Well, I am all too aware that I have gone quiet again! Life is conspiring against me.
Shortly after the ball, my beloved Chinchilla, Stitch has become ill again and has needed a lot of my time. He is suffering from Malaclussion, which is a nasty and all too common ailment in Chinchillas. He is only young (in a couple of weeks he will be 3) so it is more than likely it was inherited from his parents. As a rescessive gene it is one of the sad facts of chinchilla life; no matter how hard the breeders try to eradicate it, it always crops up. Having lost leroy, who came home at the same time as Stitch (Stitch was 4 months, Leroy 3 months) it is a huge blow to have this diagnosis hanging over him.
Malaclussion (commonly just called 'Mal') is technically a mis alignment of the teeth or jaw. This can cause the teeth to wear unevenly and develop what is know as 'spurs'. Spurs are like spikes that form on the side of the teeth (sometimes inside, others outside); These can cut the tongue and cheeks causing problems eating - which of course, leads to wieght loss, starvation and gut stasis - which is a major problem in itself. Spurs are treatable - they are filed down by vets to allow the mouth to heal.
Stitch is suffering from Root elongation as well; this is part of Mal, and a terminal one at that. With Chinchillas the teeth grow constantly, pushing upwards.When the teeth are not worn down correctly, or quickly enough, the tooth roots grow instead. This causes the bottom roots to grow out through the lower jaw, and the top roots grow into the sinuses, eye sockets and if left, eventully the brain.
Stitch suffers from constant eye discharge, as his roots are already in his eyes.
This of course is fatal, and I have to face facts that when he has had enough, it will be my job to let him go in peace, without pain. He has pain killers now, to ease his suffering.
He had some spurs trimmed off last monday, as he was loosing weight.Most of the week he has had to be syringe fed every few hours, 24 hours a day. He is now finally, starting to eat for himself, and I am finally finding some time for me again.
Seeing as it has only been one month since his previous dental, I suspect he may need then monthly unless I can get him eating hay; to wear his teeth. Something he has refused to do for a couple of months now - probably due to his root pain.
The first few days, he was really miserable; but he soon perked up and is his usual cheeky little self; bouncing about, looking for treats.
Hopefully we have turned a corner, he has totally fed himself for the last 24 hours.
I managed to stuff a bear today - my 'secret project' bear from the Teddy Tutor - I am liking the double neck joint, very much. I am learning loads!
I also tried a new craft the other day, Chain Maille - it's great! You make jewellery out of the humble Jump Ring - following traditional Chain mail patterns; it's relaxing, addictive and quick! Hooray!
Hope to have some more news for you all soon!