Chinchilla – a mink-like South American animal – has been living with a person for almost a century. She is bred in industrial production for the sake of rare valuable fur (as you know, one hundred chinchilla skins are required per fur coat), she is often kept as a pet in many countries of the world, including in the post-Soviet space. The animal has perfectly adapted to the climate that is not native to him and pleases its owners with a cheerful and cheerful character. However, unfortunately, this is not always the case: like other animals, the chinchilla is susceptible to diseases, which in some cases can be fatal to it.
One of the most common ailments is sudden cramps that appear in an animal that looked healthy a minute or two ago. The peculiarity of seizures is such that they can be of a short-term nature (from several seconds to minutes), but they can also last for a long time (there are cases when the seizures of the animals lasted for hours). We will try to figure out what is the nature of these obscure seizures and what to do to the owners of chinchillas in this case.
Cramps in chinchillas are manifested in the form of eversion and shaking of the whole body, flattening of the ears, paralysis of the hind legs, distortion of the muzzle; their consequence may be constipation. The first and most likely reason for their appearance is a lack of vitamins (mainly vitamin B1) or hypocalcemia (calcium deficiency), which can occur at any time. Perhaps this is also a consequence of a drop in blood sugar. In pregnant or lactating females, cramps can occur in the form of a bend of the head to the shoulders or hips, which makes the animal look like a pretzel. If you saw this, do not hesitate to heal with treatment (as, in fact, in other cases). As first aid, experienced chinchilla owners recommend the following:
- Give the animal in the paws raisins or a quarter of a dry date.
- Make an intramuscular injection of dexamethasone (a drug that relieves shock) in a dosage of 0, 1 – 0, 2 ml. Depending on the weight, and in its absence – prednisone, liquid calcium and glucose.
- Make the animal massage the limbs and intestines.
- Inspect the chinchilla for damage to the limbs, fractures, bruises, bruises (all this animal can easily earn in the process of seizure by hitting something or falling from somewhere). You can conduct an examination as soon as you notice the manifestation of seizures, but in our opinion, it is more important in this case to remove the symptoms and only then engage in an external examination of the small patient.
- Warm the animal and put him in a quiet, safe place, watch him until he comes back to normal. After a seizure, the chinchilla may look depressed and exhausted, it is a natural post-symptom reaction of the body.
- When your pet feels better, you must show it to the veterinarian.
As a preventive measure, it is worthwhile to include in the diet of the animal on an ongoing basis a quarter of a date or raisins (if you have not given it before). The date should be very dry. Giving sweetness should be done no more than once a month. You can also inject the animal with gluconate or calcium glycerophosphate, vitamin Magne B6, trivit, gamavit or water-soluble vitamins with magnesium and phosphorus according to the instructions. If convulsions after this recur after some time, the animal must be treated according to the treatment regimen for stroke.
Sometimes owners of chinchillas are faced with the fact that their pets have calcium digestibility. In this rather serious case, specialist veterinarians are forced to prescribe a course of injections to increase such digestibility, as well as a course of injections of vitamins B.
Seizures can occur as a result of severe stress or overstrain. Chinchilla is a very shy animal with a choleric temperament, and it can frighten her up to death with anything – even a cat meowing in her direction, not to mention outdoor catch-up games. In this case, the veterinarians advise giving the pet soothing drops of Phytex or Cat Bayun. It will not be superfluous to feed the animal with sweetness and make a massage, as in the above case. If the animal has a “quiet hour” during the day, you need to create the most comfortable conditions for it – without sharp noise, smells, extraneous movements near the cage, etc. All this can lead to a sudden awakening of the animal, a sharp transition from sleep to an excited state, and then to an overexcited one.
Cramps can be one of the signs of a stroke. This is worth dwelling in more detail.
Other signs of a chinchilla stroke, in addition to seizures, are:
- Paw paralysis – most often affects only one side of the body.
- Loss of vision – the animal randomly moves around the cage and stumbles upon objects.
- The absence of any reactions to irritants.
- Uncontrolled salivation.
Since a stroke is the result of brain damage, medications are usually prescribed during treatment that improve blood circulation or stimulate the metabolic processes that occur in it. Self-medication in this case is strongly discouraged – you should call a doctor at home to get professional advice and a list of the necessary drugs. Most often used in the treatment of:
- Subcutaneous injections of dexamethasone according to the following scheme: the first two days – 0, 1 ml. Every eight hours, three times a day; from the third to the fifth day – 0, 1 ml. Once a day; from the sixth to the tenth day – 0.05 ml. Once a day. In no case should the dosage and schedule be violated.
