How to Know If Your Chinchilla is Sick

There are a few ways to determine whether or not your chinchilla is running a fever. Just as a human, a chinchilla’s normal temperature is 98.6 degrees. Without any special thermometer, you can see if the animal has a fever by touching and examining its ears. If they are pink or red in color and feel abnormally warm to the touch, then there is a high probability of a fever. Prior to this method of determining temperature, observe the position in which your pet has been sleeping. Sometimes, if the ears are tucked under the sleeping animal, the ears, warmed by body heat, may produce appearances similar to those described above. Wait a while after the animal has awakened before trying to determine an elevated temperature.

If you do suspect a fever, the animal will probably also appear listless. If this is the case, you should also listen carefully to its breathing. If it experiences difficulty breathing, makes a wheezing sound or shows a nasal discharge it might indicate a case of pneumonia or other respiratory illnesses. In a case of pneumonia, this causes unusual stress to the animal’s circulatory system and heart. In fact, it is this kind of stress that is usually the direct cause of death in such instances. In most cases, you will require the services of a vet to treat pneumonia. Only a trained expert will know the exact type and needed dosage of antibiotics. If such is the case, you should also remember that you will most likely have to administer water to the stricken animal via a water dropper several times a day and make certain the animal is kept warm in a quiet place.

If the symptoms occur minus any difficult breathing, your chinchilla might be suffering from the common cold. In such a case, all you need do is keep the animal warm and be certain it drinks plenty of water. Also, don’t allow the animal to have a dust bath until the cold symptoms clear up. Continually examine the animal to make sure no pneumonia symptoms appear later on.

While pneumonia is not rare in chinchillas, it is more likely that watery eyes are a sign of a more common chinchilla difficulty such as dental problems. If you observe the animal pawing at its mouth or drooling when it eats, dental problems might be the cause. If such a condition has continued for a time, the animal might not have had the proper chewable foods and playthings to wear down its constantly growing teeth properly.

How to Choose a Healthy Chinchilla

Holding and lifting the chinchilla is not only to see if you and the animal are compatible, but you should use this opportunity to determine the appearance and general health of the animal. One determines the other.

First, get the “feel” of the animal in your hand. It should be “solid” and weigh about one to two pounds when fully grown. Chinchillas are considered fully grown at approximately eight months of age; however, they are usually weaned after only ten or eleven weeks. They are able to leave their mothers at this time and many shoppers prefer a younger animal as a pet. This allows the joy of watching them growing and exploring their surroundings. Of course, the younger the animal, the more years it will have as a pet. The disadvantages of having a younger chinchilla include the facts that they may not be as used to handling at a younger age and that some chinchillas do not take well to separation from their mothers. Some that have been weaned too early have experienced sickness and even death. Studies have indicated that the period of time right after a young chinchilla weans up to when it reaches about three months of age is when most deaths take place among the younger animals. Sadly, this is often due to new owners feeding the smaller chinchillas as if they could handle an adult diet. We will be covering proper feeding of chinchillas later on. We note this at this point only to illustrate a possible advantage for a new owner in purchasing a full-grown animal for a pet.

Eyes and teeth should be examined next. You should look straight into the eyes, making certain they appear clear and bright. Clear and bright eyes are an indication of good health. If the eyes are teary, it is probably an indication of an existing health problem or one which is about to show itself. One such cause of watery eyes might be dental problems in the animal.
The eyes are relatively easy to check, but you might prefer the help of an expert in observing the chinchilla’s teeth. It is essential to make a careful examination of the chinchilla’s mouth. Like many small animals, it will most likely be reluctant to have its mouth forced open to provide a clear view. Also, rodents have very narrow mouth openings, making such examinations difficult. However, your pet shop owner or chinchilla rancher will probably be able to handle the animal so you can get a quick look. A good way to do it on your own is to, if the owner will allow it, offer the chinchilla an acceptable treat of some kind or let it chew harmlessly on some object. While it is doing this, you will be able to view its front teeth, which, oddly enough, should be yellow or orange-yellow in color instead of white.

Being rodents, chinchillas’ incisors grow continuously. Their normal chewing and gnawing actions naturally grind down the teeth. Chinchillas that have been well cared for are usually provided such things as pumice stones or hardwood branches from fruit trees for this gnawing exercise. If all is well, the tips of the top pair of teeth should be straight across.

Pet Contests

All pet owners take pride in their pets. Some are proud of their pet’s looks, others of their pet’s intelligence, others yet of their pet’s charming personality. How is one to measure?! In addition, consider the fact that even a single criterion such as beauty is NOT objective. None of us humans is “looks” alone. It is the complete package that either does – or does not – makes us irresistible. Well, under such complicated circumstances and on guard to be fair to all Members of the Ethical Pet Owners Community, Pets Online has settled on choosing the “Most Loveable Pet” and the “Best Pet Story”.

