Another Growing Section:
A Comprehensive Page dealing with the major and obscure maladies that plague the
domestic chinchilla population. If you have accounts to add, please e-mail me.
Deficiency / Seizures
Woods / Plants
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Chinchillas usually do very poorly under even light anesthesia. Make sure your veterinarian knows this if he/she must anesthetize. Additionally, mutation color chinchillas can only handle about half as much anesthesia as a standard grey.
Chinchillas have teeth that can grow longer than their bosy length in one year's time. If not given the proper chew exercises their teeth can literally become the death of them. Please read this account, and hit the "Back" button on your browser to return here.
Chinchillas need a high amount of calcium in thier diets. One way to supplement this is to add a bit of calf manna or doe manna to their food on occasion. Lack of calcium can cause severe seizures in the chinchilla. Although the seizures may not necessarily kill the chinchilla, they are painful. Other side effects of calcium deficiency (again, tooth related problems) can kill the chinchilla.
A fat chinchilla is an unhealthy chinchilla. A fat chinchilla will not be around as long as a slim chinchilla. One great form of exercise is the standard rodent wheel. Chins require wheels of about 15 inches in diameter, preferably with a solid (not spoked, not mesh) running surface. These wheels are often referred to as exercise drums. Additionally, a daily romp around the house is great for the chin's health, and for his personality towards people.
As you have read, chinchillas must chew, and wood is the best material for this. What kind of wood is best? As a rule of thumb, you should not give a chinchilla a piece of wood from a fruit tree, of the sort where the fruit had a pit. These are typically poisonous to chinchillas. The absolute best bet is kiln-dried, untreated white pine. Let them chew as much as their little hearts desire. It will keep their teeth in check (and maybe your furniture in one piece!)