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Chin Emergencies Guidance given in this forum does not substitute for PROPER VET CARE.

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Old 04-13-2009, 10:47 PM
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Default possible UTI or kidney stones?? HELP

I have noticed that my boy is having issues peeing. He will have little dribbles of pee. Then today I kept hearing him squeek every time he would mount up like he was going to pee. So I looked for hair rings on his penis and did not find one, but I did notice that the area between his penis and anus seems to be a little swolen.

I am super worried about him, and have a feeling he could have a UTI or kidney stones. I plan on taking him to a vet tomorrow morning, but I would like to know how surious this is? Will I need to worry about him dying on me in the middle of the night? Also I would like to know how he could have gotten this and if there is anything I could have done to prevent it?
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:57 AM United States
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tunes tunes is offline
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Location: South Dakota
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I'm sorry nobody answered this yet. Yes, a kidney infection and/or stones can be very serious, especially if the stone is too big for him to pass, which could require some sort of invasive procedure. It's great that you are getting him into the vet right away, and hopefully they can get a handle on it and get it treated!

What kind of food does he get? What kind of treats?
Never argue with idiots. They will drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

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Old 04-14-2009, 07:55 AM United States
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alpayton alpayton is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bowling Green, KY
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What type of hay base (alfalfa/timothy) are the pellets that you feed? Do you give loose hay or cubes as well? What are they? Do you give cuttlebone or a "salt lick" too? Are you adding anything to his water? What kind of water are you giving him?

Just a few questions that I can think of that need to be answered....
Amanda - Money talks, but mine just waves goodbye.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:54 AM
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Thank goodness he made it through last night...I couldn't sleep until 3AM. poor guy is in such bad pain I can tell, taking him to the vet in 20 min. when they open.

To answer your questions, he is fed Mazuri pellets, and we give him Oxbow western timothy hay which is loose not blocked. His teeth were a little light colored when I got him, so I did purchase a cuddle bone...which was given to him sparingly. I know that too much calcium could infact be the problem. If so obviously no more cuddle bone! And as for treats...he is given a smidgen of dried raisin or dried apple chunk about twice a week. I know not to give him too many goodies.

I absolutely hate the fact that my little guy could be in such pain because of something I am doing wrong. Chins are so delicate, caring for one is deffinately a learning process! I am so thankful to have a site like this to turn to. I will update you all as soon as we get back from the vet.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:14 AM
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Oh, I almost forgot...the water given to him is purified filtered water. I have heard different things about the kind of water to give him, like some people boil the water the night before to sterilize it. Is filtered water OK? Should I be giving him something else?
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:43 AM United States
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CerLynn CerLynn is offline
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Location: MA
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The calcium intake sounds reasonable - especially if the cuttlebone was given sparingly. I would cut out any fruit or veggie treats - stick with simple things like a few rolled oats (not the instant kind), a shredded wheat square, or the occasional piece of rose hip. And of course chew sticks are great "treats" as well!

What kind of filter are you using to purify the water? Some will only remove certain chemical/mineral contaminants (like the Brita filters) using carbon, while others use a very fine filter (1 micron, I believe - such as Pur filters) that will eliminate microorganisms like giardia - this is the most important type.

Good luck at the vet and keep us updated!
2 mischievous little boys ~ Kokomo & Kenai
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:09 PM
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I just got back from the vet and she said she thinks she felt a bladder stone. She is giving him x-rays right now. She told me that a surgery for him would cost me anywhere from $800-$1500! I am really upset, I don't have enough money put away for an emergency of this nature. Infact I just recently got a new job and my financial situation is not good. I honestly don't know what I am going to do. If I can't afford the surgery right away, it would not be right to let him suffer...I cannot stand the thought of putting him down.

I hope everything will be ok...please pray for Cletus and I. We need all the thoughts and prayers we can get
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:27 PM United States
addictedtochins addictedtochins is offline
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Location: North Idaho
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I am sorry, yes I have prayed for you both and the vet. Hopefully there is something that can be done without surgery.
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:46 PM
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So the vet found 9 bladder stones in my little guy! She informed me that she was wrong about the price of the proceedure and it should only cost about $400. However, she also said that after the stones are removed most likely they will come back in about three months, and it will be a re-occuring thing. And that with how sensitive chinchillas are, some die from all the stress of the surgery and pain. So that leaves me stuck between a rock and a hard spot!

She also said that the main cause of his problem was the brand of food I am feeding him is alfalfa based. I am extremely irritated at the fact that MAZURI (along with most other brands)can produce and sell a product that is in fact unsafe for chinchillas! I was under the impression that I was feeding him the best quality pellet available. The Mazuri company will certainly be getting an ear full from me! It states on the package that Mazuri pellets are for "all life stages." This is not right...I am peeved! I almost think I am better off just feeding him hay!

Thanks guys for all your support and feedback. I would like some suggestions on weather or not to proceed with surgery. Isn't there any medicine available to break down chinchilla bladder stones?

Last edited by chachilla; 04-14-2009 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:21 PM United States
iayla iayla is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Age: 38
Posts: 193
Chinchillas: 23

Mazuri IS a good brand, as are Tradition, Oxbow, Manna Pro Sho, PANR - all alfalfa based. A good chinchilla diet should be mostly hay (feed free choice 24/7) and while pellets should be left out, most chins will only nibble at them, eating a total of about 2Tbs per day. Not much alfalfa at all in that lil bit of pellets.

APD does make a timmy pellet for sensitive chinchillas. There are a few chins out there who are overly sensitive to bladder/kidney stones. And for them, there is the possibility an alfy based pellet is too rich. I have heard of a few people with sensitive chins opting for a hay-only diet, but they did so working very close with their vet to be sure it was in the chinchillas' best interest.

Stones are caused by excess calcium - you need to be sure your chin is getting a 2:1 calcium - phosphorus ratio. If he isnt getting enough phosphorus, he wont process the calcium properly and it becomes "extra" in his system. Most chins can expell this, but for some it builds up into painful stones. Speak with your vet about his overall diet - hay, treats, pellets - and see if he/she can work with you to come up with something best suited to your lil guy.

Good Luck
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