing. I forgot to mention it in the earlier post. We went to a vet today, and she took a fur sample just to make sure it wasn't fungus. We also tried to find a cage to separate them and it was a DISASTER >< The only place around here, believe it or not, is a PetSmart, and they had one cage that wasn't ridiculously overpriced that was the right size. We buy it, get it home, and discover that not only were the measurements on the box wrong, there was also the shallowest pan on the bottom so we couldn't even put wood chips in it for him. The top connects in such a way that the ends of the metal bars are _inside_ the cage, just the perfect height to poke the poor little guy's eyes out. And to top it all off, the pan at the bottom was made of metal that had very sharp points and eges and I could actually rub the paint off with my fingers.

So unfortunately, if they're fighting, it might have to go on for a day longer until we can find a cage that won't end up killing him ><

Is that really what bite wounds look like? I've never seen bites from chinchillas before, so I really had no idea what to look for. I feel bad now if they were fighting and I didn't realize it

Well, I guess the best thing I can do right now is to separate them and keep using the betadine. I read that it's good for fungus (just on the off chance he gets it from the stress) and for disinfecting, so hopefully it'll make him feel better soon!
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 09:51 AM
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They might not be fighting. It's just one of the possibilities.
It could be that one of your chins is over grooming the other.
How old are they? Some times chinchillas will fight to reestablish how is the boss as a certain age.
It could be that one is provoking the other, and the one being provoked bites out to tell it's enough.

About the big bald spot: Did you remove any hair, or was it such a clean "circle" from the start.
I've been thinking a bit about it, and if it looked like that from the start, you might be on to something with the wheel. I'm not sure how the fur would get stuck, but normally with one biting the other, you can't see the missing fur, even though they might bite trough the skin.
If it's furbiting/over grooming, you would see some very bad fur out side of the circle, and I can't really see any on the picture.

If you have some mesh, and can get your hands on a closet or the like with a good size, you could make your own cage fairly easy and fast.

/Pia

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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So many questions! XD

Damien is four, and Dominik is five. They seem to act ok when we're around, but of course that doesn't mean anything. Neither of them have ragged edges on their fur, rather, Dominik's coat looks perfectly healthy. Damien is looking scruffy but I haven't noticed any signs of fur biting. He just seems to be constantly suffering from fur slips. The picture, by the way, was just his bald spot - I removed nothing. I didn't want to stress him out any more.

I slept in their room last night, and I didn't hear any signs of fighting, so hopefully that's not the problem (fingers crossed), but just in case, we're going to find a new cage today and keep them separate for a while to see.

As for the wheel, it's still out, and Damien is very mad about it! He hates not having something to run around in, but I'd rather not risk having him get any worse.

Honestly, by this point, I'm hoping it IS over grooming or fur biting. It's a horrible habit for them to get into, but it would sure make me feel better to know what the heck is going on
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 01:41 PM
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Okay, then I don't think it's an age problem.

Yeah, furbiting is a bad habit, but as long as you don't breed and don't plan on showing, that's really all it is.

When a chin is born, the mom nibbles the baby until it makes a sound. Some times it can take a while for the young to react, and the mom may bite them hard by mistake.
The things on his ears makes me think about that, and that's why I'm thinking about over grooming from the brothers side.

Some times they can fight about the most silly things, and it may only happen a couple of times during their lives together. They can get some quite nasty wounds, but usually it's nothing bad, they just take a while to heal. That could be what's going on...

Just to point out how weird they are, I think one of mine just pied on one of my other chins... Nothing aggressive about it... >_<
Stupid animals

/Pia

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinchi View Post
Just to point out how weird they are, I think one of mine just pied on one of my other chins... Nothing aggressive about it... >_<
Stupid animals
Hehe that made me laugh so hard! It's amazing that they can be such jerks to each other and still be best friends.

i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk1/Aariana_Greenleaf/chinchillas/P9260003.jpg
As you can see, mine are no better! They can't even agree on which direction to go!

Well, we just got a second cage, so they're separate now. I'll keep cleaning the wounds just in case, and see what the vet has to say. They're not happy being separated, but I think it's for the best right now.

Thanks so much for your help!
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 04:09 PM
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You could let them run out together.
Then the risk of problems with reintroducing is not as big

They are super cute ^_^
But the wheel is way to small.
Try googling "flying saucer wheel" or look here: http://www.chinworld.com/

/Pia

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I know the wheel is too small. We've found those flying saucers at a pet store nearby, so once Damien is feeling better, we're getting them one of those instead. It's plastic, so not as good as those metal ones at ChinWorld, but they get enough wood chewies that they aren't interested in chewing on anything plastic anyways.

Once Damien is doing a bit better, I'll let them out to play together, but I'm a bit worried right now that he might end up hurting himself more so he's still confined to cage for at least the next day
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 12:26 PM
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I would be really careful with the plastic wheels because chinchillas ARE hardcore chewers, and ingesting that plastic is dangerous to them. Just having other stuff they SHOULD chew usually won't stop them from chewing bad stuff. (Ask me how I know)

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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I know they can be horrible about the chewing, but I actually have a plastic house in there right now and they haven't even nibbled on it. My husband actually said he'd be more concerned about them breaking the wheel the instant we put it in there. XD

Ideally, it would be nice to get them that metal saucer, but unfortunately, the wallet is saying it's a bad idea right now. Maybe later, but after two vet visits, testing, AND meds, he's cost us more in the past week than we spend in groceries for the past month. (From now on, no expensive pets! Only pet rocks! XD)
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 04:43 PM
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I've only heard bad things about those plastic things.
They should be really unstable.

If I were you, I would wait until you have the money for a good wheel.
In the long run it saves you money, and you may save your chins some injuries.
Rather no wheel at all than a "okay" or bad wheel

/Pia

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2010, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to post a quick update. Damien's skin is looking a lot better, and his fur is starting to grow back! I was really happy to see that, but I'm still waiting on the results from the vet. I can't wait until he's better so he can play with his brother again.
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