Fixing a Dog's Broken Femur Bone
How to Manage Broken Bones in Chinchillas
Chinchillas are very resilient pets! So, if your chinchilla has a broken bone, they will heal quickly as long as you follow the treatment plan your veterinarian recommends (whether it be setting the bone, surgery, or amputation). As long as you consult a veterinarian, properly care for your chinchilla after treatment, administer any medication your veterinarian prescribes, and take action to prevent future breaks, your chinchilla will be up and hopping in no time.
Visiting a Veterinarian
Find a veterinarian that is qualified to treat chinchillas.You’ll need to find a veterinarian that treats exotic pet species if you don’t already have one. You can find one by searching online or asking local chinchilla breeders for recommendations.
Bring your chinchilla to the veterinarian.Layer the bottom of a small pet carrier with shredded paper or pine chips and gently place your chinchilla inside. Once you’ve loaded the carrier into your car, cover it with a sheet to protect your chinchilla from the extreme temperatures or noise.
Get an official diagnosis and treatment plan.Your veterinarian will most likely diagnose your chinchilla’s broken bone with an x-ray. After doing so, they will either set the broken bone with a bandage, surgically insert pins to stabilize the bone, or recommend the amputation of the affected limb. Regardless, the care instructions for your chinchilla afterwards will be the same.
Caring for Your Chinchilla after Treatment
House your chinchilla in a smaller cage than normal to restrict movement.Typical chinchilla cages are at least 3 feet (0.91 m) by 2 feet (0.61 m) by 2 feet (0.61 m) and may have multiple levels.Keep your injured chinchilla in a cage at least half that size and with only one level to keep it from moving too much and risking further injury.
- Make sure the smaller cage you keep your chinchilla in has solid floors or mesh openings that are no larger than 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) by 0.5 inches (1.3 cm).
- You should also make sure that your chinchilla has plenty of bedding material to keep it from putting too much pressure on its injury.
Avoid picking up your chinchilla unless administering medication.Picking your chinchilla up too much or playing with it during the healing process can risk refracturing broken bones and will keep your chinchilla from getting the rest its body needs to recuperate quickly.
- Follow all your vet's instructions on caring for dressings and monitoring for signs of infection. If the dressing becomes soiled or you otherwise notice discharge from the wound contact your vet immediately.
Keep your chinchilla’s cage as clean as possible to avoid infections.After gently removing your chinchilla from its cage and temporarily placing it in a box, clean its cage by removing all of the bedding and wiping down the bottom and walls with a mild bleach and water mixture of 1 part bleach to 20 parts water. Then rinse the cage thoroughly and dry it completely.
- You should also clean your chinchilla’s water bottle on a daily basis with soap and water.
- Avoid giving your chinchilla a dust bath while it heals. After it’s finished healing, however, you should bathe it with a dust bath kit purchased online or at any exotic pet supplies store.
Give your chinchilla extra food and water to facilitate the healing process.To make sure the healing process moves as quickly as possible, give your chinchilla more food and water than you normally do. This will ensure that your chinchilla has all of the nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy while healing.
- You should also consider mixing a probiotic formula into their water, which can be purchased online or at any exotic pet supplies store.
Administering Medicine to Your Chinchilla
Draw the medication up into a syringe or eyedropper.Your veterinarian may prescribe liquid painkillers and antibiotics to keep your chinchilla healthy and comfortable while it heals. Use a syringe or eyedropper to draw up the prescribed dosage prior to administering it.
- If your veterinarian prescribes the medication in tablet form, crush the tablet into powder with a pill crusher and mix it into 1 teaspoon (4.9 mL) of a flavored diet supplement like Sustacal or Ensure.
Cradle your chinchilla’s head and neck in one hand.Gently support your chinchilla’s head and neck in your palm, wrapping your fingers around its upper body to limit any movements that might risk worsening its injuries.
Use your other hand to slowly administer the medication orally.Place the tip of the syringe or eyedropper behind your chinchilla’s front teeth. Your chinchilla will most likely try to chew on the tip. While it does so, slowly and gradually administer the medication.
- Your chinchilla may try to open its mouth to get rid of the tip of the syringe or eyedropper. Be patient, and wait for it to close its mouth again to continue administering the medication.
Preventing Future Breaks
Remove anything in your chinchilla’s cage that might pose a risk for injury.Ramps, toys, and wheels are especially likely to be the cause of an injury. Remove any of these items from the cage that have openings in them large enough to fit your chinchilla’s limbs.
- The items in your chinchilla’s cage should have solid surfaces. Use ramps, toys, and wheels that don’t have openings in them.
- You should also place dried pine or fleece on the bottom of the cage to cover any mesh openings and give your chinchilla a more solid surface on which to navigate.
- Avoid putting cardboard or other fibrous materials on the bottom of the cage. Your chinchilla will chew through them.
Feed your chinchilla vitamin and calcium supplements to strengthen their bones.A chinchilla’s bones are more likely to break if it isn’t getting all of the nutrients it needs. Mix vitamin and calcium supplements into your chinchilla’s food or give it vitamin and calcium rich treats to keep its bones strong and healthy.
- You can never give your chinchilla too much calcium or other vitamins. Since they are water soluble, any nutrients your chinchilla doesn’t need will simply be excreted.
Make sure your friends and family know how to hold your chinchilla.Brace your chinchilla’s rear with one palm and its back with the other, wrapping your fingers around its torso for added support. Lean your chinchilla against your chest to stabilize it between your body and your hands.
- Ask children to hold your chinchilla while sitting on the ground so there is less risk of them dropping it.
- Make sure everyone in your household knows when your chinchilla is out of your cage so they don’t step on it.
- Unusual behavior like biting or lethargy can be an indication of a broken bone. Be sure to monitor your chinchilla’s activity regularly for such signs.
- Broken bones are often the result of poor handling. Make sure that everyone that holds your chinchilla does so gently and by using the proper method.
- Broken bones are sometimes the result of fighting with other chinchillas. If your chinchilla has a cagemate, make sure to monitor their interactions for signs of conflict.
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