In need of guidance. Please help

tangerine36

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Joined
Jan 21, 2021
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1
I recently purchased two baby chinchillas, both are now around four months old. I was told they were both female and have discovered that one is actually male.
I was in the process of bonding them when I found this out. They are now being kept in a split critter nation cage, but I still let them out together for their play time because they now care for eachother. Keeping them separated they just tried to get to one another jumping at the cage, it was awful. When they are together I keep a close eye and there's no questionable behavior yet, they spend a lot of time just jumping around playing and grooming eachother but as I understand it they are approaching the age where this will change. I had no intention of breeding and being as inexperienced as I am I cannot allow the possibility.
I have fallen in love with them both and would hate to give one away not being certain they were treated properly. With their high maintenance and long life span, I have no way of knowing someone's ability to get bored with them, and can't stand the thought.
So I was looking into neutering my male. And now I am also worried about that risk and the possibility that by doing that I am the one being an irresponsible owner. I am absolutely heart broken about this.
I'm hoping for any advice from the experience of neutering a male chinchilla and whether that is an avenue I should consider. There is very little information I can find and the internet is all I really have. I wrote the man who sold him to me and he seemed like a fine person during the buying process but was an absolute useless asshole when I came to him with the problem. I will be seeking a vets advice if im thinking of moving forward but with the weirdness of covid this is my first step.
In terms of temperament he is much more outgoing and excitable then my other one. He took no time to be comfortable with me and is constantly searching for physical challenge. On the one hand I am less worried for scaring him but the other, more about his safety when healing.
Thank you in advance, im truly at a loss
 

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Amethyst

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I would stop doing playtime together, although not common males can breed as young as 8 weeks and females as young as 12 weeks. Breeding can happen way too fast unless you are literally right on top of them and preventing the male from getting anywhere near the female's rear end, it's a hop on hop off and the deed is done.

Personally I don't think neutering is worth the risk, although it is less risky then spaying a female (most vets apparently even wont spay females unless medically needed) the risk of surgery and complications is always there. You'll have to ask the vet but I think they need to be at least 6 months, but maybe a year before you can neuter them to at least lessen some of the risks (likely increase the chance they wont die under anesthesia). Any time a chin goes under there is risk they wont wake up, also neutering is not the same for chins as other animals, it's a invasive surgery more similar to an undecended testicle surgery then a normal neuter since they tuck their balls inside rather then having true ball sacks. You can lessen the risk some if you have a vet that is very experienced with chinchillas specifically and has successfully neutered chins before, depending on where you live in some areas it is becoming less uncommon. Even if the chin survives the surgery though recovery is long, a couple weeks to heal externally, up to 8 weeks before all the sperm is gone, and up to 12 weeks before he is fully healed. During at least the first 8 weeks of recovery they can have no contact since he can still have sperm in his system. Complications can happen too since chins aren't the best patients, some wont leave the incision alone and require you to hand feed because he'll need to where a cone around their head. That does mean being home for at least a few weeks (assuming no complications) so you can feed him every few hours, as well as give meds.

I know it sucks, but especially since they are young they should get use to being apart. Since you will likely need to have the separate for at least 4 months, but possibly longer that is enough time to break the bond, meaning they may not even get along after. You would need to reintroduce them like they are strangers, meaning it may or may not work and could take months or years of trying.
 

Chinchillaville13

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2021
Messages
46
I recently purchased two baby chinchillas, both are now around four months old. I was told they were both female and have discovered that one is actually male.
I was in the process of bonding them when I found this out. They are now being kept in a split critter nation cage, but I still let them out together for their play time because they now care for eachother. Keeping them separated they just tried to get to one another jumping at the cage, it was awful. When they are together I keep a close eye and there's no questionable behavior yet, they spend a lot of time just jumping around playing and grooming eachother but as I understand it they are approaching the age where this will change. I had no intention of breeding and being as inexperienced as I am I cannot allow the possibility.
I have fallen in love with them both and would hate to give one away not being certain they were treated properly. With their high maintenance and long life span, I have no way of knowing someone's ability to get bored with them, and can't stand the thought.
So I was looking into neutering my male. And now I am also worried about that risk and the possibility that by doing that I am the one being an irresponsible owner. I am absolutely heart broken about this.
I'm hoping for any advice from the experience of neutering a male chinchilla and whether that is an avenue I should consider. There is very little information I can find and the internet is all I really have. I wrote the man who sold him to me and he seemed like a fine person during the buying process but was an absolute useless asshole when I came to him with the problem. I will be seeking a vets advice if im thinking of moving forward but with the weirdness of covid this is my first step.
In terms of temperament he is much more outgoing and excitable then my other one. He took no time to be comfortable with me and is constantly searching for physical challenge. On the one hand I am less worried for scaring him but the other, more about his safety when healing.
Thank you in advance, im truly at a loss
Wow. This situation must suck. No offense, of course.

