~ Chinchillas Staying Healthy With Pellets and Hay

 نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪Chinchillas Staying Healthy With Pellets and Hay‬‏
The chinchilla's process of consuming food is quite different than other animals.  They should have a lot of roughage and fewer nutrients.  One of the things that they must have enough of is pellets. 

Chinchilla pellets can be purchased from a breeder or a pet store.  Not all brands contain the same ingredients.  When your purchase them, be sure that the basic ingredients are in the mix.  This would include alfalfa meal, wheat germ, molasses, oats, soybean oil meal, corn, and added vitamins and minerals.  The chinchilla pellets are long because the animals eat with their hands and they must be able to grasp them.

The chinchillas consume the pellets until they feel full.  When they get to that point, they will stop and refrain from overeating.  You can either feed them once or twice a day.  You'll want to figure out which feeding regimen is best for them.  Stick with whatever works best and be consistent.  If you're not, the chinchilla will know and the inconsistency will cause them to be stressed.

A chinchilla's livelihood is based on routines.  You can feed the pellets to them either from a hopper feeder or a ceramic bowl.  The hopper feeder is good to use because you don't have to concern yourself about it falling over.  Ceramic bowls are good because they are heavy and the chinchilla can't chew it, like they would a plastic bowl. 

Chinchilla pellets are one of the best things they can eat; but if for some reason you can't locate them, you can substitute rabbit or guinea pig pellets for them.  These are fine to consume as long as they contain plenty of fiber and are low in fat.  If for some reason you do have to switch their pellets, do it gradually.  Once they get used to a system, it's difficult for them to change suddenly.  They will adapt, but they get stressed if it happens all at once. 

Hay is good for them because it also provides fiber for their system.  You can choose from two kinds:  alfalfa or timothy.  They can be purchased in loose or small compressed blocks with a measurement of 1" X 1" X 2".  The animals will eat both kinds and it must be chemical and mold free.  Because of their sensitive digestive system, chinchillas can only consume fresh hay.  To remain fresh, it must be stored in a dry place.

Fifty-pound bags may be too much for a chinchilla owner, so cubes can be purchased in smaller amounts.  It's better if the cubes are broken into smaller pieces.  This way, they can handle them easier as opposed to being one cumbersome piece.  One pressed cube or a handful of hay is all an adult chinchilla usually eats. 

An alternative to hay would be Bermuda grass.  If your house has a lawn with Bermuda grass, you can feed that to your chinchilla.  However, the grass must be chemical and fertilizer free.  Just wash it off and give your chinchilla a few.  Bermuda grass helps to remedy any digestive issues.    

Having The Right Exercise Wheel For Your Chinchilla

With a cage for your chinchilla, they should also be some chew toys, a television and a wheel for exercise.  This way they'll have plenty of things to do while they're in the cage.  In order for the wheel to fit in properly, you should measure the door of the cage.  Even though your pet will still get their outside exercise, a cage is strongly recommended for exercise inside.

Sometimes, your pet chinchilla may not adapt to the wheel right away.  Don't fret--sometimes it may take them a while to get acclimated, especially since it's new to them.  Older chinchillas don't adapt to change very well and it may take them longer to get used to it.  It may take them weeks, or even months to get acclimated to the device.  When they do, they usually like it and take to the wheel well, especially when they realize that it's benefiting them.  Anything that benefits them is good, and they try to keep a positive demeanor.

Another aspect of having a wheel in your pet's cage is safety.  You have to make sure that they are able to exercise on a running surface.  The surface should be solid or made from mesh.  The measurements should be no more than 1/2" X 1/2".  Anything more than that can result in the chinchilla having leg, foot or toe injuries.  Their lower extremities are very delicate and can result in amputation if not attended to properly.

As with chew toys, the wheels should not be made of plastic.  Plastic can harm your pet by causing issues with their intestinal area.  The pet can chew and ingest the plastic pieces which can cause this.  If you use a wheel with spokes, you are asking for trouble.  Not only can your pet chinchilla face injury to their arms or legs, the risk of having their limbs amputated increases.

