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Chin Breeding Horror Stories/Pictures NOTICE: This section contains extremely graphic stories and pictures. ENTER AT OWN RISK.

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Old 12-10-2009, 11:32 AM
TashaR TashaR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 42
Default Simese twins & a trip to the ER

I haven't been posting on here much since the move, but I do still have one breeding trio of chinchillas. Things have been fine with them, healthy litters with one or two nice babies, easy deliveries and no interventions needed.

Last night, I noticed that Terrah, my 9 year old ebony, had given birth to one healthy kit but still appeared to be in labor. When I checked her, I could see the face of another kit. I decided to give her 30 minutes and check her again.

When I checked her again at 8:45, the kit was bloodied and mangled, and clearly deceased. I attempted to help her deliver the kit by gently pulling on the head, but she whimpered in pain and I didn't want to make things worse by pulling too hard and hurting her.

Of course now it is 9 pm, she has one healthy baby, and is clearly in distress. I called my Emergency vet, but the vet who deals with exotics wasn't available, so we bundled up in the snow and drove an hour and a half to an emergency vet in St. Paul.

The vet took some X-rays and saw two spines on the X-ray, meaning there was the mangled kit still inside of her, as well as another one. They gave me a CD of the X-rays but I cannot get them to open on my computer at this time. A shot of a oxytocin was given to her to see if we could restart her contractions. 45 minutes later, she was no closer to delivery, so we decided to go ahead with a c-section (and spay).

I stayed at the vets office with her while they worked. I didn't get to watch, obviously, but they were wonderful people and one woman kept me updated. At 4 am, she came to tell me that Terrah had made it through the spay, that her first kit was still alive (the one she'd come in with) and that the reason Terrah had been unable to deliver the kits was because they were siamese twins. She brought them out for me to see, and they were attached at the chest. Two perfect little black velvet chinchillas, conjoined from chest to belly with what appeared to be one placenta.

They took some pictures and told me they would email them to me, so if I get them, I will share them with you.

Terrah and her surviving kit, Mia, are home now, 12 hours later. She is spayed and has stitches up her whole belly, but is still actively nursing Mia and grooming her. For medication, she needs to take Baytril 2x a day, Metoclopramide for digestion help, and the vet gave me 3 days of painkillers as well as a packet of critical care in case she quits eating.

Total cost of my night? $1,988.43 and Terrah is still not 100% out of the woods yet.

I have been breeding chinchillas since I was 14, so for ten years now, and I have been blessed with good luck. I have never had a birthing complication yet, but I did have money in place and a plan in case of emergency. I was never so thankful for planning in my life as I was last night, when the vet brought me that estimate for Terrah's care.

Like I said, if I end up with access to the pictures, I'm happy to share. I will get a picture of Terrah's incision later, but she and Mia have had a long night and I want to give them some time to rest before I poke at them. I am supervising her to watch for her nibbling at her stitches but the doctors put a piece of medical tape (I cannot remember the name of it, but it's supposed to be permeable to air?) over them and thus far she hasn't fussed with them.

I just wanted to share my night with you! If anyone has any suggestions for Terrah's continued care, I would appreciate any advice you might have!

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Old 12-10-2009, 11:36 AM United States
Stackie's Avatar
Stackie Stackie is offline
I bite.
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Age: 30
Posts: 6,399
Chinchillas: 8

Thanks for posting. These types of things need to be exposed so that people with the mind set of "I just want cute furry babies!" can see the harsh realities of breeding.

I hope Terrah pulls through and makes a speedy recovery and Mia grows up to be a big happy chinnie. Keep us updated on them.
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:39 AM United States
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Kalandra Kalandra is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,267
Hedgehogs: 4

Gee Tasha, I think I remember when you first started breeding. What an absolutely scary, yet interesting evening you had! We will keep our quills crossed that both mom and baby come through this with flying colors. I don't think you said what color or sex was the alive baby?
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:45 AM
TashaR TashaR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 42

It's true, Stacie. And I'm just as guilty as some others -- like I said, this was my first complication during delivery ever, and I'm so glad I was home and able to take care of her. But it's a lot different when the breeder is just a child without their parents to help with money!! I know I'm certainly debating if breeding for pets (because now I only have the one female to breed) is worth it to me or not.

