Treatment For Shock

Chinchillas are very suseptable to shock. Many pet chins die from delayed shock, even when the actual injuries may be relatively minor.

Symptoms of shock may include the chinchilla appearing listless, withdrawn, sleepy and lethargic. Paws and ears may feel cold to the touch. There will almost always be a total lack of appetite and the digestion may shut-down, so few (if any) droppings will be observed.

It is imperative that shock is treated IMMEDIATELY!!

Phone the vet for advice - but do commence basic treatment yourself, as prompt care is essential.

Warmth is paramount, keep the affected chinchilla warm (but not hot). Use a hot-water bottle wrapped in a towel or a specialist heat-pad to ensure that continuous warmth is supplied.

Fluids are also essential. Dehydration treatments are better than water alone (they can be bought from chemists - i.e. diaoralyte - and should be made up according to packet instructions). Slowly and gently, drop by drop if necessary, syringe as much fluid orally as you are able (5-10ml at a time, aiming for about 40ml spread throughout the day). Ensure that the chinchilla does not inhale any. If necessary sub-cutaneous fluids can be administered by a vet. This is essential if a chinchilla is too weak to take anything orally.

Ensure the chinchilla is kept as stress-free as possible. Provide a retreat or nest-box that the chinchilla can snuggle into, and keep warm and feel secure. Apart from administering medication/fluids, disturb the chinchilla as little as possible. When administering treatments, do it quietly with as little fuss and bother, and maintain a speedy and efficient routine to minimise stress.

If the chinchilla survives the first 24 hours, but is still not eating, then you can try offering favourite foods to tempt the appetite (Oxbow Alfalfa Nibbles are recommended). If no food is eaten voluntarily eaten, then try a little food replacment (see the "nutritional first aid" article).

Although there is much you can do yourself to help (and keeping the chin in a familiar environment can pay dividends), in many cases veterinary care is also required, as any wounds sustained will often need veterinary treatment/antibiotics to prevent septicaemia occuring (very common if the chinchilla has been fighting). However, do ensure that the chinchilla has improved (stabilised) a little before risking transportation to the surgery!

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