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Old 09-09-2018, 05:13 AM South Africa
Liz 2903 Liz 2903 is offline
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 6
Chinchillas: 2
Default Hepatic lipidosis

Hi all,
I have recently acquired 4 "second hand" chins. The two brothers were 11 and 6 months old when I got them. Their parents came to me a few months later and according to the previous owner they are about 4 years old.
When I got the parents they also gave me all the food they had. When I opened the bucket I nearly died as the amount of nuts (cashew, almond & peanuts) mixed into the food was alarming. Needless to say I tossed that out and although I know you should transition to a new food slowly, I just started them on my food straight away. They have been fine on it.
What I would like to know is how much damage would have been done to their livers on this terrible diet before they came to me.
I have been told that due to the diet I will be lucky if the parents live for another 3 or 4 years.
Also would like to know if this would have affected the life span of the two brothers seeing as they had a shorter period of bad diet.
Although I haven't had them for very long, I am VERY attached to them.
Thank you in advance for your replies.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:42 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,600
Chinchillas: 2

Well I know I've read a study that chins on a junk food diet only live an average of 7 years, that is assuming they are on it their whole life. The one great thing about the liver though is, it can be repaired if not too far gone. I know Fuzzies Kingdom sells a liver supplement that you could try. You need to remove the toxins from the body to allow the liver to heal. I would also talk to Tanya (the owner of the Fuzzie Kingdom site) about other options she suggests that might help, she is very knowledgeable about herbal remedies. I see you are in South Africa, so shipping would likely be expensive, but she does ship worldwide, and may be able to give you suggestions of what you can find locally. If you explore the Fuzzies Kingdom site there is a lot of info on proper healthy herbivore diet and safe natural treats that actually have health benefits.

I would not give them any "junk food" treats ever again. I know some people believe, and will argue, a tiny bit once in a while wont hurt, but with chins that are already unhealthy it could hurt. There are many healthy options, so I figure why give junk food if the chins will be just a happy with the healthy treats. You did the right thing by switching foods right away, the slow transition is good when you go between brands of good quality food or from an ok food to a good food. If the food they are on is bad for their health it's better to risk possible upset stomach and diarrhea and just switch. If given lots of hay the risks lower.
Slave to:
2 Chinchillas: Bazil and Wicket
10 Cats: Mystic, Coon, Rascal, Lucky, Mittens, Shadow, CJ, Tiger, Tux, and Nessie
3 Dogs: Bear, Loki, and Blaze
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:17 PM South Africa
Liz 2903 Liz 2903 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 6
Chinchillas: 2

Hi thank you for the feedback. Unfortunately in South Africa decent chin stuff is not very available. I will look on Fuzzies Kingdom and see if I can find a an alternative here. They only get healthy treats now an occasional goji berry, rosehip or rolled oats. No nuts and seeds. They have lots of hay, eragrostis and oat hay. They refuse to eat the timothy hay. The pellets are from a breeder here who makes up his own food. All the store bought ones are too full of treats. I am certainly hoping that they live a long and healthy life.
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