Friday, October 26, 2007

Pet Pride Day - San Francisco

California Chins will be at Pet Pride Day in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Sunday, October 28th from 11 AM to 3 PM. If you are in the area, stop by.

Pet Pride Day is sponsored by San Francisco Animal Care and Control. For more information about the event, check out their website.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fires in Southern California

If you live in Southern California and need help, due to the fires, with your chinchilla(s), we will try to do what we can to help. Our group is in the SF Bay Area, but we do have some contacts in the southern part of the state. Caroline at has already offered to help.

Even if we can't do much to help from 300-500 miles away, our thoughts are with those of you in the southern part of the state.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Another FOUND Chinchilla - Scotts Valley

A chinchilla was found yesterday running loose near an animal shelter in Scotts Valley, California. The chin was frightened, exhausted, dehydrated and had small area of fur singed, but otherwise seems okay. If you have lost a chinchilla in that area, please contact us ( You will need to be able to identify the gender, color, approximate age, and any other identifying features.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Broken Leg - update

It has been 6 weeks since our young chin had her leg put in a splint due to a broken tibia. Yesterday, she went back to see the vet to have the splint removed and have the leg examined to see how well it had healed. An x-ray was taken before splint removal. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, it showed less healing than we had hoped for at this stage. Dealing with broken bones in a chinchilla is one of the most difficult conditions to treat, which the vet reiterated yesterday. Splinting a chin is not easy, nor does it completely immobilize the bones in most cases. My understanding is that the goal is not perfect alignment of the two pieces of bone, but rather a strong, functional bone. Their bones are just so small and they are such active creatures that all we can really hope for is healthy leg that works well for them.

The splint had been taped to the chin's leg because there really aren't other ways to get it to stay on. Unfortunately, when the splint was removed, the tape tore the skin leaving a 1/2 inch long, but shallow, wound. A little surgical glue was used to close the wound, which seems to be working. Because of the location, the chin would have chewed off any other sutures.

Currently, the splint is off, but the chin is still confined to a small, low, one-level, solid-bottom cage. She can't have anything in the cage that she might climb on and therefore jump off. The toes on the foot were curling under a bit yesterday due to loss of muscle tone, but with a little time a practice she will regain full use. She's a sweet and feisty little thing, so I don't think it will take her long!

She could have a dust bath, finally, but with the wound on her leg, I'd rather wait until some healing has taken place. In two weeks, she'll go back to the vet for another x-ray and hopefully be declared "healed"!

Softening Chinchilla Pellets

I just going through some old chinchilla email and found this trick that was sent to me a couple years ago. It sounded interesting so I thought I would pass it on. It could be used to soften food for senior chins or those with dental issues.

The idea was attributed to Dr. Janice Goode DVM:

1) Pre-heat your oven to 250 F
2) Put a mixture
of chinchilla pellets in a colander
3) Pour hot
water through the pellets in the colander and drain
4) Spread the pellets
out in a 'roasting/baking' pan
5) Bake in the oven for 30

This makes the pellets less dense and much easier to eat.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Found: Chinchilla in Sunnyvale

We received a chinchilla from the Humane Society last weekend that was said to be found living outdoors in Sunnyvale, California. The story we were told is that the chin was found eating cat (or dog) food. If you have lost a chinchilla in Sunnyvale, please contact us via email at To identify the animal, we will ask you for the neighborhood, color, and gender of the chinchilla.