Product Code: Info Small Mammal
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Introduction to Chinchilla
- These small, cute rodents have plush, soft coats of fur. After years of artificial propagation, has successfully breed long-haired chinchillas, and they are very rare species. They weight around 1 to 1.5 pounds and some of quality chins can bevheavier, and length can be up to a foot long. They have rounded ears and eyes on either side of a broad head. Their fur is very dense, soft, and pleasant to touch. The fur is often gray, but can be beige, tan, black or white. Usually people raised standard grey, beige, tan, ebony, mosaic, violet and sapphire. These beautiful rodents can live as long as 20 years with proper care.
- They are native to the Andes mountains in South America, which is longest continental mountain range in the world, and live in colonies called "herds" at high altitudes up to 4,270 metres (14,000 ft). Historically, chinchillas lived in the Andes of Bolivia, Peru, and Chile, but today colonies in the wild remain only in Peru and Chile. In the wild they live in groups and make their home in burrows and natural outcroppings and crevice.
Origin of the name
- The chinchilla is named after the Chincha people of the Andes, who once wore its dense, velvet-like fur.
Why chinchilla become rare ?
- By the end of the 19th century, chinchillas had become quite rare due to hunting for their ultra-soft fur. Most chinchillas currently used by the fur industry for clothing and other accessories are farm-raised. Chinchillas are currently listed as a critically endangered species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to a severe population loss approximated at a 90% global population loss over the last 15 years. The severe population decline has been caused by Chinchilla hunting by humans. The international trade in chinchilla fur goes back to the 16th century. Their fur is popular in the fur trade due to its extremely soft feel, which is caused by the sprouting of 60 hairs (on average) from each hair follicle. The color is usually very even, which makes it ideal for small garments or the lining of large garments, though some large garments can be made entirely from the fur. A single, full-length coat made from chinchilla fur may require as many as 150 pelts, as chinchillas are relatively small. Their use for fur led to the extinction of one species, and put serious pressure on the other two. Though it is illegal to hunt wild chinchillas, the wild animals are now on the verge of becoming extinct because of continued illegal hunting. Domesticated chinchillas are still bred for fur.
Chinchilla as Pet
- Chinchillas require extensive exercise. When chinchilla as pets, their scope activities is limited, we should simulate their originally wild environment habitat and fulfill their basic requirement. Devices running wheel, tunnels and other accessories to arouse their desire to exercise, and increase their physial activities. Their teeth need to be worn down, so there need to grind their teeth always, as they grow continuously and can prevent them from eating if they become overgrown.Wooden sticks, pumice stone and chew toys are good options, but conifer and citrus woods (such as cedar or orange) should be avoided because of the high content of resins, oils and phenols that are toxic for chinchillas. Birch, willow, apple, manzanita or kiln-dried pine woods are all safe for chinchillas to chew.
- Chinchillas lack the ability to sweat; therefore, in wildlife, if temperatures get above 25°C (80°F), they could get overheated and may suffer from heat stroke. If you would like to keep chinchilla as pets, it is advisable looking for local breeder, as they are successfully crossed adventure, breed the chinchilla who already adapt the local environment and climate. Chinchillas dissipate heat by routing blood to their large ears, so red ears signal overheating.
- Chinchillas can be found in a variety of colors. The only color found in nature is standard gray. The most common other colors are white, black velvet, beige, ebony, violet, and sapphire, and blends of these.
- The animals instinctively clean their fur by taking dust baths, in which they roll around in special dust made of fine pumice. In the wild, the dust is formed from fine, ground volcanic rocks. The dust gets into their fur and absorbs oil and dirt. These baths ar needed a few times a week. Chinchillas do not bathe in water because the dense fur prevents air-drying, retaining moisture close to the skin, which can cause fungus growth or fur rot. A wet chinchilla must be dried immediately with towels and a no-heat hair dryer. The thick fur resists parasites, such as fleas, and reduces loose dander, making chinchillas hypoallergenic.
