Twiching and Headshake

Heku

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
64
Location
Ohio
It feels like every other entry on here is one in which my beloved fuzzy daughter is in some way shape or form ill.

For the past 3 weeks it seems like a few times a week Lola has an odd twich and shake of the head, let me explain:

It started with a minor twich. The movement is like if you were coughing with no sound. Like a small thrust of the head. Maybe even as if someone where surprised you. you thrust forward sharply, but just in her head. This would go away after about 15 thrusts. I was nervous. but I thought maybe this is a one time event.

Then, at another playtime, she would do some twiching, and then shake her head and run around like it had frightened her. After this she would sometimes put her foot in her ear as if trying to get something out. Sometimes I would visit and she would not twich, but she always shook her head.

Also it is important to note she shakes her head repeatedly for the beginning of her playtime (she gets out at least 3 times a week for 2-3 hours each) but then stops after about 5 - 7 minutes.

Today when I visited her she shook her head and twiched before she was out of her cage. She was fine before i had gotten there but about five mintues of me being there she shook, twiched, and chewed on her house (which is made of wood) She came out of her cage, shook and ran. Then after she the same amount of time, was totaly fine.

She has also been pawing her face over and over then she will stretch her body out at least once durring playtime

So heres the stats:
She has never or will never be pregnant
She has a strict diet of timothy hay unlimited
In August she swiched diets from vita kraft to Oxbow
She has went to the Dr at the end of August for a tummy inbalance of soft poo and smell.
Poo is basically back to normal
She is on BeneBac and Papaya oxbow pills for her tummy
She is kept between a cool 65-70 degrees daily
Has been drinking/eating/pooing/peeing regularly

Here are the twich/ headshake stats:
At the beginning of my arrival or being let out of cage
Twichtes/ headshake usually last 2-7 minutes max fine afterwards
Seems standoffish when twiching seems to realize I'm friendly then is in love with me.


I am sick to my stomach worried about her again. Possibly Calcium/thymine defficiancy? Whats your take?

:cry3:

Thanks everyone!
 
Last edited:

cintistatern2005

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Jun 2, 2009
Messages
524
Location
Independence, Ky
Honestly i have no idea, maybe someone else can better answer this!! Maybe throw a cuttlebone in for calcium to see if after a few days this stops, or lessens.
 

Dustbunnies

Mama of Pepper and Bunny
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
369
Location
Dallas, TX
I have seen one my chin that has seizures do a LITTLE bit of those behaviors (like a few seconds or less), but nothing to the extent you described. Is it possible she has an inner ear infection or her molars roots are causing a problem? I think it is worth a check....it doesn't seem to be a little quark if she spends several minutes of twitching every day. Sticking her foot in her ear and shaking her head seem to indicate an ear problem.
 

Heku

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
64
Location
Ohio
right... I dont know if it is truly every day, but I see her about 4 times a week. It always seems like its triggered by my arrival. She seems frightened of me then relizes its me then is fine.
 
N

nicky

Guest
Head bobbing can be a sign of a neurological problem. Has she fallen at all? Is it possible that she fell and it went unnoticed? Pawing at the mouth can be a sign of a dental issue. But, if her appetite is fine and there is no drooling, then I doubt that it's the problem. Some chinchillas "popcorn" it's called when they are feeling playful or are excited. They kind of jerk their head and body all at once and will jump around like this, it would almost appear as though they are startled, I guess. I would think that if it was a seizure you would probably really know it. I 've never had a chin with a seizure disorder, but from what I've read they usually will lay down and convulse or stare off and shake. I have no idea why she would be putting food in her ear, that's strange. Not sure on that. Maybe someone else can help ya on that! LOL.
 

Heku

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Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
64
Location
Ohio
I am positive it has nothing to do with the teeth she only does it a second before she stretches her body... ugh i dunno
 

Heku

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
64
Location
Ohio
I have been watching movies on popcorning chins, I think that might be the solution for what she does when she gets out of the cage! Some of the chinchillas actually shake their heads before they run around? Im hoping that this might solve that problem.