Even your pet can sense when there's danger with these type of wheels.  When that happens, they're reluctant to exercise on them.  These type of wheels are not recommended to be installed in their cages.  If you do use them, you are not looking out for your pet's best interests.  Another type of wheel, called a safe wheel, has screws in the inside center.  They seem to have more fun on this type of wheel because of the decreased danger.   

The recommended measurement for a wheel is 12", even though there is some debate about that.  Most people seem to do ok with that size wheel.  Pet stores normally sell the wheels with the spokes, which as stated in the previous paragraph is dangerous for chinchillas.  There have been reports that the wheel may cause your pet's spine to curve, because there's only so much room; of course, that's probably remain to be seen.

If you find abnormal issues with your pet after getting on the wheel, you should stop until your find out what's going on.  If you are unsure about what type of wheel to purchase, contact your local pet store or consult with your local veterinarian.
  
How To Cure Some Health Problems of Your Pet Chinchilla

As with humans, prevention is the key for your chinchilla to staying healthy and not getting sick.  Even though precautions are taken, sometimes steps are still missed.  It is crucial that your pet's cage have fresh food and water daily.  Their cage should always be kept clean and their food should not contain fungus or insects.  Any violations of these can cause adverse effects for your pet.  Keep in mind your chinchilla has a sensitive digestive system.  It cannot easily get rid of bad food from their system.  This means they could get sick.

Please find below some health problems that could affect your pet and what you can do:

Constipation:

You will know that your pet is constipated if their bowels are dry, small, strangely shaped and have a foul odor.    Provide them with more fresh water and hay.  Also, you can give them 1 - 2 raisins.

Bloating:

Your pet will look like a balloon and their bowels will contain mucous.  Their bowels are also holey and sticky.  Give your chinchilla a longer time to exercise and give them food culture. 

Diarrhea:

Your pet's bowels will stick and look like a grape.  The diarrhea in your pet could be caused by hay that is moldy or algae that has grown in their water.  Check the hay for mold and check the water for algae.  It is imperative that their water is changed out everyday and that it's fresh.  Also check to see if their diarrhea is caused by an environmental change. 

Seizures and Cramping:

If your pet does not move or starts to tremble, this may be a sign of a seizure.  This can be caused by stress, injury to the head or lack of calcium.  You will know if your pet lacks calcium if their teeth turn white.  This can happen moreso with the female chinchilla.  Don't allow your pet to injure themselves.  They should be kept warm.  Since this is a more serious issue, see a veterinarian immediately.

In addition to the above, you should see a veterinarian immediately if your pet is experiencing any of the following:

Severe diarrhea or constipation, injury of the eye from a sharp object, pneumonia, weight loss, ingesting poison, or broken bones anywhere on their body.  Any of these will require additional medical care from a specialized veterinarian. 

You hope that you don't have to experience any of this with your pet chinchilla.  There are things you can do to make sure your pet stays healthy and not fall into any health dangers. 
Listed below are some of the tips:

- Keep their cage cleaned on a regular basis.

- Don't change their food too often; they have a sensitive digestive system.

- Don't move them around a lot; chinchillas can't withstand changes too well, especially sudden ones.  If you do have to move them, try to do it gradually.

- Make sure their roughage food is fresh. 

- Make sure their water is fresh and constantly changed out. 

- Their food should be administered in small portions. 

- Since chinchillas are night owls, they should rest during the day.

Follow these tips and your chinchilla will live a long and happy life.


How To Discipline Your Pet Chinchilla

When you want to discipline your chinchilla, you have to be mindful of how you do it.  Please note that they are not responsive when you verbally berate, hit, or smack them in anger.  The physical actions can result in wounds and abscessing.  The physical actions don't serve a purpose because your pet already has a sensitive body.  Chinchillas are already fearful and chewing them out verbally will do nothing but escalate the situation.  The negative verbal actions are not effective at all.

