Friday, 12 February 2010

Sad News

I am very sorry to report that Stitch is no longer with us.

He was put to sleep on Monday when he continued to loose weight despite heavy duty painkillers.

Sleep Well little Man - I will always love you xxx

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Been a while!

Sorry I lapsed - working in retail over xmas is hard!

Stitch had his last dental on December 21st; so it's been about a month. He has maintained his wieght and seems to be ok - For anyone wanting an idea of cost, His last dental and painkillers cost £91. Eep.

on the up side, he never stopped eating, which is great.

He is due back in a couple of weeks, if he doesn't relapse in the mean time. So fingers crossed,

He seems a little down or 'off' today but we all have our bad days.

love Stitch's mum.

Monday, 14 December 2009


Apologies but as my Mum works in a shop, she is very busy at this time of year - she is also poorly with a really stinky cold just now.

My appointment with the Specialist went very well, She was a nice lady called Lucie who gave me a cuddle and seemed rather amused by my lively hopping (and pooping!) all over the examination table.

She agreed with Mum that I needed stronger pain relief and prescribed me what I needed, She also told Mum what she already knew, that my condition is not curable but it is managable. She advised that I should have dental operations every 4-6 weeks to manage my teeth. Hopefully that way they will never get bad enough that I stop eating.

I am booked in for an operation next Monday.

I am now eating for myself, much to mum's relief. She needs to give me painkillers twice a day, but other than that, I now look after myself again. I'm a cheeky chirpy chap.

Mum is hoping that I will eat quickly after my op next week so we can have a peaceful christmas - she has some akward shifts that week and my Dad will have to pick me up after my op.

Mum just ordered me and lucky some Fuzzbuddies from Fuzzbutt We like cuddling up to things :-)

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Taking it easy...

 Thank you for bearing with me - I have been very up and down the last few days. On Friday, I woke up and my one eye wouldn't open properly - I had a permanant squint.

It upset Mum very much, as it was a reminder of my illness and it's progression. She had a good cry before she went to work, as she feared the worst - that it was time for me to say goodbye.

I think she was being daft, by Saturday, I was feeling much better. I was happy and lively and I ate a few nice leafy things, a shredded wheat and even a few pellets - I think maybe she was over-reacting.

Mum seems stressed tonight, she has had a mad day at work, and has now filled in my pre-consulation forms for the specialist tomorrow. The specialist is on a very busy, very main road - so we will have to set out early.

Mum thinks the specialist will probably want to give me x-rays, to see what is going on now. Only time will tell. Mum hopes the nice vet can help me with pain relief and give mum some advice on what is best for me now.

I will update you all on my progress tomorrow and hopefully I can continue to tell you about my condition.

TTFN, Stitch x

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Quick note

Mum says she's a bit tired to post more in depth tonight and she has to go out christmas shopping with Dad later.

I am starting to feel better, and am munching on some solid food today. Mum left me with a mini shredded wheat broken up whilst she was at work, and I ate it all. She was very pleased with me.

I am taking feeds well and chunking up; Mum wants to start feeding me less now and hope I can eat for myself more. She doesn't want to cut back too much before I see the specialist, and have a proper assesment.

I'm in good spirits and still love trying to nip Mum when she tries to feed me. Tehehehehe...

love Stitch x

Monday, 30 November 2009

So... What is Malocclusion....?

Well, Wikipedia definines it as -

"A malocclusion is a misalignment of teeth and/or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches"

Simply put, as a general term, it means that the teeth are not correctly aligned. This is maybe too loose a term for the condition that I have. Malocclusion, commenly termed 'Mal' by many Chinchilla owners and breeders can cover a whole spectrum of problems; from treatable to non-treatable.

The problem for us Rodents (and it is a problem for many rodent species) us that our teeth do not grow in the same way as You humans. You are born with two sets of teeth; milk teeth and adult teeth. Your milk teeth fall out and are replaced.

Us Chinchillas have only one lot of teeth to last a lifetime; and in an animal that can live over 20 years, those teeth have to do something to keep in tip top condition - after all, we mostly eat hays and grasses so we need good teeth! To cope with this, our teeth continually grow, to keep renewing themselves. What a Great idea!!

It is a great strategy but unfortunatly, this has lead to the more common dental problems in Chinchillas and similar rodents.

Want to see what our teeth look like? Look here

We'll start with the Treatable problems.

These problems occur when a Chinchilla's bite is not even. If we don't chew our food evenly, it can cause wierd things to happen to the shape of our teeth and we can develor Spurs. These are when the teeth form 'spikes' or 'hooks' ; usually on the top edge or our teeth, but they can also develop on the sides. These bits stick out into our mouths and cause us problems.

As you can imagine having the edge of your teeth form sharp bits isn't very comfy! It can cut the inside of our mouths, they can cut our tongues and sometimes, where we have been cut, abcesses can form. It's not nice to have a mouth infection!!

Further Reading on Spurs can be found here

Infection can be treated with antibiotics and the spurs themselves can be 'burred' down, removing the obstruction to our eating. We feel much better, as long as we have been prescribed adquete pain relief although sometimes it takes a while for us to be able to eat properly again.

I do suffer from spurs, usually on my upper right back molar, and at the moment I have had dentals about every 4-6 weeks to remove these.

Some chinchillas may have these as a one off, although that seems very rare and they do usually re-occur, although the time scale will vary from Chinchilla to Chinchilla.

If I was a lucky chin, that would be the only problem and I would be free to live a relatively normal life. Some Chinchillas get them when they are older, due to age - it's a naturally occuring problem in 'oldies'.

Sadly, I am not that lucky and have mostly likely developed it due to a genetic problem some where in my lines. Due to my age - I am only 3, and the fact my Mum spoils be rotten with lots of toys and a good nutrious diet it is unlikely that something in my environment has caused my problems. Other Chinchillas can develop these things through poor diet, environment or even an accident - After all, anyone who knows Chinchillas knows we have a very 'gung-ho' attitude to life and often get ourselves into trouble.

It's daytime, so currently I am asleep, as is that noisy begger who lives down stairs. Mum says I shouldn't overload you with information, So we will leave it there for today. Tomorrow I will discuss the specifics of root problems.

In the meantime, here's some reading for you ;

Chinchilla Dental Research

David Crossely's report on Tooth Management

Mum manged to get me an appointment with a local specialist, but she's on holiday until monday, so I shall see her then. She wants a second opinion on how best to manage my condtion.

TTFN, Stitch x

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Mum is Happy

Just a little note today, to say my Mum is very pleased with me today. I haven't eaten on my own now since last Sunday night, before I had my last operation. Despite all this, I have gained weight and now I weigh more than before my last two Dental surgerys - So I am the chunkiest that I have been in a long time.

She says she is pleased with my progress - especially as I really don't like having to be syringe fed at all - I'd rather feed myself, but eating hurts me so much that no matter what I try, I just can't do it. Even one of my favourite treats, Mini Shredded Wheat is beyond my skills just now - I seem to be able to make it a bit soggy, but I can't bite it into smaller bits at the moment.

Mum is not very impressed with my Vet right now and tomorrow she is going to see if she can book me an appointment with the local Chinchilla specialist. It will not be cheap and we will have to travel a little further, but Mum hopes with the right help, I will start eating for myself once more.

Mum says it's time for my evening feed now so she can get some sleep in a bit. Tomorrow I hope to give you all a more educational post on my condition.

TTFN, Stitch x