Paw Talk - Pet Forums banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 10 yr old chinchilla, Puffy, has had crusty watery eyes for a very long time now - years actually. It's especially noticeable when he's just waking up when the crusts around one or both of his eyes (it's always changing) is bad enough that he can't open his eyes. They often appear swollen, droopy, and baggy underneath. There's nothing as cute as a wide eyed chinchilla exploring the room and looking up at you in adoration ;-), but Puffy's eyes always seem half closed like he's been out partying all night. At first I was concerned about malocclusion but he eats just fine. I keep his dust bath available to him at all times and besides the eyes he seems very healthy. What might this be and what is the treatment?
 

·
I'm not weird, I'm gifted
Joined
·
1,530 Posts
You really need to see a vet asap.
If it's the teeth he must be in a lot of pain.
If it's an infection, and it has gone on for such a long time, there's a real rick of him loosing his sight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really don't think it's malocclusion, a terrifying thought, since he eats fine. But, it probably wouldn't hurt to have him checked for it just in case. Also, with the eye problem there are days when his eyes are clear and pretty normal looking, which is the reason I haven't taken him to a vet yet. The problem seems to come and go but seems to come more than it goes. (Got that? lol) You are probably right though and I really should have him checked. Do I take him to the same vet I use for my dogs or do they need to be knowledgeable about more exotic pets?
Thank you for your reply!
 

·
chinchilla breeder
Joined
·
321 Posts
It sounds like your chinchilla potentially has several issues. You really should see a vet a crusty eye is not normal. You will need an exotic vet.
 

·
I'm not weird, I'm gifted
Joined
·
1,530 Posts
We had a female who had a problem with her tear canals (are they called that).
Anyway, they were blocked, and her one eye had a tendency to get a bit wet.
When the other eye started acting up, I had her checked out again, and it was the teeth... She was eating fine, but when I was the pics of her teeth the roots looked very messed up.
http://furrytails-dk.blogspot.com/2009/07/tandproblemer-hos-chinchillaer.html
A pic of her teeth. The pic with the blue and red arrows show how the roots have grown into her eye
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh wow, and all that time it was malocclusion with your chin? What happened to her? The thought that my Puffy may be in pain from something like that! What other symptoms can I look for?
 

·
I'm not weird, I'm gifted
Joined
·
1,530 Posts
I'm not exactly sure what the problem was in the first case.
But in the end I insisted that they took x-rays. She was beginning to loose weight, so I told them if it were the roots they should no wake her up again.
If it's the teeth they might be able to do something, but imo the only right thing to do when the roots is the problem, is to put them to sleep.
You can get some painkillers, but nobody knows if they are still in pain and just tolerating it better.

If you feel his chin, the bone should be nice and smooth.

But take him to the vet and tell them to do a full check up + x-rays
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm so sorry you lost your chin that way. I feel so bad for the chins born with this disorder - what a shame. As for my chin Puffy his chin bone is very smooth with no bumps. You know, I can't help but wonder what kind of emotions these animals have. I have often wondered whether he gets 'sulky' when I don't let him out to roam. He is exceptionally attached to me and when he can't be right next to me he seems to gloat and sulk. Possibly related to his health issues?
 

·
I'm not weird, I'm gifted
Joined
·
1,530 Posts
Thank you :)
I got her from a pet store, and she was so scared of humans... No wonder since they broke her tail and hadn't noticed, so they just kept lifting her by the tale - poor girl... I'm just happy she had a good life with me, and she got to be at least 10 years. For a pet store animal I do not know any background on, I think that's quite fine :)

You might want to think about getting another chin (but get him checked out at the vets first ;)). Sometimes this will help if they have a tendency to get a little depressed when not around humans.
My old guy was so happy to see an other chinchilla after 5 years alone. He didn't quite know how to act around the other chin though, but he got the hang of it after a while :)
They do have quite a character. Like when I give mine a treat, every body wants one. By the time I'm finished giving the last one a treat, the first one has finished off it's treat and thinks it should have an other one because the others have treats X_x
So you never know what they might think. They are quite intelligent. Can learn tricks and stuff like that :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You had me laughing - I can just picture them all lining up for their treat. So adorable! I always get so sad though when you see how some animals are mistreated - poor thing had a broken tail and... well I can just imagine. I've wanted to get another chin for a long time but have been hesitant - not sure why really - maybe I'm afraid he will bond more to the chin and ignore me! That happened with my parrots but birds are different and mine had a unique story. Something to think about though. I would guess that another male would be the best choice, especially since we don't want any breeding. Is there any problem with male/male pairing?
 

·
I'm not weird, I'm gifted
Joined
·
1,530 Posts
It's just as easy/difficult to introduce two males as it is two females or a male and a female :)
You should not put more than 2 together though. They are colony animals and therefore not that social.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How about the old with the young? If I introduce a baby to my 10 yr old he may not have the 'patience' a younger chin may have. Also, another quick question - about how many hours a day does a chin sleep, on average? Some days Puff seems to sleep for so many hours that I worry and I try to rouse him to make sure he's ok. It doesn't happen often but mostly when he's sulking because I haven't let him out. I swear he knows exactly how to get to me, like "I'll show her for not letting me out...!", and then turning his backside towards me and ignoring me for a few minutes. It's so funny! But I do worry when he doesn't come out of his 'den' for a whole day...
 

·
Kansas City Chinchillas
Joined
·
625 Posts
Old to young often works best for cage mates. I would trim Puff's whiskers before you try introductions. It will help him be less dominant toward a new friend.
 

·
I'm not weird, I'm gifted
Joined
·
1,530 Posts
Why would it do that?
It's not normal behaviour...
Whisker biting is a form of furbiting...
 

·
I'm not weird, I'm gifted
Joined
·
1,530 Posts
Interesting... about the whiskers. I've never heard of that one. Aren't they sensitive?
I very much doubt the whole whisker thing will work. They use them for feeling, not for being dominant.
But the hair is not sensitive in it self. It's the nerves the hair is attached to that's overly sensitive, compared to nerves going past normal hairs :)
 

·
Kansas City Chinchillas
Joined
·
625 Posts
Whisker chewing is not the same as fur chewing. It is a dominant chin behavior. I have personally observed chins change their behavior after whiskers are trimmed.
 

·
I'm not weird, I'm gifted
Joined
·
1,530 Posts
That's just not true.
If they change behaviour it's because their world gets smaller.
They use their whiskers to feel the world around them...

If you suddently lost most of your sight, don't you thing you would change your personality?
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top