Diarrhea

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Apollo2021

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Hi, my chin has had diarrhea for the last day the poos are soft and shiny, they were more sticky yesterday but still sticky today and I’m worried for him, ringing the vets as soon as they open in the morning but any reason it’s randomly started? Thanks
 

Amethyst

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There are several possible causes, have you given him any treats? If so what? Even safe treats can sometimes upset their stomach if they aren't use to it. It can even happen if they got something they shouldn't have in the hay, it happens that a random plant or something makes it into a bag of hay or even that the hay bale got contaminated. Have you changed food at all? Change in diet can cause diarrhea, also what are you feeding? What are you giving for water, tap or filtered? Tap water can have giardia in it, safe levels for humans can still contain enough to make a chin sick. Giardia is a parasite that causes diarrhea that is smelly, green, and slimy.
 

Apollo2021

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His food and hay hasn’t changed since I’ve had him and his water is filtered the only thing I could think is I changed his raisin brand but my other chin has been fine with them, I’ve stopped giving him treats since the problem started just to be sure though
 

Amethyst

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Raisins are actually not safe for chins at all. They are way too high in sugar which chins can't really easily digest, and can definitely cause diarrhea, as well as it can lead to issues like, seizures, gastrointestinal stasis, liver and kidney failure, blindness, and diabetes. They use to be the go to treat, about 20-30 years ago (and unfortunately a lot of people still go by that outdated info), but we now know how much damage they cause and they are no longer recommended.

Chins diet should be a high quality pellet only food like Oxbow Essentials for example, and timothy hay. They should not be given any fruits or veggies fresh or dry. As well as no seeds, nuts, or animal products (eggs, hide, meat, bone, antler, or dairy). Here is a list of safe treats

Treat list.jpg
 

Apollo2021

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Ahh I didn’t know that! So most likely the new brand just didn’t agree with him? And the other chinchilla luckily didn’t react to them but I’ve stopped giving him them aswell just in case
 

Amethyst

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Could be the new ones were a bit bigger or something. Just like people someone can for example smoke or drink for years without an issue, but another person gets sick after just a few. The thing most people uses to replace raisins now is goji berries, they do contain sugar too, but not as much and are healthier. They should be limited to just one berry a month, but if you cut it into pieces you can give a small piece like once a week.
 

Apollo2021

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Should I ring the vet tomorrow if it hasn’t stopped then? And yeah I’ll have to stay those berries! Thankyou
 

Amethyst

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Yeah I would still call the vet if he isn't better by tomorrow, normally if it is just something they ate it should be through their system within about 24 hours.
 

HeatherLouWho

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Thanks for sharing this, Amethyst! I have had pet chins for years now, and was always told that raisins were ok as treats, in moderation. I will throw them out entirely!


Raisins are actually not safe for chins at all. They are way too high in sugar which chins can't really easily digest, and can definitely cause diarrhea, as well as it can lead to issues like, seizures, gastrointestinal stasis, liver and kidney failure, blindness, and diabetes. They use to be the go to treat, about 20-30 years ago (and unfortunately a lot of people still go by that outdated info), but we now know how much damage they cause and they are no longer recommended.

Chins diet should be a high quality pellet only food like Oxbow Essentials for example, and timothy hay. They should not be given any fruits or veggies fresh or dry. As well as no seeds, nuts, or animal products (eggs, hide, meat, bone, antler, or dairy). Here is a list of safe treats

View attachment 21649
 

Jawramik

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My chin goes absolutely wild for dried rose hips. You can buy them all kinds of places, just make sure they're organic and pesticide-free. I think they're safe to offer a bit more frequently than the goji berries, since they don't have so much sugar (you can give a rose hip maybe once or twice a week, whereas goji berries should be more like once a month....though hopefully Amethyst will correct me if I'm wrong about that!). Also, the rose hips are hard and crunchy, so they're good for wearing down the teeth.

Dried rose petals are another healthy (in moderation) treat my girl adores.

What I'll often do to buy my chin's love, instead of offering excessive treats, is I'll give her a little pellet (she loves the Oxbow Essentials pellets) or a seed head from her hay, or sometimes a favourite chew toy (mine loves apple wood sticks and bamboo especially). That way we still get the fun and bonding of her taking something tastey/interesting from my hand, without the potential health problems that can arise from too many treats.
 