- The same injections of cerebrum compositum: the first three days – 0, 2 ml. Three times a day after eight hours; from 4 to 17 days – at 0, 2 ml. Once a day; the next two weeks – at 0, 2 three times a week; the next month – at 0, 2 ml. Two times a week; the next month – at 0, 2 once a week; then for a whole year – at 0.2 ml. Once a month.
- Magne B6 in dosage: 1 ampoule per 1 liter of water. Pour into a drinking bowl and solder for a month. If the animal does not drink on its own, solder it with this solution using a syringe.
- Injections of traumatine: 0.3 ml each. Up to three times a day (depending on the state of the chinchilla) for a week.
- Glycine in tablets: from the first to the fourteenth day – 1 tablet once a day; from 15 to 30 days – half a tablet once a day.
- Catazole injection for five days at 0, 1 ml. Once a day.
All drugs should be used simultaneously and only as directed by a doctor. In addition, it is necessary:
- Keep the animal in a quiet and dark room in a small and low cage without shelves. You can also keep it in a container for transporting animals.
- Make sure that there is hay in her cage all the time.
- Remove from the cage everything that can injure it – from the house to the toys.
- Stop walking around the apartment.
- Keep track of whether the chinchilla eats and drinks on its own. A drinking bowl for a sick chinchilla should hang low. If she doesn’t eat, you should feed and water her from a syringe.
The chances of a quick recovery of the animal will increase if you do not hesitate with treatment and will not violate or prematurely discontinue the prescribed course of treatment.
Oddly enough, the cause of a stroke in a chinchilla is very difficult to determine. It can be a change in blood pressure, and stressful situations, and head and spine injuries, and poisoning, and great physical exertion, and even a sharp change in temperature and poor nutrition. It is easy to notice that basically the reasons lie in the plane of the chinchilla content at home, therefore, to prevent a stroke, you just need to properly care for your pets. But if this misfortune nevertheless happened, you will have the task not only to cure the animal, but also to prevent the repetition of this, since after the first attack the chinchilla is at risk for a whole year, and the next attack can have much more sad consequences for it than those from which you will save her for the first time.
Finally, another cause of seizures can be epilepsy. Very little is known about its causes and methods of treatment. Chinchillas has three types of epilepsy: true, independent, and secondary.
The first species is hereditary and the most mysterious for owners, veterinarians and zoologists, since no changes in the brain are observed with it. If your little animal fell ill with this particular type of epilepsy, then the maximum that you can do for it is to reduce the frequency of attacks, giving, for example, one or two raisins before the walk, and sterilize it so that this disease is not inherited by her children.
The second type of epilepsy is a manifestation of a congenital or acquired disease of the brain – for example, meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the substance and membranes of the brain). The third type is similar to the second and arises as a concomitant disease with any underlying disease. Fortunately, these two species are treatable. Most often, veterinarians recommend the use of pagluferal, sometimes diphenhydramine (0, 3 ml), one percent prednisolone (0, 2 ml), and if this does not help, relanium (0.2 ml). The first two drugs are injected into the withers, relanium – into the thigh.
Seizures can be a manifestation of various brain disorders (for example, due to the presence of bad blood vessels, aneurysms) or increased intracranial pressure. The pressure can rise for any reason – even from a quick run around the apartment while walking. In these cases, piracetam, picamelon, cerebrum-compositum and B vitamins are used for treatment. Sometimes, corvalol and noshpa are added to them. Also, veterinarians advise you to monitor how much water your animal drinks. If its consumption has increased dramatically (usually it is 50 ml. Per day), then this is a sign of an endocrine system disease. By the way, these drugs can be used in the treatment of epilepsy, but, again, only after consultation with a veterinarian.
Occasionally, cramps are the result of heat stroke or heart attacks. Treatment in this case, as in all others, is prescribed by the doctor.
Such a seemingly simple symptom as convulsions can have so many different reasons that even an experienced veterinarian will be difficult to make a diagnosis. However, the difficulty of diagnosis does not mean that the symptom does not need to be paid attention to. On the contrary, the sooner you start treating your pet, the better. And the first rule of treatment for convulsions, no matter what they are caused, is that you should not touch the animal until the attack stops. At this time, he needs peace and silence. When the seizure stops, then you just need to deal with treatment. If the attack is prolonged, call the veterinarian.
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