Since they are fearful, when their owner treats them as such, they start to feel withdrawn and stressed out.  Like a human, they can feel your hostility and anger.  In turn, they will become more defensive.  You should never blow in their face to punish them.  The germs from your air can transmit onto them.  They are susceptible to catching a virus, the cold or the flu.

When a chinchilla gets hostile, they will spray urine.  They are acting out on their need to withdraw.  They still feel defensive, and you may not know why.  The withdrawals won't start until the root cause of it is revealed.  When the owner finds out what the problem is, the pet will feel better and can be safe in their habitat.

They will definitely make a change when they sense that you are not trying to put them down (degrade).  You will have to spend time giving them lots of love and patience.  This scenario is reminiscent of what humans go through in relationships.  Women, for the most part, want respect.  If their boyfriend or husband can't or won't give it to them, then they won't be happy campers. 

As long as you show your pet genuine love, concern and compassion, they will respond to you with a more accepting reaction.  When you give them a warning, do it in a stern, but loving manner.  Don't get in the habit of just saying "no" all the time.  Doing this will just take your pet back to square 1.  That's not a good idea.  On the other hand, there are some chinchillas that have no personality and tend to be harsh, abrasive or moody.  These kinds of pets are very vocal. 

 If you have a pet chinchilla that is withdrawn due to owner neglect or abuse, it may be helpful for them to have their behavior rehabbed.  This type of rehabilitation can help your chinchilla to change their tune.  You have to be very mature to take care of an exotic animal such as a chinchilla.  Just remember that you have to be even-tempered, calm and non-threatening.  You also have to have patience because changes just don't happen overnight.  You'll have to look past it and do your part to help in the change.  The chinchilla is scared and they may pretend to be threatening, but they're really not. 

You must continue to love them, be compassionate, gentle, constantly give them assurance and lots of affection.  In time, they will change to the loving pet chinchilla you want them to be.


How To Find A Good Pet Sitter For Your Chinchilla

When you have an exotic animal such as a chinchilla, because they're in the exotic animal family, they need special care.  So if you're going away, you'll need someone to take care of your pet.  However, it can't be the same kind of person who can pet sit dogs or cats.  They have to be someone who is experienced in taking care of exotic animals such as chinchillas.  Where do you find someone who fits that mold?

If you don't know anyone offhand, you can start by checking out a professional pet sitting service.  See if you can find one that deals with exotic animals.  It may take you a little more time than usual because these types of services are not common.  You'll want to start your search at least several weeks before you leave; that is, if you know that far in advance that you're leaving.

You can check with Pet Sitters International and The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters for more assistance.  You would probably have them do a few more additional tasks, like get the daily newspaper and check the mail.  You may also have them maintain the lighting by turning them on and off at different intervals of the day.  

Getting a referral is a great way to get a sitter for your pet.  Make sure they know enough about exotic animals before you consider them to take care of yours.  In addition to professional pet organizations, ask around to see if anyone knows of people that are experienced in taking care of exotic pets such as chinchillas.  If by chance, you happen to know someone that has a chinchilla, see if they're available and willing to watch your pet.

Just because they have the same kind of pet doesn't mean they're willing to take on the extra duties.  Ask your veterinarian if they know of anyone who can and are available to be a pet sitter while you're gone.  Or even try the pet store.  Ask the employees if they can recommend someone. 

Once you do have a candidate available, ask them questions to make sure they are knowledgeable about chinchillas.  Make sure they know how to take care of them, what to feed them, etc.  When you do find that person that will be able to take care of your pet, the next step is to find out the setup.  If you can move your chinchilla and the cage, then you may be able to transport it to a facility or take it to the sitter.

There is a downside to this:  if you do have to transport, beware that they may come in contact with other animals that have contagious diseases.  Also, since chinchillas don't adapt to change well, especially an abrupt change, it may cause them to be stressed.  You can also have the pet sitter come to your house if you feel comfortable with that.  At least your pet will be in familiar territory.  They already know the surroundings, and they would be able to thrive.  If you use this option, you must be able to trust the person to stay in your home. 

