Injured Hind Paw

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Joined
Nov 28, 2022
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St. Paul, Minnesota
Good morning!

We have a 4-year-old chinchilla named Sprout. I have found this site incredibly resourceful, so I first want to say thank you all to those who contribute to the great information!:)

Sprout, unfortunately, has had a dry and cracked paw that we have been unable to fully treat. His living conditions are fully fleece-wrapped ledges, and fleece liner on the bottom of his mansion, and we keep it a great cool temperature for him with perfect humidity. The first time we saw blood in his cage, we took him immediately to the vet and he was prescribed Metacam and Sulfatrim Suspension, and he successfully finished his doses. We have tried Blu-Kote, Bag Balm, Epsom salt soaks, Neosporin, and refraining from dust baths, but once his paw heals up, he reopens it just a few days later. It doesn't look quite like bumblefoot, but rather very dry and flakey.

We have taken him to the vet again and they recommended an x-ray, but we know how risky and dangerous anesthesia is for the little guy.

Does anyone have any advice on how we could help him get better?
Thanks for reading this!
 

tunes

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First, if they are just x-raying his foot, they should be able to adequately restrain him without resorting to anesthesia. Tell them to put in a burrito wrap with his foot outside of the bottom. He may struggle a little bit, but they generally settle down pretty quickly.

Second, have you tried straight vitamin E to the foot? I had a chin that had something similar and I started using vitamin E capsules on it regularly and it cleared it up. It isn't a start/stop thing though, he had to have it from that point on.
 
Joined
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Location
St. Paul, Minnesota
First, if they are just x-raying his foot, they should be able to adequately restrain him without resorting to anesthesia. Tell them to put in a burrito wrap with his foot outside of the bottom. He may struggle a little bit, but they generally settle down pretty quickly.

Second, have you tried straight vitamin E to the foot? I had a chin that had something similar and I started using vitamin E capsules on it regularly and it cleared it up. It isn't a start/stop thing though, he had to have it from that point on.
Hi Tunes! That is a great idea for both! The vitamin E was something I hadn't read before, but I'll definitely give it a shot!!
That's what I was thinking about the x-ray as well, and why it made me nervous that they would suggest it in the first place 😬 I'll talk to the vet again about this and start some vitamin E as soon as possible!

Thank you for the quick suggestions, you rock!!
 

Amethyst

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Aside from trying the vitamin E, I would also look over the cage. Is everything covered in fleece? or do you have plenty of other hard surfaces (wood ledges, lava ledges, ceramic, stone, etc) for him stand and hop around on? Too much fleece can be bad for their feet since it doesn't allow the feet to form proper callouses. I use fleece in my cage but the only things covered in fleece are the bottom level, the shelve where his house is, and a couple hammocks, the rest is a mix of wood shelves, ledges, and perches, as well as lava ledges, a clay pot, and a metal tunnel.

Obviously while healing you want soft surfaces but once healed make sure he has lots of other things to sit on to help him form proper callouses on his feet which basically act as shoe soles to protect his feet. If you don't have some already, round perches (like you would use for birds) are a good thing to have as well, they have to balance to sit on them which helps with blood flow (like those rolling foot massager things you can buy).
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
St. Paul, Minnesota
Aside from trying the vitamin E, I would also look over the cage. Is everything covered in fleece? or do you have plenty of other hard surfaces (wood ledges, lava ledges, ceramic, stone, etc) for him stand and hop around on? Too much fleece can be bad for their feet since it doesn't allow the feet to form proper callouses. I use fleece in my cage but the only things covered in fleece are the bottom level, the shelve where his house is, and a couple hammocks, the rest is a mix of wood shelves, ledges, and perches, as well as lava ledges, a clay pot, and a metal tunnel.

Obviously while healing you want soft surfaces but once healed make sure he has lots of other things to sit on to help him form proper callouses on his feet which basically act as shoe soles to protect his feet. If you don't have some already, round perches (like you would use for birds) are a good thing to have as well, they have to balance to sit on them which helps with blood flow (like those rolling foot massager things you can buy).
Great points and questions! That is a great combo of surfaces you've got for your chin!
We had uncovered wooden ledges with just a fleece bottom for 3 years and just covered the wooden ledges after the vet recommended it when we took him in last. He's got a good amount of lava ledges and wooden perches around with a granite cooling block, but we took these out temporarily for his recovery period.

Maybe we should try to remove the fleece from the wooden ledges once it starts to heal up again, so he can build the callous up on top to fully seal the wound?
 

Amethyst

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Great points and questions! That is a great combo of surfaces you've got for your chin!
We had uncovered wooden ledges with just a fleece bottom for 3 years and just covered the wooden ledges after the vet recommended it when we took him in last. He's got a good amount of lava ledges and wooden perches around with a granite cooling block, but we took these out temporarily for his recovery period.

Maybe we should try to remove the fleece from the wooden ledges once it starts to heal up again, so he can build the callous up on top to fully seal the wound?
Yeah, once it's healed I would slowly increase the amount of other surfaces. I know the vet wants everything covered for healing but covering wood in fleece is not a good idea long term, if it gets wet you are going to have a mold or fungal problem since the fleece will trap the moisture against the wood.
 
Joined
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St. Paul, Minnesota
Yeah, once it's healed I would slowly increase the amount of other surfaces. I know the vet wants everything covered for healing but covering wood in fleece is not a good idea long term, if it gets wet you are going to have a mold or fungal problem since the fleece will trap the moisture against the wood.
That sounds like a good plan! Thanks so much for your help!! 😊
 
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