Posts tagged hair rings
Hair Rings
MITCHELL: Okay, for starters, I think you need a strong opening sequence.
MARTIN: Are you serious? No one does that anymore. You just throw up the title and get on with it.
(Stargate SG-1, episode 200)

*cue theme song* Hair Rings 

So...our Facebook fans gave the thumbs up to post about this subject. Anyone offended can blame them. *kidding* :)

Owners of male chinchillas should be aware of the existence of what are called "hair rings". This happens when fur wraps around the shaft of the penis and becomes impossible for the chin to remove himself.  Some forums dictate that monthly hair ring checks should be performed.

I disagree. 

Subjecting your pet to intrusive monthly exams is not only unnecessary, but it's also traumatic. If a male chin is truly suffering from a hair ring, it is relatively easy to spot without having to manhandle his little manbits to see. 

Most of the time a chin can remove or clean his own. In rare cases, we must intervene. In our most recent instance, the chin in question had an unusual bulge in his sheath. To assist the little guy we used a sizable portion of 100% pure aloe vera gel (some use KY Jelly) to gently extract the....uh....length of the member. *cough* Here you can clearly see the ring on the extracted shaft where Whimsy has already started to loosen it.

This is a delicate procedure, which is why we do not recommend "monthly checks". Permanent damage can be done if you twist, bend, or fail to re-sheath. But I digress. Here tweezers are used to gently slide the ring down the shaft and tease it apart. 

Once the ring is removed, re-sheathing is very important. The lubricant helps glide everything back in place and allows for healing.

We hope this post has been helpful and not too intimidating. Hmm....perhaps we should make this procedure available on our "services" page.... whatcha think?

New Arrivals!

We have new arrivals!

Let's see...our last girl chin from the Northern Virginia mass surrender in January proved to be pregnant. She had a single male kit earlier this week. It is unfortunate that the little mommy didn't have a girl to stay with her. While she was suspected pregnant, our efforts to bond her with another female rescue went unsuccessful. We're hoping the increase in hormones is to blame as we carefully consider who might get along with this black velvet girl when she weans her little boy. 

The little guy will have plenty of playmates to choose from, though!  The chins that came in from the Saluda mass surrender of 17 had a group of 5 adult females with 2 kits sharing a cage with a single adult male (a chin we lovingly named Don Juan).  Another one of the females of that bunch gave birth to a little boy, too.

And here is where the "rescue" part of our rescue work comes in...

...We also received a pair of adult males who were surrendered after their owner became overwhelmed by their medical issues. The owners did their best to treat the little guys. But after a week and a half of hand feeding, and the loss of one already, they sought our help. We discovered a pretty serious hair ring on the penis of one chin who had started chewing the tip off in his effort to release the band. His fur was encrusted with mucus and old food and he has some nasal and eye discharge. No wonder his owner was overwhelmed!

Hand feeding can be a very messy task and the little guy had the remains of those efforts stuck in his fur. We really had no choice but to water bathe him. NOT RECOMMENDED EXCEPT UNDER EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES.

Please send healing wishes their way and for their surrendering owners as these boys continue on their road to recovery. We'll have more updates after our veterinarian has a chance to look into their more serious nasal and eye discharge issues.

Medical issues come in waves.

It's been a "medical" week here at the Menagerie. During our usual cage cleaning/grooming/weighing/dusting time, Flowerbud noticed something odd about Eli's underside. We discovered our very first hair ring! A hair ring occurs on boy chins when hair gets wrapped around the shaft of his penis. As you can imagine, it can be quite painful. *cough* No pictures this time in order to spare the squeamish. Anyway, after some very careful manipulation we managed to get the offending member off. Eli is much obliged.

We also had some trouble with our little sapphire girl, Diva. New color mutations are typically weaker than other colors and this one was no exception. Even though she came from a very reputable breeder, Diva just wasn't growing out very well and had continuous "internal" issues that had our exotics vet stumped. Sadly to say, Diva passed over the Rainbow Bridge this week. She was a very sweet and spunky girl. She will be greatly missed by her chinfolk as well as her cagemates. RIP Diva.

Mandi Vollmerhair rings, medical