Day 23: Chinchilla Dust Baths – Cutest Thing Ever?

Today was a pretty awesome day – I got some more hands-on experience which is always the best. I started by going with the covered species AHT again – if there’s nothing else for me to do, her rounds are the most interesting for sure. We did the usual – checked in on the pigs and dog, gave treats and played with them and then did a quick check on the rabbits. Then we met up with the lab animal vet in charge of covered species and did physical exams on the new chinchillas. I hadn’t worked with this doctor before, because she went on vacation soon after I started and just recently got back – so I was a little nervous. But she’s great! She wanted me to be involved, so she taught me how to catch and retrain chinchillas and talked about the anatomical and physiological characteristics that make them unique. So I caught a few chinchillas, I restrained a few, she let me listen to a heart beat, and I took all of their temperatures. It was so much fun!! This internship has been great as far as a learning experience – I feel like I’ve really learned so much – but the best days are definitely the ones where I learn hands-on techniques on the animals. :)

After the physicals, the chinchillas got dust baths. Now this was something I had never seen before – and it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever!! So I had to include a video in this post:

Totally makes me want a chinchilla, haha. But with 5 cats and a husband, I don’t think that’s gonna happen. And that’s probably for the best.

Then it was back to the rabbits to give them lots of greens and apple slices. We also went to visit the two new guinea pigs, and dude. Baby guinea pigs are soooo cute!! There are only two little white guinea pigs, so we just went in and oohed and aahed over them for a few moments. Then I had a bit of downtime and so read the chinchilla chapter from “Exotic Pet Behavior” until lunchtime – I went with an AHT to BJ’s (delicious!).

After lunch I helped with mouse rounds and treatments until it was time to go home. This included giving carprofen to one and doing a toenail trim on another. I love how much care even the mice get :)

It was a great day, and now it’s time for wine, dinner, and bedtime!


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