JamaisVu

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My chin goes absolutely wild for dried rose hips. You can buy them all kinds of places, just make sure they're organic and pesticide-free. I think they're safe to offer a bit more frequently than the goji berries, since they don't have so much sugar (you can give a rose hip maybe once or twice a week, whereas goji berries should be more like once a month....though hopefully Amethyst will correct me if I'm wrong about that!). Also, the rose hips are hard and crunchy, so they're good for wearing down the teeth.

Dried rose petals are another healthy (in moderation) treat my girl adores.

What I'll often do to buy my chin's love, instead of offering excessive treats, is I'll give her a little pellet (she loves the Oxbow Essentials pellets) or a seed head from her hay, or sometimes a favourite chew toy (mine loves apple wood sticks and bamboo especially). That way we still get the fun and bonding of her taking something tastey/interesting from my hand, without the potential health problems that can arise from too many treats.
Rose hips are my go-to. I get them crushed and give one little piece at a time. That way, she doesn't get more than 1 (maybe even less than 1) a week, but she thinks she's getting a lot of treats.

Hibiscus is another favorite. She knows she gets that one when I bring out the balance, so she'll rush to stand on it so she can get the yummy treat.
 

Jawramik

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Rose hips are my go-to. I get them crushed and give one little piece at a time. That way, she doesn't get more than 1 (maybe even less than 1) a week, but she thinks she's getting a lot of treats.

Hibiscus is another favorite. She knows she gets that one when I bring out the balance, so she'll rush to stand on it so she can get the yummy treat.
Next time I buy rose hips I want to get the crushed and sifted rather than the whole ones. She doesn't like the seeds, so they just end up all over the cage, haha (though it is really cute to watch her get the seeds out with her little hands....SO adorable!).

I haven't tried hibiscus, I'll have to try some of those with her! I've also given her lavender and camomile (just the dried flowers), and she'll eat them, but she doesn't go crazy for them the way she does with the rose hips and petals. She knows the sound the rose hip bag makes, and is up on her hind legs at the door of the cage trying to smoosh her face through the bars as soon as she hears it, haha.
 

Apollo2021

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Yeah I would still call the vet if he isn't better by tomorrow, normally if it is just something they ate it should be through their system within about 24 hours.
So update, taken him to the vets and she said she couldn’t find anything bloating of the stomach or anything so has given me fibre supplements for him, but he’s so active when he’s out the cage still eats and drinks but when he’s in the cage he doesn’t move he just sits and mopes:( feel like the vets didn’t really check for parasites or anything
 

JamaisVu

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So update, taken him to the vets and she said she couldn’t find anything bloating of the stomach or anything so has given me fibre supplements for him, but he’s so active when he’s out the cage still eats and drinks but when he’s in the cage he doesn’t move he just sits and mopes:( feel like the vets didn’t really check for parasites or anything
Have you had him for long? As in - is this abnormal behavior for him?

My chin spends 90% of the time inside her cage sleeping/napping/chilling. Basically as soon as she's done eating or drinking she'll move around a bit mostly to find the comfiest spot and then settles for a nap. This is normal. Chins sleep a lot.
 

Apollo2021

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Have you had him for long? As in - is this abnormal behavior for him?

My chin spends 90% of the time inside her cage sleeping/napping/chilling. Basically as soon as she's done eating or drinking she'll move around a bit mostly to find the comfiest spot and then settles for a nap. This is normal. Chins sleep a lot.
I’ve had hun for around 6 months and he’s never normally like this, also unsure if it’s like a side affect of the fibreplex but he is barely eating now
 

Jawramik

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How are his poops? Is he still having diarrhea?

It definitely sounds like there's something going on with him besides just having eaten something he shouldn't have. I feel like any no-no foods should have passed through his system by now. The lethargy and lack of appetite suggest that he's really not feeling well.

How do you feel about the vet who saw him? Is that your usual vet? Do they have much experience with chins? Unfortunately not all vets are that familiar with chinchillas and assume that they're basically just like rabbits or guinea pigs....and other vets don't really know how to treat small animals in general. It might be time to get a second opinion. I get the sense that he needs more than a fiber supplement.
 