Pet Contests’ Participation Rules

  1. Everyone is invited to participate.
  2. Every Pet Owner who is trying to build his/her credentials as a PUBLISHED Photographer or a PUBLISHED Writer is encouraged to participate.
  3.  We welcome ONLY Photos and Stories that belong to you; by submitting any material to us you acknowledge that you are the author of it. (Only one picture and one story per person per year can be entered into the contests.
  4. Include your first name, first letter of your last name and your city with your submission, please!)
  5. Winners are selected MONTHLY by Pets Online / Pro-Active Ethics Council, at our discretion but with the input of our Website’s visitors.
  6. The results are announced in our Members-Only Monthly Newsletter.
  7.  Winning entries are published here.
  8. Once a year we choose “Most Loveable Pet of the Year” and “Best Pet Story of the Year”.
  9. Photos and Stories for either of our contests have to be submitted to editor@petsonline.org .
  10. We cannot guarantee that your submission will be published.

Story of the Month

Putchie was a stray dog! Marie gived him a home and took care of him. 2 years later he become the raising star of a local pet contest at their town. The most particular and funny detail is that Marie uses a flatiron to make Putchie even more stylish and smooth! We asked Marie what was the flatiron, she said she got it online and is a stylehouse flat iron and she bought from this website http://mybestflatiron.com

How sweet is that story?

How to pick a pet sitter

Glossary

This glossary of terms is to help everyone understand what the different services mean.

Dog visits: This service may include either full pet sitting visits or only afternoon potty walks.

Dog boarding: Your dog is kept at the pet sitter’s home overnight. You must check with each business if they have behavior, size, or breed restrictions.

Doggie daycare: Your dog goes to the pet sitters home to play while you’re at work and goes home with you at the end of the day. You must check with each business for behavior, size, or breed restrictions.

Dog playgroups: The pet sitter picks up your dog at your home and takes them to an off-leash park with a group of dogs. You must check with each business for behavior, size or breed restrictions.

Cat visits: Pet sitter will come to your home and change the litter box and feed your cat.

Cat boarding: Your cat goes to the pet sitter’s home overnight.

Bird visits: Pet sitter will come to your home feed and check on the condition of your bird. They may or may not clean the cage. You must check with each business if they have size or species restrictions.

Bird boarding: Your bird goes to the pet sitter’s home overnight.

Small Mammals includes Ferrets, Rabbits, and all rodents. Visits and boarding for small mammals is the same as for birds. Check with each business if they have restrictions such as no skunks.

Reptiles includes snakes, lizards, turtles, and all amphibians. Visits and boarding for reptiles is the same as for birds. Check with each business if they have restrictions such as no alligators.

Livestock includes all animals found on farms and ranches to include pot bellied pigs. Visits and boarding for livestock is the same. You must check with each business as to the type of animals they take care of.

Exotic animals includes any pet that is unusual to be kept such as insects, ostriches, tigers or dinosaurs.

Aquarium visits: Business will feed fish and check water levels and make sure equipment is functioning properly.

Live in service: Pet sitter will stay in your home to take care of your pets and provide the illusion that some one is home.

Behavioral consultant: This type of service is provided for those pet owners who need behavior questions answered such as how to handle house training in dogs and cats or feather plucking in birds. The consultant may or may not have you come to their place of business or come to your home. You must check with each business as to the types of animals they do behavioral consulting for.

Grooming: This service may include full grooming for dogs or simple grooming such as nail clipping for cats or feather trimming for birds. You must check with each business as to the specific type of grooming they provide.

Simple medications: The business will administer medications such as pills, ointments or shots to your pet.

Advanced medications: The business will administer medications such as fluid changes or other involved treatments to your pet.

Pet supply pick up: Business will pick up food, toys, equipment, and medications and deliver them to your home.

Taxi service: Business will pick up your pet from one location and transport them to another.

Training: Business offers training for owners and their pets. Some business offer classes or one-on-one training or board and train. Some business offer training to all types of pets and some will do training only for cats and dogs.

Yard scooping: Business will come to your home and clean pet waste from your yard.

How to Pick a Pet Sitter

Instructions

A professional pet sitter should have any state or local licenses required.
A professional pet sitter should have insurance. Bonding is not necessary unless the pet sitter has employees.
A professional pet sitter should provide references on request.
A professional pet sitter should be reliable and show up when they are scheduled. They should also be able to handle emergencies in a professional manner.