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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Horrible Chinchillas

My chinchillas are driving me up the wall.
I have two... a sweet little girl named Mercury and a horrible little goblin named Ayla.
Mercury, I fear, is beginning to pick up bad habbits from this new arrival and is beginning to act up.
About a couple of months ago I adopted Ayla from a petstore when she was a teeny tiny baby... just old enough to be sold, as a companion for Mercury.
It didn't take long for them to become fast friends.
But Ayla and I have been at odds ever since. She bites... she's hyper, she tears up her cage and is otherwise impossible to handle. I've heard it suggested that you should place your hand inside of the cage for the chinchilla to become familiar with you... well not with Ayla. Every time I try she boldly runs up and proceeds to attack me.
Even when I reach in to retreive her food bowl she flips out and attacks.
I don't want to sound like a baby, complaining about creature bites, but they're kindof bad. The one I sustained a few days ago had blood dripping down the length of my arm and a good portion of my finger gone.
I could get over this, but for the fact that I cannot handle her. She flips out, bites, screams and flees.
I need to be able to handle her to clean the cage... otherwise I'd just opt to leave her alone.
Her and Mercury get along quite well, so I wouldn't see the need for my interaction.

Ayla has been acting wierd too as of late.
I suppose the best way to describe it is, she gets stuck in her bum by something sharp... she then will leap pretty far into the air, sometimes doing little back kicks.
They both are losing hair, but I'm not sure if this is from play fighting.

I really need help. I cannot even pick her up, nor hold her in a towel for a length of time, such as at the vets office.

I'm very much at the end of my rope... and right now I wish I had never purchased such aggressive pets. If rehoming is what I need to do, I'll do it, though it will break my heart... but I cannot have such terrible pets.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 03:05 PM
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Has she been to the vet to rule out any physical problems? This should be your first stop. if everything comes back healthy, you're just going to have to be patient with her. You bought her from a pet store. These animals come from huge animal mills, like the one busted in Texas a few weeks ago. They're deprived of human interaction and often basic requirements like food and water. Traumatized at a young age, they're then dropped off at the pet store for whoever has the right money to buy them.

Second of all, how is rehomign them going to solve the problem? You're going to abandon the animals that you committed to, but who else would want a pet that is aggressive? You're dooming these animals to likely be shuffled from home to home over and over again until they finally die (most probably from their new owner's ignorance).

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I will take them to the vets... again.

But you should know, my chinchilla came from a petstore that does not get its animals from mills.

"Here at Preuss we believe that a quality animal and pet begins before they are even born. We breed much of our own stock of small animals including hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils and rats. Our other small animals(rabbits, ferrets, chinchillas, hedgehogs etc) come from private breeders. WE DO NOT BUY FROM FARM RAISED/MASS PRODUCING ANIMAL FARMS! We breed our own and buy from private breeders to ensure that the animals are of the greatest health and decrease the possibility of disease."
From Preuss Pets Website

They even have the mating guinea pigs on site.

Also I TRIED to get her from a rescue but noone in Lansing would call me back. I don't regret getting her from these people; frankly it was the best possible outcome.

I have small children around this chinchilla... what happens if they get their fingers bit ??
It's not like I'm desperatly trying to get rid of her; if I were I wouldn't be posting, asking for help.

My cousin is willing to take her... someone I know and trust who has more experience with chinchillas than I do.

So perhaps advice to solve this problem would be more beneficial.
Thank you.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 06:34 PM
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Any animal with teeth can bite. If your kids are not old enough to know this, you might want to look into fish or something else like that.

But as mentioned above you really need to take it slow.
Something is wrong. Either she's sick or she's just from a bad place (sounds like the last thing to me).
Breeding is not just putting two animals together and then you have babies.
Most good breeders would never sell their animals to pet stores, because then you have no way of knowing what kind of people your animal ends up with.

My guess is your girl is from a person who's not all that good of a breeder, so they either didn't handle the girl enough or maybe the parents are the same way.

Other than that, chinchillas go trough 2 periods when they young. Your girl may be going trough her "teenage" period. They get very annoying and have a tendency to bite hard and just be "bad".

If she, on the other hand, just doesn't like people, you need to start all over with her.
Place the foodbowl some where in the cage where you have easy access, and you do not have to touch her.
Then you need to spend at least a week or two where you do not try and touch her, but only speak to her trough the bars. It's okay to try and make her take treats trough the bars.
When she's okay with that, you can move on to the placing the hands in the cage with a treat in them and so on.

/Pia

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Red face Thank you !!

You know, I thought that perhaps she was going through a teenage period of rebellion.
I am able to give her raisins at least, and she seems to like me well enough when it comes to giving her treats.
Sadly, they're not my kids that poke their fingers through the bars, but stupid little neighbour kids... and their over protective parents who shout at me when my creatures bite.
Actually it shouldn't matter that they get bitten; the kids are kindof dumb and rude; they set my guinea pigs lose one day after I told them not to touch the cage...

I do think that I'm going to start all over with her... she's very cute and still quite young... she's got a whole 20 years or so for her and I to become friends :-)

Thank you very much, your advice really helped :-)
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 03:43 AM
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Sounds like some stupid parents and kids :S

Good luck with her

/Pia

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Breeding since 2005


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