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Chin Veterinarian Questions and Answers If you have a question for our consulting veterinarian, this is where it will be posted. THIS IS NOT FOR DIAGNOSING PURPOSES, JUST GENERAL INFORMATION.

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Old 06-24-2009, 11:52 AM United States
tunes's Avatar
tunes tunes is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 9,784
Chinchillas: 300'
Default Liver issues

What are the symptoms of liver problems in chins? What is the outcome if a chin is diagnosed with it?
This is a tough question because "liver problems" is very broad. I will try to answer the overall question first, then if people have more specific questions after this, we can narrow it down.

Primary liver disease in chinchillas is very rare, but still possible, especially with age. "Liver failure" symptoms include anorexia, lethargy, seizure activity, and death. Once diagnosed with primary liver disease, you can use some medications to support the liver, but there is nothing you can do to reverse the damage at that point.

Secondary liver disease is very common in chinchillas. Types of secondary liver disease are hepatic lipidosis, bacterial hepatitis, and cancer. Hepatic lipidosis occurs when the chin stops eating, so the body tries to get calories from fat storage. The fat deposits in the liver and causes elevation of liver enzymes that can make the chin feel sick. This is treated with supportive care (force feeding, fluids, pain meds, etc.) Bacterial hepatitis occurs from bacteria spread to the liver through the bloodstream from almost any origin - mouth, lungs, skin, etc. This can be treated with antibiotics and supportive care.
Both of these secondary liver diseases can leave behind permanent damage that can later lead to liver failure, so the chin's prognosis is always guarded.

I am sure there are going to be follow-up questions, but I hope this was easy to understand.


If you have followup questions, please send them to me and I will forward them to Angie.
Never argue with idiots. They will drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.



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