When you have found the right person, make sure you provide them with detailed instructions on how to care for your pet.  This is very important, because you want them to care for your pet like you care for them, so the chinchilla won't notice a difference in that.  You should also leave detailed instructions and information for the pet sitter in the event of an emergency.

If your pet needs treatment and you can't get back right away, then you may want to give them permission to get treatment for them.  Leave a contact number for your veterinarian as well as a contact number where you can be easily reached. 

It may take time for this process, but once you find the right person, your mind will be at ease.  


An Experienced Vet is Worth the Search

Establishing a good working relationship with a veterinarian can be a challenge for any pet owner, but is a special challenge for the exotic pet owner. The exotic pet owner must find a vet who is willing to see their pet, knows something about their pet, and has the facilities, equipment and materials to treat their pet.

An interest in exotics doesn't necessarily equal proficiency in treating them. I say this from experience, as although I am fascinated with exotic pets, I have no special training in treating them medically. When I was practicing as a veterinarian, except for very routine care, I generally referred exotics to a specialist nearby. Thing may have changed a bit since I went to school, but during my training, exposure to exotics was still very imited even though I sought out extra exposure to exotic pets in my choice of clinical rotations. If at all possible, try to locate a vet who specializes in exotics and has taken specialized training (e.g. a residency in exotic animal medicine, or one who is board certified in an exotics specialty).

Such specialists can be hard to come by, so the next best is someone who has lots of experience treating exotic pets. Ask a potential veterinarian about their training, credentials, and memberships in specialty organizations such as the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) or the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV). At the very least, choose a veterinarian with a real interest in exotic species and who is willing to learn about them and who will consult with a specialist when needed.

Personal recommendation or word of mouth is probably the most efficient way of finding a veterinarian. Friends, breeders, or organizations (e.g. the local herpetological society, other clubs) are good starting points. Other places to locate veterinarians include the yellow pages/phone directories (look for clinics that specifically advertise that they treat exotics), the state/provincial veterinary association directory, or even web pages that have veterinary directories (including the AAV and ARAV sites mentioned above). Several species specific web pages have sections where readers can submit contact information for veterinarians they have used.

Most importantly, do not wait until an emergency to find a vet. If your pet should get sick, a veterinarian with whom you feel comfortable and who is comfortable dealing with your pet will make the situation less stressful. An initial check up is well advised for any new pet and this is a good chance to see how a veterinarian handles your pet and how comfortable they are with your pet, and also to see if you and the veterinarian make a good match - sometimes there is a personality clash and you won't develop a good rapport with a certain veterinarian.

A veterinarian familiar with exotics will spend a good deal of time discussing the care and husbandry of a particular pet, as many problems with exotic pets are related to improper diet or husbandry. The veterinarian should also appear confident handling your pet.

There are several criteria which can be used to evaluate a practice in general and the following web pages discuss these in detail:

- How to Find a Veterinarian - advice from About's Guide to Veterinary Medicine on finding and evaluating a vet, with a link to some online vet finder directories.

- How to Find an Avian Veterinarian - helpful tips for finding a veterinarian- geared toward bird owners but also applicable to any exotic species.

For exotics there are more specific considerations, including:

- special training or continuing education related to exotic pet medicine

- how often exotic species are seen in their practice

- special facilities or equipment to handle exotic pets

- experience (personal or professional) and familiarity with the husbandry and medicine of a particular species

Finding the right vet can be a challenge and may not seem that important when your pet is healthy, but the effort will be well worth it if your pet should fall ill!

How To Get Your Chinchilla To Trust You

If your chinchilla is not tamed, it may take them a while to get used to you.  Just like with human relationships, you will have to earn their trust before they allow you to form a close bond with them.  You will have to provide your pet with a lot of love and care.  Don't get discouraged if after a few months, they still don't reciprocate.  It just means it may take a little longer than you thought.  It is much easier to get a baby chinchilla to trust you than it is an adult. 

