RIP Feeny. Just looking for answers... support.

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Ckraus333

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Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Illinois
I made a profile years ago but never posted. I wish my first post was more light hearted.

My chinchilla Feeny passed away suddenly over the weekend. He was around 11 years old. He was the first and only chinchilla I had. I got him for an ex-girlfriend and kept him when we broke up. He was my absolute world. Literally everything I did inside my house, I did with him in mind. He slept in our bedroom. He had another cage in our living room for when were downstairs watching TV. I am absolutely devastated. I didn't see it coming. I thought I had so much more time with him.

I let him out Friday night around midnight before my wife and I went to bed. He seemed completely fine. We woke up around 6:30am on Saturday and started doing some things around the house. I checked on him at 11:00am and I immediately knew something was wrong. He was laying on his side which he would do sometimes when he was sleeping but it was just different. I tried to give him a rose hip and he wouldn't eat it. I tried to take him out of his cage to see if that helped. It didn't.

The local exotic animal clinic had no availabile appointments so I took him to an emergency vet 30 minutes away. I waited in the lobby for an hour or two before the vet called me. I figured it was GI stasis which he had a couple of years ago. However the vet told me it wasn't because he was pooping even though they were smaller pellets than usual. He was hooked up to oxygen and was having trouble breathing. He was being kept in a warm room because his body temperature was very low. I was shocked. I ended up paying $2,600 to keep him there overnight despite the vet telling me he had a 20% chance of making it through the night. I couldn't give up on him. No chance. I stayed until they closed at 4:30pm. A few minutes after I left, I got a call from the vet telling me that he was taking his last breaths. By the time I got there, he had already passed.

Because he was in such bad shape, they weren't able to run any tests. After he passed, I just wanted to go home with him and grieve. The vet said it could have been a heart issue but didn't know for sure.

I know I did a great job taking care of him. But I still blamed myself for his passing and started questioning what I could hage done different. I was either told by someone or read somewhere that the average lifespan of a chinchilla is 10-20 years. I thought we had many years left together.

I know since chinchillas are prey animals they tend to hide their weakness or illness. I'd like to think that's what happened with Feeny. If that's the case, he did a great job of hiding it.

Today I called the local vet who I had taken him to over the years and talked to a vet. She told me that its more like 10-13 years. It put my mind at ease. I still wish I had a couple of months or years with him. I wasn't ready to say goodbye.

Sorry to ramble. I guess my question is does anyone else have a similar experience with a chinchilla passing suddenly? How long have everyone else's chinchillas lived?
 

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tunes

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First, I'm very sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose a friend like that.

Second, many moons ago chins would regularly live that long. It's not that common anymore. Bad breeding by many has put the kebosh to that. Do not feel bad because your chin didn't live to be 20 years old. Many don't. More don't than do.

Third, without a necropsy there's no way of knowing why he passed. Sometimes they just do, despite doing everything in the world to save them. They just do.

Again, I'm so very sorry for your loss.
 

Amethyst

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2,820
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Alberta
Sorry for your loss it sucks how well they hide issues it makes it seem to come out nowhere. As mentioned, to get the 15-20 or more years a lot of things need to fall into place, good diet, good genetics, good environment, and a lot of luck, so you could literally do everything right and still be faced with genetic problems or simply bad luck. In reality they live about the same amount of time as a cat, so at 11 he was getting into his senior years.

I had one pass away last year at 14+ years old, he was seemingly fine the night before but passed away in his sleep sometime during the night or morning before I found him. I have no real clue what happened, never showed any sign of being sick, he was still eating and still a good weight, and his twin brother is still alive at 15+ (I don't know when they were born just that they were already 3 years old when I got them).
 

Ckraus333

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Illinois
First, I'm very sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose a friend like that.

Second, many moons ago chins would regularly live that long. It's not that common anymore. Bad breeding by many has put the kebosh to that. Do not feel bad because your chin didn't live to be 20 years old. Many don't. More don't than do.

