Tuesday, October 30, 2012


So, many of you have probably already run across the Rochelle chip-in if you're one of the people on facebook who frequents either the NWI Chins page or one of several group pages that I got permission from the owners to post the info on.  Thanks to those people --> Alena (Moonlight Chinchillas & Rescue), Christine (Twilight Chinchillas), and Jean (TJ's Chinchilla Supplies). 

Already received quite a bit of donations, considerably more than I expected!  I was hoping for even $20 to help offset the cost of her upcoming treatments, but you all have been very generous!  Thank you so much.  I will be posting updates here and in her chip-in page, so for those watching both, it's probably going to be copied and pasted, so you can stick to one or the other.  :)  

Her chip in page is here --> http://rochelleslegrecovery.chipin.com/rochelles-leg-recovery

Since I didn't update on here since she got in, I will talk about what's going on with her and what went on at the vet yesterday, but after today, both pages should be identical for updates. 

So we went to the vet yesterday.  Was super frustrated by the time we got seen, because I got there in the morning, and the small animal vet and owner (who also sees small animals) were not there.  Was told to come back later, when I did, small animal vet in surgery, owner still not there.  Came back again, and Dr. Han (owner) was there and could see Rochelle.  So went in to see him.  I usually see the other dr, Dr. Foster, and I'd only seen Dr. Han before for Pixie's (guinea pig) spinal injury (quick recap - Pixie had been dropped and suffered a spinal cord injury, dragging her back feet behind her -- Dr. Han gave her steroid shots a week apart and oral steroids to take home -- and she regained all function and movement in her back legs).  Dr. Han asked if he'd seen this chin before, and I explained that he'd seen me once before, with Pixie, but that I run a chin rescue and that the majority of chins that they have files on are not my chins but are rescues that are now healed and in their new homes (they must have a ton of files under my name).  He remembered Pixie and he was absolutely overjoyed that she had regained use of her legs.  So that was good.

Anyway, so he looked at Rochelle and said she definitely needed antibiotics for the entire length of her recovery to prevent any further infection and to get rid of what she had.  He said her fur may not grow back, which doesn't matter, and suggested laser therapy.  Laser therapy had been suggested with Pixie, but I had waited, as we wanted to see if the injectable steroids and oral steroids would work first.  Plus, with Pixie, we didn't have a specific spot of injury, so I'm not sure how exactly the vet would have known where to target the laser.  But with Rochelle, Dr. Han recommended the laser therapy and as I've never had it done, I asked how it worked.  He said they shine a laser on the wound and basically it stimulates the blood vessels to regrow, speeds up healing time, and reduces swelling and inflammation.  So I said sure we could do that, and he said that it was really good that I was open to the option of laser therapy, as he thought that would really help her. 

So they said they could do the laser therapy right then -- I hadn't been sure, because even though it's generally a no-appointment vet, I do believe they try to schedule surgeries and some medical procedures if they can.  So I asked if I could sit in, so I got to hold Rochelle while the vet tech came in and did the laser therapy.  It was really simple, she literally just had this machine with a wand that shined the laser and she moved it over Rochelle's foot for a few minutes, and that was it.  New technology, eh?  So that was it, they sent me home with an entire bottle of antibiotics, saying I'd likely need that much and probably more.

So, we have 5 laser treatments left.  We're going in on Mondays and Thursdays, and I'm supposed to call before I come in, I suppose so they can find a free vet tech and make sure the laser machine is free.  I don't need to see an actual vet again until treatment #4, when Dr. Han wants to check her progress.  We will see how she does and make treatment decisions based on that.  Hopefully she will improve.

Dr. Han was optimistic that with laser therapy and antibiotics, we will be able to save her leg.  She still definitely has movement and feeling in it, so that's a positive sign.  However, he pointed out that she already has 1/4 - 1/2 centimeter of necrotic tissue (already dead) on her foot (due to waiting a week), and that will have to be removed at some point, but we will take care of that when the time comes. 

So as of now, we're just treating with antibiotics, 3 weeks of laser therapy, and we will see how she does. 

On a completely unrelated note, I believe I posted in here about the person who wanted a hidey house with a bottom for their 21 year old chinchilla so he could rest his feet -- I had told them I could add a bottom to any of the hidey houses for no extra charge.  They ended up purchasing a cottage hidey house with a bottom and I built it and sent it to them on the 23rd.  Just got an email back saying they got it yesterday and their chin was sleeping in it last night.  :) 

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