Chinchillas have more of a problem with being tamed than say, dogs or cats.  They are filled with a lot of smugness and they demand your respect.  They don't pay attention to you when you call their name.  If you want your pet to really trust you, try doing some of the following:

- Provide treats for your pet as they come to whatever side of the cage you're located on. 

- Talk to them in a calm tone to keep them calm.

- You will know when they no longer fear you if they remove the treat from your fingers in the cage. 


There are other things you can do to get your pet's trust.  There are also some things you shouldn't do in order to get their trust:

- A Chinchilla's body is delicate and you must handle it with care.  If you pick them up, avoid grabbing their ribcage.  You could injure it or possibly fracture a bone.

- Your pet should be close to your body if you're carrying it.

- Like humans, chinchillas need to breathe easily.  Don't squeeze or hold your pet tight.  They will let you know when you are by squealing loudly or biting you.

- Help your pet feel safe by allowing it to bury their head under your arm or cover their face with your hand.  Chinchillas like to know that their owners like to keep them safe in any way possible.  They want to know they have a protector at all times. 

- Hold your pet by it's tail base and hold your pet's weight with your other hand.  Don't hold on to the tip of its tail.  If the chinchilla tries to get free, that part will come off. 

- You can also hold your pet as though it were standing up.  Use one hand for its hind legs, and your other hand to hold his body.  Your pet's hands should rest on yours.

You will know when your pet trusts you when they start doing these things:

* Snuggling up to you
* Allowing you to stroke their body
* Follows you around
* Comes to see what's in your palm
* Sniffs your clothing and other items on your body
* Allowing you to curl their tail
* Sniffs your nose

It is an honor to have a pet such as a chinchilla that is fond of you and you have gained their trust.  You must remember to continue doing things with your pet to continue that trust.


How to Groom Your Chinchilla Properly

Chinchilla dust allows your pet to stay clean.  If they were still living in the Andes Mountains, they would have to use volcanic ash to stay clean.  Oils and dirt stay in your pet's coat because of the dust.  The dust then causes the oil and dirt to be released from your pet.  This is the process of how the chinchilla's fur is cleaned. 

A chinchilla's cleanliness relies on regular dust baths.  If they don't have them, they can end up being stressed which can turn into health issues.  They can also suffer from behavioral issues as well.  When it's warm, give your pet a fresh dust bath every other day for about ten minutes.  Their fur will not be matted and greasy.  If their fur stays like that, they can get overheated.  When it's cold, you should dust bath your pet twice a week.  When you're giving them a dust bath, cover the cage with sheets to prevent dust from flying everywhere. 

You can give your chinchilla a dust bath every day if their skin doesn't get dry.  They did it when they were running wild.  This may help them especially if their fur is continuously matted and greasy.  You may want to consult a veterinarian just to be sure.   

It's not good to smoke around your pet.  The second hand smoke is detrimental to your pet's health as it is a human's health.  The tar from the cigarette covers their fur.  The chinchilla would be able to taste the smell because they clean their fur with their mouths.  The tar is ingested in their bodies.  You must give a new chinchilla in your care a wet bath if you find this to be the case for your pet. 

Another idea for the dust bath is to mix Arm & Hammer Baking Soda to the mix.  This helps your pet to smell fresh.  If your pet is urine-sprayed, wipe him with a damp cloth and dry them completely with a towel.  Then you can administer the dust bath.  Usually the chinchilla learns to roll in the dust bath from their parent.  If not, that means that the parent was not throughout in their training of the pet. 

If your pet is sensitive or allergic to dust, you should wipe their nose.  The sensitivity can result from inhaling particles.  You will know this by the chinchilla clearing their nose.  Other symptoms include the eyes watering.  You must beware when you see this happening to your pet.  It could be a sign of pneumonia or an issue with the respiratory system. 

If your pet is not using the dust bath, give him a massage everyday.  Once your pet starts accepting feeling the cleanliness, he'll use the dust bath on his body.  If they still refuse it, it may mean something more serious, like an injury.  You will know this if they don't move around like they normally do or if they can't roll without feeling pain.  They may also refuse it because of the texture of the dust bath.  Some stores carry a heavier texture than others.  If that's the case, check with the pet store to see if they have a lighter texture. 

