Dog Site - Dog Stuff
Dog Forum | Dog Pictures

Go Back   Chazhound Dog Forum > Dog Forum News > The Fire Hydrant


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-28-2014, 10:53 PM
JustaLilBitaLuck's Avatar
JustaLilBitaLuck JustaLilBitaLuck is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,920
Default Chinchillas/Degus?

Does anyone here have any experience with chinchillas or degus?

I'm down to one single (elderly) bird, and I think once he's gone (and I have space for a large cage in the dog-free room), I don't think I'll get another. I really want to do the small animal thing. I never had small pets as a child, and it's beginning to appeal to me.

I've handled mice and rats through school, and both give me terrible itchy rashes. Guinea pigs have made me sneeze (but that could have been the bedding, I've only met a few) All of the gerbils and hamsters I've met have been kinda grumpy, and their shirt lifespans depress me a little (although I do have a strong desire to build a massive habitrail!).

I absolutely adore rabbits, but I do worry that I wouldn't be able to give them enough out of cage time. I've heard that they need a lot, since they aren't super active in their cages.

The pet store I worked at had a store degu, and she was lovely, very friendly and personable. I don't know if that's the norm, though, she's the only degu I've known.

So...I'm entertaining the possibility of a chinchilla or a degu, and I'd love to hear people's experiences with them!
__________________
Megan
| Jack - Lhasa Apso | Missy - Rottweiler | Heidi - Cocker Spaniel | Sassy - Siamese | Emmy & Oscar - Parakeets |
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-29-2014, 09:10 AM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 10,249
Default

I had both. Liked both. But neither of mine were very friendly unfortunately. They were very cute though. But they do really need some free roaming time, although I was never able to do it and they did fine (it's a bit tough when they don't let you pick them up). I had pretty big cages though. And I hate cleaning cages... but if you're used to it and have experience with that, you won't mind. I just really suggest getting them from a person who trained them from birth to be people friendly.

The main issue I got is that one of the chinchillas got away (I guess it squeezed through the cage bars as it was still relatively small) and we found him 3 houses down. Not sure how it made it alive, frankly. And the degus cage had a plastic bottom and they chewed through it... so I got my share of escapees.

I am allergic to small animals and did ok with both, although chinchillas are much better for allergies.

I had to give them all way when I moved though (from France to the US), so I can't comment on their lifespan. But it's definitely pretty long (I had mine for 3 years). I do know now that I'm really not a small animal person though.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-29-2014, 09:14 AM
AmberD's Avatar
AmberD AmberD is offline
Puppy Dog
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Flint, Mich.
Posts: 65
Default

I had some degus. They were all rescues that lacked intense socialization. I've definitely heard that degus can be friendly, but I don't think it comes as naturally to them as a rat. I'm severely allergic to rats (which I adore), and I went with degus, but they weren't the same. Cute. Very messy - I swear they flung poop everywhere. I loved setting a bowl of dust in their cage; they'd smell it and start rolling where they were, long before making it to their bath lol.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-29-2014, 09:31 AM
AllieMackie's Avatar
AllieMackie AllieMackie is offline
Wookie Collie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 6,417
Default

I had a chinchilla for about five years. She's still alive and happy, but she went with the ex when we broke up.

She came to us at 8 weeks from an oops litter from the ex's sister's chinchillas. Sigh. We socialized her a LOT early on and got her used to being handled. Lots of different people met her too, so she became very friendly and sociable. Not as fearful as a number of chinchillas I've met. Early socialization and lots of careful bonding is key.

Similar mess & maintenance to a rabbit or a guinea pig in my experience. Their diet is much more limited - no fresh fruits or veggies. Just hay, alfalfa and such. Same goes for treats - I'd usually get her the Oxbow treats that only had variations of hay in them and she loved them.

They're real characters when they play. They do this hilarious thing dubbed "popcorning" where they just sort of... bounce straight up into the air. It's awesome. They can go warp 10 when they get really excited. Superfast!

As with rabbits and guinea pigs, they chew on anything within their reach, so that's worth being aware of.

You can't really "cuddle" them in the way you might be able to with a rabbit or piggie. Their fur is extreeeeeeeeemely dense and if you touch it too often, it gets greasy really fast and they often drop fur clumps when touched (also never pull on their tail - they have a dropping mechanism for the tip). I would always wash my hands before handling her to avoid oil distribution, and Yuffie loved snuggling up into my cupped hands, enjoying the warmth.

Never get them wet either! If you do, blow dry them with cool air. Wet chinchilla fur is highly prone to mold due to the denseness, which can be fatal. They take baths in dry dust, which is fun to watch!

Photos:

Her setup, which changed a lot. That's a cage designed for rats - ideally though, chins should have more solid surfaces as opposed to just wire ones. The hammock isn't generally ideal either, but for some reason she didn't really chew it much so I let her have it.


Oh hai.


Resting on my hand.


On my lap trying to chew my hoodie laces.


I once found fresh apple tree branches at a pet shop and she LOVED them.


Rollin' in the dust bath~


Playing sentry on top of her cage.


I gave her a log canopy, she flipped it sideways and napped in it.


She was halfway to falling asleep here - this is what I mean my resting in a cupped hand. She would be SO comfy.


Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions. I miss my girl and would be so excited for more chinnies on Chaz.
__________________


Finnegan - Border Collie | Barrett the ferret | Stan & Fiora - the cats
RIP - Fozzy 1993-2006 Palom 2008-2010 Ysera 2008-2011 Basol 2008-2012 Freya 2008-2014 Porom 2008-2014
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-29-2014, 09:32 AM
Laurelin's Avatar
Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 29,140
Default

I've had two chinchillas. I love them but not sure I'd have another. My male passed away when he was 2 of some sort of unknown illness. He had to be hospitalized and was losing fur and weight and we could not ever figure out what was wrong. My female I ended up rehoming when she was around 10-11 years old.

