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  #1  
Old 04-30-2019, 01:05 AM South Africa
Renier Renier is offline
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Default Real problem with running wheel.

Hi there.
I have a problem. In my country, Chinchillas are not very common and you have to actually do a bid searching to find one. Most pet shops do not have them. So you can imagine that the accessories list is almost negligible. I know the story of the wheel size, but the biggest wheel I can get is 30cm (Kaytee). I know it is too small and I know it is plastic.

Very simply - what do I do?
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:22 AM United States
cboyer cboyer is offline
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They don't need a wheel, so in your place I simply wouldn't get one. Better to not have it than have something that isn't safe.
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:24 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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If you are handy with tools you can make a wheel. There are several DIY wheel designs online, like Here or this one on YouTube but keep in mind that the wheel will only be as quiet as the bearings you use. The YouTube one I would use a feed, cake, or round drain pan instead of the bowl in the video.

Otherwise, as cboyer said, chins don't need a wheel, it's just nice, like a kid having a swing set. If the wheel is too small it will cause back injury and plastic will just be chewed up and swallowed. With a plastic wheel even if it was big enough and your chin didn't chew it, it's still plastic rubbing against plastic creating plastic dust that the chin is then inhaling.
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:42 AM South Africa
Renier Renier is offline
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Thank you for the input. I did find someone yesterday who are handy and have made wheels to specs for other people. They are going to send me some pictures and pricing.

My Chins like the wheel. I don't want to take it away from them unless I have no other choice.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:49 AM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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Well I would remove it right away, it's not just a little too small it's 5.5cm smaller then even the bare minimum size for a small chin. Chins backs are not designed to bend backwards like most rodents, so by running on a wheel that is too small the chins are putting strain on their backs and are risking permanent back damage. You may not notice it right away, but it can end up causing issue with their backs when they get older, potentially shortening their lives. Or it could happen at anytime, the chin is running and tries to bend just a little more to go faster and slips or ruptures a disk in their back and is now in horrible pain and can no longer move. The minimum size of 14" (35.5cm) is really the absolute minimum for a reason, ideally you really want a 15-16" (about 38-40cm) or larger wheel.

That is assuming they don't decide to eat it and die from a gut blockage from swallowing a chunk of plastic. Unless you only allow them to use it when you are right there watching to make sure they don't chew it there is no guarantee you would be able to catch it in time to get the chin in for emergency surgery to have it removed. Not to mention as I said if it's one that has a plastic center spoke the chin is inhaling plastic dust, which will lead to respiratory issues. Are you really ok with risking your chins lives like that? I guess you do have a choice, you can leave it in and risk your chins lives and long term health or remove the wheel and wait until you have one that is actually safe to use.
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