However you do it, make sure that your pet feels clean and fresh at all times.


How To Keep Chinchilla Coats Healthy

Chinchilla coats have to stay healthy and clean.  In order to do that, your pet chinchilla must have dust baths on a regular basis.  The dust baths also help to keep their coats silky, shiny and keeps the coats looking thick.  Your pet enjoys these types of baths because they get to roll and flip in the dust.  As long as they get to move around, they're fine, hence the reason for rolling and flipping in the dust. 

The best type of bath dust to use should be bought from the store.  That is because the product is tailor made for chinchillas.  As they roll and flip in the dust, the dust infiltrates through the coat and goes in their skin.  This causes the dust to soak up oil and dirt from their fur.  The bath dust for your pet should reach several inches deep in a container.

Two types of dusts used most often are "Blue Cloud Chinchilla Dust" and "Blue Sparkle Chinchilla Dust".   Make sure the bath dust you purchase is specifically tailored for your pet chinchilla.  You risk not having the same effect on your pet if your purchase something other than bath dust.  Chinchilla bath dust should work similar to what they would have in their homeland.

For a container, you can use a heavy bowl that won't tip over.  Get one that is larger than your pet.  Some good suggestions are glass fish bowls or canisters.  Another suggestion is a plastic house type container.  This type of container should have a round bottom.  You should put the bath in the chinchilla's cage each evening as the chinchillas are moving around. 

You can't bathe your pet chinchilla too much with the dust bath.  This can cause their skin to dry out.  The dust should not be left in the cage because the animal will sit in it and utilize it as a litter box.  Give your pet a dust bath at least twice a week.  It's better to administer it in the evening, when they're the most active.

However, if you determined that your pet's fur looks dull or moist, you can give them the bath more than twice a week.  Of course, when it gets hot and humid, your pet should get more frequent baths.  The baths should last about 10 - 15 minutes.  If you find that your pet's skin is dried out, flaky or itchy, cut back on the frequency of the dust bath.

The bath dust can be reused several times before changing.  After you've bathed your pet, check for any waste and scoop it out.  You should also use fresh bath dust if you find the current dust to look dirty or clumpy.  Throw it out and use a fresh batch of dust.  You may find it useful to try a covered bath, but the downside is that your pet will still move around and shake off the dust.  So a covered bath may actually defeat the purpose.  You should get a good duster and continue to provide regular baths.


How To Keep Your Chinchilla From Suffering In The Heat

Heat and high humidity are not kind to chinchillas.  Their bodies cannot survive grueling heat and high temperatures.  Their thickness of their fur is higher than other animals.  In fact, they have the highest thickness of fur than any land animal worldwide.  It is the thickness of their fur that causes them to be resistant towards heat, especially high heat and humidity.  If they come in contact with this, they can suffer from brain damage or heat stroke. 

It is important that your pet chinchilla be kept inside a controlled climate in order to survive.  You will need an air conditioning unit if the temperatures reach 70 degrees or above.  The air conditioning unit should also have an auto function, where it will turn on and off by itself.    Having fans is not enough to cool them.  However, a ceiling fan is good for cold air circulation. 

If your chinchilla takes in too much heat, they can suffer from heat prostration.  Heat prostration is when your pet is lying on their side with labored breathing.  They feel like they want to give up because this is too much for them to bear.  Don't allow your pet to stay in that position.  Pick up the chinchilla carefully and gently.  Keep your pet mobile and moving.  Provide massages and head rubs.  In the interim, while you're still trying to keep your pet going, make sure you have the temperature lowered; otherwise, they may not make it after all. 