Third, without a necropsy there's no way of knowing why he passed. Sometimes they just do, despite doing everything in the world to save them. They just do.

Again, I'm so very sorry for your loss.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. It's never easy to say goodbye but I was really struggling with the fact that we were supposed to have so much time together. I am lucky to have had 10 years with him. He was one of a kind.
 

Ckraus333

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Illinois
Sorry for your loss it sucks how well they hide issues it makes it seem to come out nowhere. As mentioned, to get the 15-20 or more years a lot of things need to fall into place, good diet, good genetics, good environment, and a lot of luck, so you could literally do everything right and still be faced with genetic problems or simply bad luck. In reality they live about the same amount of time as a cat, so at 11 he was getting into his senior years.

I had one pass away last year at 14+ years old, he was seemingly fine the night before but passed away in his sleep sometime during the night or morning before I found him. I have no real clue what happened, never showed any sign of being sick, he was still eating and still a good weight, and his twin brother is still alive at 15+ (I don't know when they were born just that they were already 3 years old when I got them).
Thank you too for also reading my post. I appreciate hearing from both of you. It really helps put me at ease. I wish I would I haven't have expectations of him living to 20 the entire time we has together. It just made losing him at 11 that much more difficult.
 

Jawramik

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Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
258
I am so very sorry for your loss. :( It sounds like you did everything right, you took excellent care of him and got him medical attention as soon as you noticed something was wrong. His passing wasn't your fault, sometimes these things just happen, despite all our best efforts. At 11 years old, he was definitely in his senior years. As others said above, while chins  can live 20+ years, most unfortunately don't. Him not making it to his second decade is no reflection on you.

It's clear how much you loved him and that you gave him a great life. That's all any of us can do for our pets. The worst part of having and loving animals is that we inevitably have to say goodbye to them, usually long before we're ready. All we can do is care for them to the best of our ability and love them for however long as have with them, and that's exactly what you did.
 

chinchoo

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Jul 20, 2022
Messages
12
Location
San Diego
I’m so sorry for your loss, our family went through a similar experience last year with our first chinchilla. It hurts but they’re no longer suffering.

It started as one problem (suspected heart issues) and snowballed into others and her poor little body couldn’t handle it anymore. Ours lived until 17 and never had any problems prior. We ended up getting one of those pet keychains with her picture on it to carry her with us.

It sounds like your boy was particularly special. They definitely get attached to you and love you in their own chinnie way. I bet Feeny felt that for you with all you have done for him.
 

Chinmin

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Oct 23, 2019
Messages
206
So sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose such an important part of your family.
 

Chinlove

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2022
Messages
9
So sad. My chinchilla has not currently died but she has a very serious (and likely very painful) tooth condition so we're planning to put her down this Thursday. My chinchilla is also 11. (almost 12, her birthday is on august 20.) I hope you feel better, and that you know Feeny is in a painless, carefree and risk free place now.
 

Ckraus333

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Illinois
Hard to believe it has been a month already. I still have his cage in our bedroom. It still has his food and water... and poop in it. I just can't bring myself to clean it or move it. Thank you all for your comments.
 

Ckraus333

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Illinois
I’m so sorry for your loss, our family went through a similar experience last year with our first chinchilla. It hurts but they’re no longer suffering.

It started as one problem (suspected heart issues) and snowballed into others and her poor little body couldn’t handle it anymore. Ours lived until 17 and never had any problems prior. We ended up getting one of those pet keychains with her picture on it to carry her with us.

It sounds like your boy was particularly special. They definitely get attached to you and love you in their own chinnie way. I bet Feeny felt that for you with all you have done for him.
I need to do the same. The place I went to to get him cremated took his paw print and uploaded it here. I just haven't found anything that I've fallen in love with. Maybe I'll get a dog tag.

I also ordered a Chinchilla picture frame but it hasnt shipped yet. I'm going to put a picture of him on a shelf next to his ashes.
 
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