That is my BIG caveat with chins. They live a long, long time. I wish I'd have thought that through a bit better because they are also classified as exotics for a lot of apartments and they weren't accepted anywhere I looked at. Now I could have one and have entertained getting a rescue/rehome. That's probably the only way I'd get another. It killed me having to rehome her, I have never rehomed a pet before. I felt like I failed her. I just... didn't think about the fact that chins live to be 12+ years when I was a teen and bought her. My friend growing up had a black ebony chinchilla and he lived to almost 20.

Scout is still doing great over 3 years later. She's got a great new home where they adore her. She was a mosaic chinchilla, very pretty thing. Smokie was a hetero beige. Scout was so sweet. Smokie was wild and high energy and very hard to handle but Scout was very calm and tame. She loved being held and came when called. She'd just sit on your shoulder forever if you let her. She loved exploring and climbing. Softest fur EVER and she was huge for a chin. She shedded everywhere and the dust from the dust baths gets everywhere. They also pee a lot and the poo falls out of the cage a lot. It doesn't smell but it gets everywhere. I like the ferret nation cages for cage options- just throwing that in there. Much easier to clean.

They need big cages and lots of attention. And they need to be kept cool. They can be quite expensive because they need a lot of toys and things. They're smart animals and busy. Oh and nocturnal so I wouldn't have them in the bedroom. Scout had some parrot toys she would play with all night long.

I have been seriously considering another or a rescue pair. They do get rehomed a lot because they live so long and are more work than anticipated.
__________________
Mia CGC
Summer TG2 TBAD
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-29-2014, 09:34 AM
AllieMackie's Avatar
AllieMackie AllieMackie is offline
Wookie Collie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 6,417
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I've had two chinchillas. I love them but not sure I'd have another. My male passed away when he was 2 of some sort of unknown illness. He had to be hospitalized and was losing fur and weight and we could not ever figure out what was wrong. My female I ended up rehoming when she was around 10-11 years old.

That is my BIG caveat with chins. They live a long, long time. I wish I'd have thought that through a bit better because they are also classified as exotics for a lot of apartments and they weren't accepted anywhere I looked at. Now I could have one and have entertained getting a rescue/rehome. That's probably the only way I'd get another. It killed me having to rehome her, I have never rehomed a pet before. I felt like I failed her. I just... didn't think about the fact that chins live to be 12+ years when I was a teen and bought her. My friend growing up had a black ebony chinchilla and he lived to almost 20.

Scout is still doing great over 3 years later. She's got a great new home where they adore her. She was a mosaic chinchilla, very pretty thing. Smokie was a hetero beige. Scout was so sweet. Smokie was wild and high energy and very hard to handle but Scout was very calm and tame. She loved being held and came when called. She'd just sit on your shoulder forever if you let her. She loved exploring and climbing. Softest fur EVER and she was huge for a chin. She shedded everywhere and the dust from the dust baths gets everywhere. They also pee a lot and the poo falls out of the cage a lot. It doesn't smell but it gets everywhere. I like the ferret nation cages.

They need big cages and lots of attention. And they need to be kept cool. They can be quite expensive because they need a lot of toys and things. They're smart animals and busy. Oh and nocturnal so I wouldn't have them in the bedroom. Scout had some parrot toys she would play with all night long.

I have been seriously considering another or a rescue pair. They do get rehomed a lot because they live so long and are more work than anticipated.
^ A very good point I forgot to mention - a MUCH longer lifespan than similar small animals like rabbits or pigs. Dunno about degus.
__________________


Finnegan - Border Collie | Barrett the ferret | Stan & Fiora - the cats
RIP - Fozzy 1993-2006 Palom 2008-2010 Ysera 2008-2011 Basol 2008-2012 Freya 2008-2014 Porom 2008-2014
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-29-2014, 09:43 AM
Laurelin's Avatar
Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 29,140
Default

Here is Scout. She was really an amazing little pet.











For size^ That was a 13.3" laptop.

Even before this thread I had been thinking about another. I see them on craigslist for rehome sometimes.
__________________
Mia CGC
Summer TG2 TBAD
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-29-2014, 09:44 AM
Laurelin's Avatar
Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 29,140
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllieMackie View Post
^ A very good point I forgot to mention - a MUCH longer lifespan than similar small animals like rabbits or pigs. Dunno about degus.
Yeah I don' know about degus at all. But chins live around as long as a dog or cat. I've heard most health issues present by about 2 years so if the chin is over 2 years it's likely it will at least live a decade or more.
__________________
Mia CGC
Summer TG2 TBAD
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-29-2014, 09:45 AM
Laurelin's Avatar
Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 29,140
Default

Oh also you will need a vet that deals with exotics most likely even though chins aren't really 'exotics'.

ETA: Doing math again, Scout was 9-10 when I rehomed her. Not 10-11. Whoops. Still long for a rodent. And she's still doing well now at around 13.

Good resource: http://www.chinchillachronicles.com
__________________
Mia CGC
Summer TG2 TBAD

Last edited by Laurelin; 08-29-2014 at 10:07 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-29-2014, 10:58 AM
Laurelin's Avatar
Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 29,140
Default

I'm spamming. I'm sorry. I thought these were funny though.











]

__________________
Mia CGC
Summer TG2 TBAD
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:26 PM.


1997-2013 Chazhound Dog Site