Amethyst

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Has his poops firmed up at all yet? Also how much fibreplex are you giving? It shouldn't cause him to not want to eat, I think it normally makes them want to eat, it's a probiotic so it should help replenish the gut bacteria with good gut bacteria, and I think also a prebiotic to help the gut produce good bacteria. It also has lot so of fiber to help get this moving through the gut. It may just be because it's normally given due to illness or recovery but I think people normally given with recovery syringe food as well, like Oxbow Critical Care. Gas drops likely wouldn't hurt either, I would think extra fiber could possibly cause gas build up, which would cause the chin to not want to eat.

So did you mention you think it could be parasites? or did the vet just not think that was the issue? I know some try to see if the simple easy fix or maybe just some probiotics will work before assuming parasites. Since giardia goes through a cycle it can sometimes be hard to find, if you don't get a poop sample at the right time in the life cycle their might not be any in the poops at that time. (often times vets will just treat for giardia even if they don't see any in the poop if they suspect that is the cause) Also did they give you a time frame for when you should be noticing an improvement? I'm not sure but it could take a few days if it's just a bacterial imbalance, which thinking about it could be. The "bad" bacteria that can occur in the gut feed off of sugar, the raisin(s) you gave could have allowed them to over populate which would cause diarrhea. If it's been a few days though, you might want to at least call the vet and let them know, see if they have any suggestions.

As to the moping around, but only in the cage, what do you have in the cage for enrichment? Maybe it's time to rotate the chew toys or get something new like a new toy, a tunnel, a wheel if you don't have one, or something.
 

Apollo2021

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Has his poops firmed up at all yet? Also how much fibreplex are you giving? It shouldn't cause him to not want to eat, I think it normally makes them want to eat, it's a probiotic so it should help replenish the gut bacteria with good gut bacteria, and I think also a prebiotic to help the gut produce good bacteria. It also has lot so of fiber to help get this moving through the gut. It may just be because it's normally given due to illness or recovery but I think people normally given with recovery syringe food as well, like Oxbow Critical Care. Gas drops likely wouldn't hurt either, I would think extra fiber could possibly cause gas build up, which would cause the chin to not want to eat.

So did you mention you think it could be parasites? or did the vet just not think that was the issue? I know some try to see if the simple easy fix or maybe just some probiotics will work before assuming parasites. Since giardia goes through a cycle it can sometimes be hard to find, if you don't get a poop sample at the right time in the life cycle their might not be any in the poops at that time. (often times vets will just treat for giardia even if they don't see any in the poop if they suspect that is the cause) Also did they give you a time frame for when you should be noticing an improvement? I'm not sure but it could take a few days if it's just a bacterial imbalance, which thinking about it could be. The "bad" bacteria that can occur in the gut feed off of sugar, the raisin(s) you gave could have allowed them to over populate which would cause diarrhea. If it's been a few days though, you might want to at least call the vet and let them know, see if they have any suggestions.

As to the moping around, but only in the cage, what do you have in the cage for enrichment? Maybe it's time to rotate the chew toys or get something new like a new toy, a tunnel, a wheel if you don't have one, or something.
Hi, his poos have firmed up compared to yesterday they arnt normal still but they’re better he has slowly started eating again a few pellets and some hay but nothing compared to normal so maybe he’s on the up, and the parasite I was thinking the vet said nothing about it!
 

Apollo2021

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How are his poops? Is he still having diarrhea?

It definitely sounds like there's something going on with him besides just having eaten something he shouldn't have. I feel like any no-no foods should have passed through his system by now. The lethargy and lack of appetite suggest that he's really not feeling well.

How do you feel about the vet who saw him? Is that your usual vet? Do they have much experience with chins? Unfortunately not all vets are that familiar with chinchillas and assume that they're basically just like rabbits or guinea pigs....and other vets don't really know how to treat small animals in general. It might be time to get a second opinion. I get the sense that he needs more than a fiber supplement.
His poops are still soft but compared to yesterday they are better! The vets his normal one but I’m not sure she has a clue tbh haha
 
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