- Chinchillas eat and drink in very small amounts. In the wild, they eat and digest desert grasses, so cannot efficiently process fatty or high protein foods, or too many green plants. A high quality, hay-based pellet and a constant supply of loose timothy hay will meet all of their dietary needs. Chinchillas' very sensitive gastrointestinal tracts can be easily disrupted, so a healthy diet is important. In a mixed ration, chinchillas may avoid the healthy, high-fiber pellets in favor of items such as raisins and seeds.
- Fresh vegetables and fruit (with high moisture content) should be avoided, as these can cause bloat, which can be fatal. Sweets and dried fruit treats should be limited to one per day, at the very most. This can lead to diarrhea, or in the long term, diabetes. Nuts should be avoided due to their high fat content. High protein foods and alfalfa hay can cause liver problems and should be limited.
1. Maloccluded Teeth
- Because a chinchilla’s teeth grow constantly throughout his (or her) life, if they don’t have enough fiber, tough toys or objects to chew on then the teeth can become too long. When this happens little spurs appear, and these catch on the sensitive flesh inside the mouth, causing injury. If this is not dealt with at an early stage it will worsen, and can prevent a chinchilla from eating at all and eventually could prove fatal.Outward symptoms of a chinchilla that’s starting to suffer from maloccluded teeth include watery eyes, drooling, rubbing at the chew on then the teeth can become too long. When this happens little spurs appear, and these catch on the sensitive flesh inside the mouth, causing injury. If this is not dealt with at an early stage it will worsen, and can prevent a chinchilla from eating at all and eventually could prove fatal.
- Outward symptoms of a chinchilla that’s starting to suffer from maloccluded teeth include watery eyes, drooling, rubbing at the mouth and going off their food. If you notice some or all of these symptoms then you should get your chinnie checked out by a vet straight away.
- To prevent this occurring you should ensure that your chinchillas are fed a daily ration of hay and have plenty of objects to chew on. These can include the inside tubes of toilet rolls, chinchilla safe wood and various toys that can be purchased from pet stores.
2. Hair Rings
- This is a problem that only affects male chinchillas. It’s exactly as the name sounds, and is a ring of hair that builds up around the base of the penis. If this happens it can constrict the blood supply, causing very severe problems and in the worst case scenario could be fatal.
3. Skin Fungus
- A chinnies fur is extremely soft and dense, but this can hide a nasty little condition known as skin fungus. The best way to help prevent this occurring is to allow your chin to have regular dust baths. You can purchase the dust from pet stores, place it in a container and let your chinchilla roll to his heart’s content two or three times per week. Another way to help prevent skin fungus is to ensure that your chinnies environment is not too humid.
4. Tooth Discoloration
- Unlike human teeth, a chins should be an orangey yellow color. White teeth in a chinchilla is a sign of possible calcium deficiency and should be checked out by a vet straight away.
5. Eye Infections.
- Chinchillas are quite prone to these, and can be caused simply by a speck of dust or a foreign object in the eye. If a chinchilla’s eye (or eyes) become red and swollen then he’s likely to need veterinary treatment. It could be an infection or it could be the onset of something more serious, such as flu or pneumonia. Once again, prompt veterinary attention is needed in such a case. If your chinnie is running a fever the inside of his ears will be warm and a bright pink or red color. However, even if this is not the case you should seek a vet’s advice if your chinchilla is experiencing eye problems.
How to Care Chinchilla
1. Provide a suitable cage
- Chinchillas should be kept in cages. Suitable cage size is 81cm(L) x55cm(D) x45cm(H)Since they are extremely active, the larger the cage, the better.
- Chinchillas love to jump,so multiple levels cage with jumping accessories are advisable.
- Ensure the cage has a solid bottom as a chinchilla can get their feet caught in wire floors, and cause serious harm to themselves trying to get free.
