Earlier today I picked up Celeste, and 8 year old chin who needed a home. She is very friendly and loves scratches, but hates being picked up. Her primary caretaker left for collage so her mother took over. However I think Celeste's abuse started way before that. The moment I saw her I knew she needed a lot of help. She has multiple dreads the size of a golf ball, not something you can easily remove. I don't think shes ever had hay before. Celeste is so underweight you can feel every rib and vertebrae. After I got her home and gave her food she could reach all she did was eat and sleep. I've taken out a few of small dreads so far. She has easy access to water. She will be visiting a vet within the next three days.
What can I do in the meantime before she goes to the vet? How can I make her more comfortable?
I've not had chins but from degu experience I would think lots of plain food, a comfortable steady temperature and places for her to hide in her cage so she feels safe and settles quicker are the main things. I would leave the matted fur until she trusts you a bit more and knows you don't mean her any harm.
Well done for taking her in, it breaks your heart to see such a neglected animal.
Sounds like you are doing the only thing you can. Just keep her on hay and pellets. No experimenting with treats or forage as she's underweight. If you can source them, milk pellets is an efficiant way for chinchillas to gain weight.
If she eats that's a sign she's doing okay. So just let her eat and sleep.
Some chins just don't like to be handeled. My oldest girl I've had since her birth won't let me hold her, but she will come to me and say hello and jump on me. That's just the personality of some of them
Chinchillas: Thea and Kukana Madonna and Nightfall (Beige) Elle and Chinchilla Bøffen Pandekage and Blue Caesar, Tumle and Harry
Thank you both! I'm heading out today to get some more hiding spots and milk pellets. Shes eating well and i'm monitoring her water bottle. As for temperament, shes very curious and loves chin scratches.