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"!