Title:A deguk és a csincsillák mint labor- és kedvencállat - Irodalmi összefoglaló
Fekete, Sándor György
SUMMARY Degus (Octodon degus) and chinchillas (Chincilla laniger and C. brevicaudata)are not only popular pets but also widely used laboratory animals. Degus are models of diabetes and are also used in sociological and human psychological studies. As the anatomy of the chinchillas’ ear is similar to that of the humans, they are predominantly used for examining aural disorders.Both species are hindgut fermenters. The difference in appearance between caecotroph and faeces – contrary to rabbits − is not conspicuous. None of them can vomit. Animals being kept as pets have 15-18% crude protein and approxi-mately 3% ether extract requirement on dry matter bases. Because of the high crude fibre requirement (> 20%, in chinchillas up to 30%), good quality meadow hay should be provided permanently. Alfalfa hay is only suitable for pregnant and lactating animals as it is high in protein and calcium. Diet low in fibre leads to diarrhoea and/or abnormal behaviour such as fur chewing. The latter may be caused by stress, high ambient temperature or high air humidity, as well. Healthy animals have orange teeth and dental abnormalities are common in both species which are only partly caused by inadequate nutrition. Fruits high in carbohydrates should be avoided as they tend to develop diabetes. Both species but especially the degus are very sensitive to such carbohydrates. The activity of insulin receptors is low (insulin resistance) as well as the insulin production of the pancreas. A common consequence of diabetes is cataract and renal dis-orders. Contrary to guinea pigs degus and chinchillas do not require vitamin C supplementation.To avoid injuries, they should not be hold by the tail. Dust bath is necessary to keep the fur coat clean and healthy. Since in the nature they live in large groups, at least two individuals should be kept together.