Kalandra -- Mia is a girl and a black velvet. And such a little trooper!! If she makes it, she's definitely staying with me. And yes, 10 years ago back when this forum was...well, the OTHER forum! I met you a long time ago And yes -- the siamese twins were interesting to see, but I'd rather it hadn't happened to me!
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:51 AM
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Sorry for your experience, glad they're both doing well, so far!
First I've heard of conjoined kits, very unique, although unfavorable.
I've had some pretty good luck with LifeLine, as it's supposed to offset the digestive problems brought on by antibiotics - check out the page on - Dawnna can get it out pretty fast!
Good luck with the both of them - great you were able to plan ahead!
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:10 PM United States
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tunes tunes is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 9,770
Chinchillas: 300'

Eeeeeeeek! $2000.00 Tash? That had to make you take a deep breath to stop from being light-headed. Thank God I've never had a single chin vet bill that high. I might have had to have oxygen administered.

I would cut the pain meds as fast as you can, because if mom's nursing the kit, all that crap is passing to her as well. Also, I'm not real sure on how the Baytril is going to work with the wee one. It's been known to stunt bone growth in young animals, so I would also be cautious of that.

Good job on a fast catch and reaction time. There were pictures on CnQ of siamese twins on a couple occasions, though thankfully it's not an every day occurence. I'm glad that she came through the operation and anesthesia well and is on way to recovery.
Never argue with idiots. They will drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

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Old 12-10-2009, 12:16 PM
TashaR TashaR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 42

Yeah, when they gave me the quote, I about passed out. But I figure, 10 years of chinchilla breeding and the only other cost was a 250 dollar amputation of Dreama's leg, plus the fact that Terrah is almost 10...if I divide the cost over chinchillas and length of ownership, I feel a little better.

I'm pretty sure I heard my credit card cry as they swiped it though!!

Part of the expense was that the spay was done at 2 am. But I wasn't willing to risk her life to save a couple hundred bucks on a spay during the day. I really had a moment of thinking if it was "worth it" to spay her versus put her to sleep, but man, I hate to say this but I couldn't live with myself if I had done that. Every time I spent money on something stupid like going to bingo or eating out, I would have felt awful about myself. Plus Terrah's pretty special -- she, Damon and Rhea are the only chinchillas I have right now.

Well, they only gave me three days of pain meds. It's called Meloxicam and she takes 1.5 mg a day for three days. But if she doesn't seem to be in pain, I might give her smaller doses. I don't want to risk not giving her the baytril...should I supplement Mia with something?
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:17 PM United States
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Riven Riven is offline
Bad Chin
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central Nebraska
Age: 39
Posts: 3,584

I might have had to have oxygen administered.
They'd probably charge you for that Peggers, you better just take a paper bag with... :P

Glad mom's doing well. I know of several chins who have all recovered just fine from emergency c-sections! One lives by my desk and she's the sweetest thing you ever meet.

ECBC Member
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:48 PM United States
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mishellyshel mishellyshel is offline
Chin Slave
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: New Jersey
Age: 51
Posts: 4,633
Chinchillas: 8

I hope mama & baby pull thru.
I really liked what you said about feeling guilty for spending money on bingo or eating out. I felt the same way when the vet handed me a bill for over $700 just for x-rays & some minor dental work after I had just spent about 400 at another vet.
Chin Mom to Richie & Stitch & Zucca & Snickers & Oreo & Midnite & Pichu & Klinger
2-1-13 RIP Jack--you were loved!
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:39 PM United States
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lauralynne lauralynne is offline
Chinnie Maid
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tornado Alley aka KS
Posts: 5,093
Chinchillas: 10

I'm sorry this happened to you and Terrah. I hope she recovers well and the baby continues to thrive.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak.
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