Use a cloth and make sure it is not fringed or has any loose strings.  Put it in the freezer to cover your frozen items.  Then put your pet in there for few minute intervals. Leave the door slightly ajar.  Put your pet's feet on the cloth so it won't touch the metal in the freezer.  Spray mists of lukewarm or cool water on your pet's body, stopping at the neck.  After your pet becomes alert, use a towel to lightly dry their body.  Make sure you're in a cool room while you're doing this.  Provide a dust bath after they are completely dry.

If you keep your chinchilla in the basement, they will need a dehumidifier.  They cannot stay anywhere where the humidity is high because it will create a fungus, which is harmful.  The pet will also need an instrument like a thermometer that measures the temperature and humidity levels.  These levels must be continuously watched to make sure they stay at a comfortable temperature for your pet. 

During the winter season, the temperature should not be more than 70 degrees.  The humidity should not be more than 80 percent where your chinchilla is existing.  The sum of the two is not to go past 150.  If it does, your pet is in danger for brain damage and death.

Other ways you can keep your chinchilla cool are providing them with frozen fruit bars.  These are good for them to take small nibbles from.  Ice cubes put in a bowl that won't spill are good, also.  Your pet should have a consistent supply of fresh water.  No matter how you do it, make sure that your pet is properly cared for during the times of heat and humidity.


How To Keep Your Chinchilla's Cage Clean And Safe

Before you put your pet chinchilla in their cage, it must be cleaned thoroughly.  Once they've made it their home, you should clean it at least once a week.  To keep the cage smelling fresh, you can use baby cornstarch powder or baking soda (preferably the Arm & Hammer brand).  It should be sprinkled in the areas where they urinate.  Usually, your pet won't venture into those areas, but if they do, they may contact a fungus.

If your pet's cage has solid flooring, the bedding needs to constantly stay fresh.  Keep the flooring area clean and use a disinfectant for the area.  Pull-out litter pans that have a wire mesh may be in conflict with solid flooring.  If the flooring is wire-based, make sure that you have shelves and mats installed to give your pet relief from standing on the wire mesh. 

If you're cleaning your pet's cage at in your shower or outside, you must use disinfectant by scrubbing the cage with pet-safe cleaner soaked brush.  Make sure you scrub the cage thoroughly and with lots of elbow grease.  Only use hot water to rinse; it is easier to use something that sprays it off, like a hose or a shower attachment.  Be sure that the cage is completely dry after rinsing.  Any damp spots can produce mold or fungus, which would be detrimental to your pet.

It is strongly suggested that an opaque sheet is used around your pet's cage.  This is to contain the dust and other mess that is in the cage.  It is also used as a barrier to chinchilla conflicts, in particular from the opposite gender.  The sheet gives them the assurance that their area is safe and secure.  It also shields them from some of the light during the daytime.

The mesh in the chinchilla's cage should be no more than 1" by 1/2" on the sides and 1/2" by 1/2" on the flooring area.  Do not get any mesh that exceeds those measurements; it is dangerous for your pet.  If you're not sure about the cage measurements or recommendations, do a search online for assistance.  Because they're so active, having ample room to run around is crucial.  If you install mesh that is more than what's required, you risk the chance of your chinchilla breaking the leg or foot bones if it gets caught in the mesh.  The legs and feet are the most fragile parts of their body.

If your pet does experience difficulty with the mesh, they can suffer the loss of their legs and feet.  They can also experience stress from being in the state of being caught up in the mesh.  If this stress is not relieved and they remained trapped, your pet can succumb from shock related to the stress.  Some chinchillas won't even run around in the cage if they sense that there is too much mesh in there.  Somehow they have a sense of their surroundings and know when they can move about freely.  Not until they know their area is safe will they resume activity in the cage.   

How To Re-home Your Chinchilla

Re-homing your chinchilla is not necessarily a delight to accomplish.  However, if you are in a situation where you can no longer properly care for your chinchilla, the best thing to do is to seek out someone who can give it the love and care that they need.  It will break your heart to let your pet go, especially if you've become bonded to it.  It's also better if you let someone else handle it rather than let it suffer and die. 

