Cheeky Chinchillas - Chinchillas with Special Needs
Sometimes chinchillas need special care and attention due to illness or injuries
Below are stories of chinchillas needing special care as told by their owners.
If you have a special chin and you would like to share your story, please email me
Please scroll down to read about owners experiences
Jemma's story about her blind chinchilla, Gizmo
This is the story of Gizmo affectionately known as Baby Blue Eyes.
I first saw Gizmo in a pet shop that was being closed down. One day, a friend of mine who was working there, phoned me in tears, as the shop was being shut and the animals were being taken away.
I went to the shop to meet her and there I saw Gizmo. He was sitting looking sorry for himself; he was in a poor state and stuck
in a tiny cage.
I spoke to a member of the team that were removing the animals and asked if I could take him and she said I would have to
attend the rescue centre and enquire from there. So, the next day I went down and spoke to reception who arranged for me
to see Gizmo again. He had been checked out by the vet and had been given the all clear. The only issue left outstanding were his eyes, which
were like a milky white and blue colour.
The vet there said she thought he had got cataracts over his eyes. I decided to take him anyway, he was lovely and
just a real lost soul. I had to fill in all the necessary paperwork before I could take him home and I gave the centre
a donation. They spoke to me about taking him on and the problem with his eyes, but I had already fallen in love with him and I
had decided to look after him no matter what.
I took Gizmo home and I had him checked by another vet for a second opinion. My vet managed to get hold of his details that the pet
shop had got listed ... they had noted that his eyes were blue and there were no medical issues surrounding him, not they had
bothered to get him checked out!.
So, I then got a proper consultation regarding his eyes and there were definitely cataracts over them.
But, because the problem had been left for so long, the only option was an operation. I spoke to my vet
again and she said the choice was mine. I went home and watched Gizmo with is fun loving character and the way he had so easily
adjusted that I decided that the risk of the operation was not the best for him. It would not guarantee him his sight and could
possibly blind him and I felt that this option was cruel; imagine being able to partially see and then waking up and being
completely blind. He could partially see and I felt that as his eyes got worse over the years that he would adjust himself in his
own way and that I would just take extra care of him as he had already been through enough.
I built him a special cage with objects on every level, so he never had large drops and he had the security of knowing he had something
under his feet.
I spend endless hours talking to him and he listens to every thing I say. With new objects, like wood or plastic
I tap them with my finger and tell him to jump on to them or to be careful because they are in front of him. So, over the years he has
learnt the sound that different objects make and he takes it all in. He never goes far wrong although occasionally he bumps in to things.
I never change the layout of his play room and when I change or add new things to his cage I always take the time out to teach him what
is where so he knows how to use every think and not cause himself any problems.
I must say that although his story sounds awful he is a very contented and happy little chap. He has adjusted to life so well and he is
very curious as all chinchillas are and very quickly adjusts to new toys and situations.
He lives on his own, due to the problem with his eyes he can be a bit snappy with the rest of chin family that he shares the chin room
with, but I take extra special care to make sure he is always amused in his cage and change things around for him weekly. This helps to
keep him motivated and he thrives on this always looking so proud when he masters another achievement.
He took well to the rest of our family and regularly talks to the others and when Sonny and Cher, our other rescued chins, had babies
Gizmo took a real interest in listening to them and he would sit in the same spot for hours when they were first born. They are now
a year old and Gizmo's cage is next to theirs and he chats away to them all the time.
I chose to name his Gizmo, because when I first saw him he looked like Gizmo from the film, the cute version of course!.
Gizmo spends a lot of time with me. He follows me every where so when I do the house work upstairs I call him mummy’s little helper
and in his own little way, he loves the attention and I honestly believe he knows every thing I say when he is with me.
I tell him things like the door is shut and he will stop before he gets to the door so he doesn’t bang in to things.
And when I change the bed he is jumping all over it I'm sure he’s trying to help in his way, bless him.
Gizmo is now 6 years old and lives a very happy and mischievous life and nothing seems to bother him at all.
I am really proud of him, he is a great best friend and he is so very affectionate.
The bond I have with Gizmo is special, it’s the little things that are important. The list is endless but there is one
little thing that Gizmo does every morning ... I go into the chin room and say good morning and he comes to the
front of his cage and I rub noses with him and he sits there waiting for his breakfast.
I am so proud of Gizmo and he will always be my Baby Blue Eyes.
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