- Ensure the cage bars are close enough together that the chinchilla can't stick his head through them. If his head fits through the bars, his whole body will fit through them and he will escape. He may seem too big, but don't be fooled. It is all the fur.
- If you choose a wire cage, ensure that there are no bits of wire poking out that your chinchilla could cut himself on.
- Remove soiled hay and bedding from the cage daily. It is generally suggested that you use no soap or chemicals, but if you mix a tiny amount of bleach with the hot water and swish it around the cage's plastic pan and then clean it thoroughly with hot water and then let it air dry, it is a good way to kill most of the bacteria that can harm your chinchilla.
2. Provide healthy bedding
- Never use cedar or pine shavings as bedding, as the phenols are very strong and cause serious respiratory, skin, coat and liver problems. They are also poisonous to chinchillas if they try to eat them. Try to only use kiln dried shavings. •If desired, provide a hiding house for your chinchilla. This should measure at least 50 cm (20 in) in length and 25 cm (10 in) width and height. The hiding house should be placed on the floor, not on any shelves because the chinchilla might throw it down.
3. Provide proper food
- Your chinchilla should always have a supply of good quality timothy hay (you can feed them small amounts of alfalfa, but not too much because it could cause diarrhea). Keep it in a hay rack or hanging wire basket to help keep it clean.
- If providing Chinchilla pellets, don't buy the kind with little treats in it and artificial coloring. Providing them maintain pellet for daily requirement. If for breeding chinchilla, planning pregnancy chinchilla, pregnant chinchilla, maintain pellet not fully meet requirement, breeding pellet will be another choice.
- Feed them suitable abd safely treats infrequently as it can cause digestive problems. Never give fruit or vegetables (dried or fresh).
- Never give nuts or other treats that are not safe. Safe treats include: unsweetened cherrios (~3 a week), unsweetened shredded wheaties (just a pinch), dried rosehips (~3 a week), safe wood chew sticks.
4. Replace the drinking water daily.
- Provide a anti-leaking bottle. Remember to sterilize the water bottle with tools (refer to www.petsstar.com.my) when changing the water. The algae that grows in their water can cause liver problems, severe diarrhea, or kill them. Use either bottled or filtered water - never use tap. Chinchillas can not handle naturally occurring bacteria (like giardia) in the water like humans, dogs, cats, etc. can. This can be a fatal illness.
5. Give your chinchilla a dust bath for 10-15 minutes anywhere from daily to twice a week.
- Provide a sand dust bath and powder dust bath for different effect. Sand dust bath is for polished and clean up chinchillas' hair. Powder dust bath is for clean up the pores and decrease their oily skin. Too much will cause dryness. but too little will cause their coats to build up oils which can cause a disfiguring and deadly fungus to grow on their skin.
6. Lift your chinchilla properly
- Lift your pet like a kitten. Slide your hand under the chinchilla's belly and place your other hand on top of the chinchilla. Use the hand under the chin to support its hind legs and bum so it feels secure. Don't hold the chinchilla too tightly but do remember that they can be squirmy, so you need to hold them firmly. It is very important you don't squeeze, especially around the upper torso because they have what is known as a "floating ribcage" and you can cause severe internal injuries to him or her by doing this.
|Average Size||11-16 Inches For Body,Another 5-6 For Tail|
|Average Weight||Male: 400 – 700 grams (.9 – 1.5 lbs). Female: 400 – 800 grams (.9 – 1.7 lb).|
|Chinchilla Life Span||Up To 15 Year With Proper Care|
|Colour||Standard Grey,Heterozygous Beige, Homozygous Beige, Wilson White, Black Velvet, Brown Velvet, Mosaic White, Mosaic, Medium Ebony, Dark Ebony, Gold Mosaic, Pink White, Tan, Violet, Medium Ebony Violet, Sapphire, Medium Ebony Sapphire, Blue Diamond & Other|
|Scientific Name||Chinchilla Lanigera|
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