Surgical Case Study
Milie originally came to us because she was limping on one of her front legs. Otherwise, she was doing well. Her appetite was normal and despite the leg bothering her, she was still getting around. A complete physical examination was performed. The affected leg palpated (felt) abnormal around the radius/ulna. Otherwise, she appeared normal. Radiographs were recommended so that we could find out if a break was causing the discomfort.
Milie was an excellent patient for her radiographs. As the image showed, she had a break of the radius and ulna. Due to the nature of the break, we recommended surgical pinning of the bone (a pin is inserted to help stabilize). We performed the surgery that same day.
The bone was stabilized with the pin so that it could heal properly.
Since we see a variety of small animals (birds, mammals, reptiles), we have an assortment of surgical instruments that are small enough to accommodate their smaller parts. Milie had a small incision that was later bandaged. She received laser therapy that helps reduce swelling and pain and helps promote healing. She will also need regular bandage changes until it is time to remove the pin.
Recovery from anesthesia for chinchillas is slightly different than from dogs and cats. We can give dogs and cats several hours to recover from anesthesia. We will typically offer them a small meal the evening after their procedure. For chinchillas, it is important that we offer food and try to get them eating as soon as possible after their procedure. Their GI system is different from dogs and cats and tends to need a steady supply of food to keep it functioning properly. We also sent Milie home with antibiotics and pain medications.
Chinchillas are smart and charming. They are a social rodent species that are among the most affectionate – who often like being held. They are inquisitive and somewhat athletic, enjoying exploring their environment and climbing when the opportunity arises. They are nocturnal, although they can be active during the day. They also need specific care to ensure they remain healthy .
Follow – Up
This is a picture from almost 2 weeks after surgery. We removed the bandage to perform laser therapy. The incision site looks great and is healing as we expect. We are going to continue to bandage so that it helps keep her leg properly extended so that the pin doesn’t press against her skin. Milie is a great patient.