May I suggest a big of what @Amethyst said, and separate them at this young age?

However, chins are social critters, so I'd suggest getting another male and another female (if you can support 2 more). Do NOT buy them from Mr. Asswipe Breeder Guy again, seeming as what happened last time may happen again. You could end up buying a make and female, only to find out, surprise surprise, the female has balls.

I'd suggest looking at a rescue, shelter, or even find a guy on Craigslist (which is where animal abusers find their next victims, so by getting a craigslist chin you save it from a possibly worse end). There are countless animals of all kinds out there in search of a good home.
 

Pepperpot

Chin Mum & Fluffslave!
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
299
Location
North West England.
Neutering a male is is an option I would only consider if life were in danger. It is too risky a process and very often carried out for no viable reason, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
 

Chin Camino

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
8
I recently purchased two baby chinchillas, both are now around four months old. I was told they were both female and have discovered that one is actually male.
I was in the process of bonding them when I found this out. They are now being kept in a split critter nation cage, but I still let them out together for their play time because they now care for eachother. Keeping them separated they just tried to get to one another jumping at the cage, it was awful. When they are together I keep a close eye and there's no questionable behavior yet, they spend a lot of time just jumping around playing and grooming eachother but as I understand it they are approaching the age where this will change. I had no intention of breeding and being as inexperienced as I am I cannot allow the possibility.
I have fallen in love with them both and would hate to give one away not being certain they were treated properly. With their high maintenance and long life span, I have no way of knowing someone's ability to get bored with them, and can't stand the thought.
So I was looking into neutering my male. And now I am also worried about that risk and the possibility that by doing that I am the one being an irresponsible owner. I am absolutely heart broken about this.
I'm hoping for any advice from the experience of neutering a male chinchilla and whether that is an avenue I should consider. There is very little information I can find and the internet is all I really have. I wrote the man who sold him to me and he seemed like a fine person during the buying process but was an absolute useless asshole when I came to him with the problem. I will be seeking a vets advice if im thinking of moving forward but with the weirdness of covid this is my first step.
In terms of temperament he is much more outgoing and excitable then my other one. He took no time to be comfortable with me and is constantly searching for physical challenge. On the one hand I am less worried for scaring him but the other, more about his safety when healing.
Thank you in advance, im truly at a loss
Tangerine,
I was in a VERY similar situation a little over a year ago. This is only my second post here (I think), and my first was just last week after successfully merging four chinchillas. I was crushed to find out I didn't have two female chinchillas and also fell so in love with both. I interviewed a vet who seemed to want to talk me out of a neuter. I then found a vet outside of the DC area in Virginia and they neutered two of my chinchillas (because two becomes four)...and we had zero issues. I am so happy that I did this, we really wanted them to be together and just never imagined have two cages for 15 years, it just made no sense to us.
The downside is you have to wait for baby to be a certain age to neuter, and then you have to wait a few months after neuter to put them together. So this can give time to save for neuter fee etc...
My story was shared under "housing" just last week if you are interested.
Huge hugs, as I know it is difficult, I was amazed how upsetting all of this was for me, but in the end it worked out.
Our vet we used is known for exotics, I think that is a must...called Seavs in Virginia.
Good Luck to you!!!
 

Pepperpot

Chin Mum & Fluffslave!
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
299
Location
North West England.
As stated above, neutering a chinchilla carries a high risk. It is an invasive surgery and the anaesthetic also carries risk. Why would you wish to inflict such a procedure on a small animal when it is really not necessary?
 
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