Caring for our new little furry friend, Oreo the chinchilla, is giving me fits. Not that he’s hard to care for, but that I’ll do something inadvertently to hurt him, since I know next to nothing about them. I wasn’t looking to own a chinchilla when Oreo came into our home, but we have him now, and I do think he’s better off with us than he was in his last environment.
Of course, I spend hours online on chinchilla sites, but on the Internet, how do you really know what information is good and what is not? I’m relying heavily on one site, www.chincare.com, because it does seem to have lots and lots of information with credible sources. I shall have to write to thank them for their hard work in compiling all the information, because otherwise, I’m afraid of what we might have accidentally done to poor little Oreo.
Even with all that information, I’m still paranoid. Last night, I was convinced Oreo had a hunchback, which can indicate severe malnutrition or worse. The malnutrition was believable. I know his previous owner didn’t feed him properly. But today, I’m thinking maybe I overreacted, after reading that chinchillas have a naturally occurring curve in their spine. I just don’t know. But he seems to be, as near as I can figure, healthy. He plays. He eats. He drinks. He poops (a lot!). He has had a couple of sticky poops (which is bad), but I think that may be because I’ve just started feeding him a little bit of alfalfa, plus he’s moved into a new cage, and change in diet/stress can cause sticky poops. And I’ve only seen maybe four or five sticky ones. The rest appear normal.
He’s not a social chin. He’s been neglected so long he doesn’t like or trust people. I’m hoping, in time, he’ll learn to trust me. I work with him every day. I have been able to coax him onto my arm and into my lap, but I cannot pick him up. He just will not allow that. I am a little envious when reading all these sites of chins who will play with their people, but I know Oreo can’t help it, and so I’ll just have to continue to do the best I can in hopes someday he’ll learn to play with me.
I am going to have to have the willpower to stop giving him raisins everyday! I’ve been giving him one raisin every night, but I know he should only get one 2-3 times a week. So tonight, he will not get one. Willpower! *game face*
I can’t wait to get home to my little guy. I want to scratch his chin. Tomorrow is cage-cleaning day. It’ll be the first time cleaning his new cage, so I’ll have to see how long it takes me so I’ll know how much time to set aside every week to get it done.