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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2010, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question Matted Fur and Regrowth

Another question about Puffy, my 10 yr old chin: About a year and a half ago I trimmed off a rather large fur ball on his bottom. I had noticed that he would squeal every time he was touched in that area and after close inspection I realized he had developed a half dollar sized fur ball just above and to the right of his tail. Realizing how uncomfortable he really was I had a friend hold him while I trimmed it off with a pair of scissors. It didn't seem like something that could be ''combed'' through as it felt rather hard. He felt sooo much better afterward and his discomfort immediately eased. However, he now has a ''bald spot'' where only the downy undergrowth is evident. The beautiful fur that covers the rest of him won't grow in that spot. It's been at least a year and a half. How does chin fur grow and what are its cycles, if any? I feel bad that hé's missing some fur now. Will it ever grow back?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2010, 05:47 PM
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You really need to take that animal to a vet. It sounds like something is very wrong.
The fur should grow back out in a couple of months.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2010, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Now you're scaring me. I just thought the fur on chins had a special characteristic in it and once lost it doesn't grow back the way it was. I really hope nothing is terribly wrong - he's my little prince, spoiled beyond belief, and losing him would truly break my heart. I will take him to my vet who hopefully knows a thing or two about chins. With my parrots I had to take them to specialty vets if I wanted to get the proper care and I don't know if the same applies for chins. Thanks for your reply.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2010, 08:36 PM
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I have never had that experience. We've had to have chins shaved in rather large areas (for surgeries) and the fur always grew back completely normally and was indistinguishable from the other fur once it was long enough.

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 #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2010, 09:28 PM
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Fur should grown fully back by 3 months. There was something more going on with your chinchilla


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2010, 10:28 PM
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I'm not trying to scare you, but he has problems with his fur growing back and problems with his eyes.
My first thought is that something is wrong with his diet.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 11:58 AM
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It's possible that his age has something to do with the fur growing back. I agree with taking him in for a vet check.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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If it is his diet, what do you think is missing? He gets a good brand of ultimate chin food, timothy hay, alfalfa, mineral and salt blocks, and a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. I spoil him which is not always a good thing either but from what I can observe he eats well. His eyes seem more watery than infected and some days are better than others. Today they look clear but the previous two days he woke with one eye crusted shut and had to wipe it gently to help it open all the way. As for the fur, the spot where I cut away the 'knot' has a very thick down covering but none of the light gray fur that covers the rest of him. Because this area is shorter than the rest of his coat it makes a large depression that is white in color (the color of his down). He has never had any bald spots and I have never seen his skin showing through anywhere. I just don't understand why his fur overgrowth has never grown back. I even tried brushing it to see if the fur wasn't being allowed through for some reason. He seems healthy and energetic and is as spunky as ever. Could his bath powder cause watery eyes? And does chinchilla fur have a certain life cycle that would cause it to stop growing? What if cutting it had the affect of stopping it's growth...I appreciate your comments. Thank you.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 02:19 PM
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It doesn't have a life cycle that would make it stop growing. I have a 12 year old chin named Bartleby here who regrew a shaved patch after we removed a (benign) lump on his shoulder with no problem.

I would definitely make an appointment with an exotics vet, because the the two things you're describing are not normal.

(I'd also cut out any nuts and seeds as they're quite fatty.)

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 #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 05:36 PM
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You should not feed nuts more than once a week because of the fat as Jennicat says.
You should also think about dropping the dried fruit.
I know people say that a raisin or two a day is not a problem, but the sugar in dried fruit is much worse than the sugar you find in a small piece of fresh fruit.

/Pia

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-05-2010, 09:17 AM
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The salt/mineral block should also go. Too much salt will cause seizures in chinchillas


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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There's quite a bit to this diet thing isn't there? I've always let nature take its course - whatever they crave, they will eat and ignore the rest. So far, that''s pretty much what I've observed. Although I probably give him too much of the 'goodies' and will cut back. So much to know about the diet....
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 02:07 PM
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It's not really that complicated, but you can't just let "nature" take it's course -- there's no nature in your house. In nature your chinchilla wouldn't be chowing down on raisins, nuts, mineral and salt blocks.

Like people, animals will choose what tastes good over what's healthy. Virtually every species of animal alive can cause itself to have some sort of diet related health problems if fed whatever they want to eat.

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 #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. You got me. I will begin to cut back on the goodies and feed them only as treats. Then I will see what affect it has on his health, especially his fur. I'm such a sucker for those pleading eyes and kisses for a treat...he gets me every time. But, his health comes first...thank you for all the advice.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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I wanted to give an update on my chin's 'bald spot'. Because his fur had refused to grow back in that spot I took a fine toothed animal 'comb' and a stiff brush and gently plucked at the spot for as long as he could tolerate it. I did this 2 or 3 times a week and after about 3 weeks his fur grew back. The down in that spot seemed to be holding the fur in and preventing its regrowth. Sounds weird but it worked. Why he developed the 'knot' in the first place is beyond me. I am still working on his diet which is probably the culprit.
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