I know she deffinatly isnt seizing hard if she is because she has never been on the ground she is always standing up. Also no drool. I dont know if I should or shouldnt be worried. But i know that the running is could very wekk be popcorning. I will try to take a video this week and see if you guys can identify it. I am calling the vet to get his take on this tomorrow.
 
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richschins

Guest
My neighbor's cousin has a friend in a vet's office who says "popcorning" is a convulsion caused by vitamin depletion. Is this so? Could it be while my boys are "popcorning" and we are all laughing around they are really having a medical breakdown and are in pain? You have to admit no other creature does this "dance".
 

Siylvat

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Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
445
Location
Utica, NY
My neighbor's cousin has a friend in a vet's office who says "popcorning" is a convulsion caused by vitamin depletion. Is this so?
I have never heard anything like this before. It really doesn't seem to make alot of sense though.
 

CerLynn

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Jan 30, 2009
Messages
521
Location
MA
My neighbor's cousin has a friend in a vet's office who says "popcorning" is a convulsion caused by vitamin depletion. Is this so? Could it be while my boys are "popcorning" and we are all laughing around they are really having a medical breakdown and are in pain? You have to admit no other creature does this "dance".
I've never heard of that either. If that were the case, how could it be explained that it always coincides with apparent happiness/excitement? I wouldn't think it would be such a widespread occurrence if it was a deficiency, unless we somehow still haven't figured out their dietary needs... just doesn't quite fit.
 
C

Chinniechantel

Guest
Almost all kits popcorn when they are excited and have the room to do it, way more than half and my chins are healthy as can be. It is not anything bad, I guess that is another rumor Meanie has to bust.
 
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richschins

Guest
Here is a link to a video on youtube with the same general concept at play. People think the dog in this video is "dancing" and that it is cute and funny. In fact, the dog is suffering from a convulsive disorder resulting most likely from magnesium deficiency.

Take a look and judge for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrItslREqWY

We need to be careful that we are not projecting the wrong human behavior on our beloved ones. If our kids could talk, they would tell us exactly how they are feeling.
 

aznmexaggie

Chinchilla Chateau
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
1,667
Location
Northern California
Here is a link to a video on youtube with the same general concept at play. People think the dog in this video is "dancing" and that it is cute and funny. In fact, the dog is suffering from a convulsive disorder resulting most likely from magnesium deficiency.

Take a look and judge for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrItslREqWY

We need to be careful that we are not projecting the wrong human behavior on our beloved ones. If our kids could talk, they would tell us exactly how they are feeling.

That is not normal dog behavior or the posture of a healthy dog and it is very apparent that the dog has some type of ailment.

However, popcorning in chinchillas is not a symptom of any kind of illness unless they are twitching/tilting their head or falling over which can indicate ear infections or damage of the inner ear. My kits popcorn when they take their first dustbaths and realize that they can dig and roll around in the dust. My young chins and some of my older chins popcorn when they are out to run around. They proceed to "surf" off the walls and explore every toy and box I've left out for them. No, we cannot relate every human emotion to the things our chins do but popcorning is not indicative of any ailments. In fact, I would go as far to say that only a healthy chinchilla would popcorn. An ill chin probably would not have the energy or interest.
 

musherbob

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
68
head shaking

May I ask why you are giving your chin benebac and papaya tabs?May I suggest that you keep your chins diet simple,good feed,good timothy hay,and clean and pure water.I also would not give your chin a cuddle bone,not a good idea.Where are you located in Ohio?There are plenty of ranchers in Ohio that has good feed,hay,and helpful information that you cannot find anywhere else.Also I work with one of the best exotic vets in the United States,Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald(you may have seen him on animal planets emergency vets)and he told me that good feed,guality hay and good water is all you need.If the problem continues,I would get your chin to an experienced exotic vet.
Bob
 
Q

Quinley

Guest
I agree with all that has been stated above. However, I noticed that when my kids "pop" several medium sized poops, they have a tendency to "corn" more readily and heartily after having relieved themselves. There must be something about the cathartic release of bodily wastes that causes them to feel elation and joy. Not sure about the magnesium aspect. I have heard that heavy metals may be a contributing factor to blood issues and hematomic ion balancing. That is why it is important to make sure they have good bark to chew on so there is not a tendency for them to gnaw on the metal bars of their cages.
 
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