Chance and Family
Chance was named for the unknown odds as to whether he would survive all of
his medical ailments from improper care and abuse. This is the story of his
poor family. They were turned in through a humane society that did not know
how to care for them. Chance's cage mate Misty was a mother to 3 kits or baby
chinchillas. One died three days after it was born. They were all turned into
Rescue when the babies were only 6 days old. They were some of the filthiest
chinchillas that have ever been turned into us. They got immediate water baths
to remove urine, caked on cage litter and feces. Both parents had broken teeth
making them unwilling to eat due to pain. Misty had been hit in the mouth causing
the break of her incisors. This was possibly due to fighting with Chance since
they both had chewed up ears.
Misty was trying hard to nurse the kits, but she was lacking the essential
body fat to nurse healthy offspring. She was starved to the point that the
bumps of her vertebrae shown through her fur. The babies were biting her and
causing damage to the breasts because she didn't have enough milk. She developed
a bad case of mastitis (breast infection) which caused further weight loss
and required daily injections of antibiotics. With two dental visits, hand
feeding and patience she recovered to be a nearly 700 g. female. She now lives
in Northern California. Her owner is a small dog breeder who recently reported
she is doing well. She was named Misty and even has her own little 6 inch television
to keep her company in the living room.
The kits were named Sunshine and Drizzle. Sunshine went to live with a young
woman as a replacement for an elderly chin that died. Drizzle went to a first
time chinchilla owner. They are both happy and doing well.
Chance was not "out of the woods" yet. He was only 360 grams, which
is about half the size a healthy adult male. Aside from broken teeth he suffered
from his genitals hanging out due to fever and potentially infection from the
unsanitary conditions. After two weeks of critical treatment, his genitals
returned to normal. However, he was still under weight to the point that the
dentist was scared he would die under anesthesia. We had to get his body weight
above 400 g. before he could possibly survive the necessary dental work. It
would still be touch and go. He got as low as 352 g. during his stay with us.
All four of the chins were hand feed every few hours for over a month. Chance
was hand fed almost four months and sporadically since then. We finally got
his weight up to 420 grams and stable. We took him to the dentist and she said
he had corrected his own teeth by grinding them properly on manzanita and other
With his dental problems resolved, Chance was gaining weight well. Then he
developed an allergic reaction to something, which we suspected may have been
dried strawberries. He had hives bigger than the tip of a human thumb. He was
treated for his allergies for eight weeks before the hives were gone. He had
sporadic bouts of diarrhea but he was a fighter and unwilling to give up. We
got his weight up more than another 100 g. and stable for four months then
found him a suitable new owner willing to take on a challenge. Dental problems
tend to come back and with the diarrhea we assumed he had giardia (intestinal
parasite). Months after being adopted he finally tested positive for giardia,
after 3 vet visits in nearly a year before it was discovered.
We are happy to say he is still living after the past year of ups and downs.
He was renamed Chaz and is caged with a sweet boy named Chuchi. He is still
skinny but healthy, happy and very friendly.