The past couple of weeks have been filled with medical questions and emergencies.
We often receive phone calls and emails from chin owners who have questions about health, hygiene, and behavior, with conflicting information gleaned from the internet, pet stores and even their veterinarians!
So we'd like to offer chinnyhealth 101: chinchillas are prey animals and as such will mask their symptoms. So how do you know when your chin needs vet care? The pet's owner is in the very best position to recognize a change in behavior, butsometimes psychological optimism keeps owners from taking action in a timely manner. Some of the things to watch for (in order of seriousness) include:
- change in behavior
- change in poops (especially if there's blood, mucus, or a foul smell)
- hunched back
- continuing loss of weight
- breathing trouble (including discharge or breathing you can "hear")
Now, not to be alarmist, but I do want to call attention to the seriousness of getting medical intervention before a treatable symptom gets out of control. For this reason it is imperative that you have a knowledgeable exotics vet already chosen. Many vets "can" see and treat exotics, but not all vets specialize in them. Please be sure your chosen veterinarian knows and understands about the special needs of chinchillas.