You can start your search by placing classified advertisements in the section designated for exotic animals or chinchillas.  Make sure you let them know that there is an adoption fee attached.  You should set the fee at a starting price of $50.00.  It has been advised that you should set it higher than that.  This way, you will weed out the freebie seekers or cheapos.  These types of people are usually not interested in taking care of a chinchilla; they just want to purchase it for their own corrupt whims.

The purpose of the adoption fees are to see if the candidate can properly and is financially able to take care of an exotic pet such as a chinchilla.  Chinchillas need routine care not only from you, but also from a specialized veterinarian.  When you're dealing with specialties, that usually costs more than general things.  If the interested person has an adverse reaction to the fees, then that's a strike against him.  You'll know that they're not interested in the chinchilla's well being.  You want to make sure that the person getting your pet is the most qualified.

Find out how long this person has been taking care of chinchillas.  Did they keep them healthy and active?  Ask them what kind of food did they feed them.  Let them know what brand of pellets and hay you used, in the event it's different from what they use for their pets.  If they already have a chinchilla, will they try to get them together as mates?

Find out more information about trying to have more than one chinchilla in the same household.  Find out about their veterinarian and how he or she takes care of their chinchilla(s).  Does he or she have the best interest of the pet in mind?  If the person were to go on vacation or had an emergency, is there someone available who is knowledgeable in taking care of chinchillas? 

If they can answer your concerns and you feel comfortable with them, then your chinchilla may have a new owner and a new home.  Before the prospect signs on the dotted line, take your chinchilla over there to see if they will adapt to their new environment.

The place should be clean and free from a lot of noise.  Chinchillas aren't comfortable with excessive noise in their domain and it's easy for them to get infections.  See how your pet interacts with them.  If they do well and pass the test, then you probably have a winner.  If your pet clams up and doesn't get comfortable, then you may have to continue looking.

How To Select The Right Vet For Your Chinchilla

When an owner is looking for the right veterinarian for their exotic pet, they want someone who can relate to their pet's special needs.  They must also have the available resources to take care of their pet on an ongoing basis. 

Just because they may like exotic animals doesn't mean that they're qualified to take care of them.  They must have special training to medically care and treat them.  You will probably have to do a "Sherlock Holmes" number in searching for the right one to treat your chinchilla.  It's best to search for a veterinarian that specializes in exotics and exotic animal medicine or one who is board certified in it).  You can ask veterinarians what kind of training they've had.

You can also check through certain organizations, such as the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) and the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV).  If you still need assistance, try a regular veterinarian with an interest in exotic animals that can consult with an exotic animal specialist.  It's better if they're experienced, but if not, this would be the route to go.

You can also try finding one through recommendations.  You can ask people that you know or search out some breeders.  You can also try other organizations that are into exotic animals.  Search for forums online that discuss chinchillas and exotic animals.  Try the yellow pages, your state veterinary directory or on the web to look for local veterinarians that specialize in exotic animals.

You should try to find one as soon as you can.  It's not best to wait until your chinchilla has an emergency where you'll need someone right away.  Then you'll be taking more time away trying to find someone.  It could be a matter of life and death for your pet.

When you do find one that specializes in chinchillas and other exotic animals, set up an appointment.  Check to see how the veterinarian handles your pet and see if your pet takes to the veterinarian.  That's very important in establishing a relationship.  If there's not bonding between the two and yourself, then that's probably not a good match and may not result in a quality relationship.

A good veterinarian will sit down and talk with you about your chinchilla's care, health and diet.  This is also important because they should be comfortable in talking with you as well.  Besides, it's your pet and you are the owner.

During the visit, you should evaluate the facilities to see if they are up to standards for taking care of exotic animals.  Find out how frequent do they have exotic animals for patients.  Do they have special equipment or facility to accommodate them?  Have they had much experience with exotic pets?

What kind of training was involved?  If your veterinarian can answer these questions, then you may have yourself a winner.  It's not easy to find the right person to fit the bill.  Even though looking for one may be a challenge, when you find the right person, it will be worth it for you and your chinchilla.

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