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Old 05-17-2018, 06:40 PM United Kingdom
logo5961 logo5961 is offline
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: manchester
Posts: 3
Chinchillas: 2
Default chin not eating

Hi guys need some advice. one of our chins a 5 year old girl smooch is not eating (sound familiar).

a bit of history. January this year had a bout of very soft poop which took 5 weeks to sort out via antibiotics and fibreplex. everything was fine for a few weeks then noticed the outside of her poops were not smooth occasionally had little holes in them. these got worse and weight loss began she has never been big 550 grams at best.

took her to the exotic vet on examining her he could find nothing wrong in her mouth but thought she had a little excess saliva so admitted her for a skull and full body x ray. the x ray showed no spurs or steps. her teeth were worn how they should be but she had some very minimal changes to the roots and that had caused some inflammation in the cheek pouch, she also was found to have a heart murmur and enlargement due to cardiomyopathy.

she was put on 0.18ml metacam twice a day long term to manage inflammation and pain and 0.30ml vetmedin twice a day for the heart problem. we started support feeding her until the medication kicked in.

4 weeks later we are hand feeding her still. she has been back to the vet her mouth has been rechecked and the vet cannot see a physical reason why she cannot eat. give her a treat, a monkey nut, raisin, sticks etc she will happily chomp away. she chews her lava block and grinds lumps of it between her teeth but makes no attempt to eat food in the cage. if we stop the hand feeding her weight plunges.

she is easy to feed her weight is stable she takes her meds no trouble, she is very active plays with her sister, runs around out of her cage every night and does not appear in any discomfort so her quality of life seems fine.

I am at a loss to understand why she will not now eat or what to do to safely get her to eat for herself and would appreciate any thoughts or advice. apologies for the wall of text but the more info I give the better I can be advised.

thank you
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:44 AM
Luciole Luciole is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 69
Chinchillas: 2

The Special Species (i.e. exotics) vets at the UW Vet School have told me that chinchillas can become 'addicted' to hand feeding and will eventually prefer it to eating on their own.

You could try weaning her off of the hand-feedings by cutting back by 50% for a few days. Keep weighing her to make sure she is eating on her own. It is also possible that the hand-feedings have caused her teeth to overgrow and now she can't eat on her own. If chins are fed Critical Care formula for too long, their teeth won't wear properly as there is nothing hard (pellets, hay) to chew.

Try weaning her first, if that doesn't work, have her teeth re-checked. You would be surprised how quickly a chin's teeth can overgrow on soft-food-only diet.
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:03 PM United States
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Tanya Tanya is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: PA, 19006
Posts: 1,305
Chinchillas: 4

Try offering some alfalfa hay and safe herbs (chins especially love nettle, dandelion, plantain). I see that you are in the UK. You can get herbs from:

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. Hippocrates, Father of Medicine
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