Giardia but vet says don't treat it. Please help me out.

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sc300ttev

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Joined
Jun 24, 2020
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14
This is going to be long and I apologise in advance but please read and help me out. We are on our second vet now and I just don't know what to do.
It all started back towards the beginning of June. My 4 month old chinchilla stopped pooping. He also wasn't eating much and was barely touching water. He went to the vet and they prescribed critical care. He had to be hand fed the CC and really wasn't enjoying the whole process after about a week I called the vet to give him and update and ask for any tips on feeding him the CC. He suggested I put it on a few vegetables and fruits that I have read are really harmful to chinchillas including mango and peso and at that point I decided to get a new vet.
Vet number 2 did an x-ray and found gas in his intestine. Prescribed an antibiotic, metoclopramide, gas drops and continue the critical care.
30 minutes after giving him the metoclopramide he started dragging his back legs and contorting his body to the point I thought he was going to snap his back. I haven't given that to him again with the agreement of the vet.
So for 10 days he was on antibiotics, gas drops and CC. Everything was going okay but he was pooping rather large air filled poops and he wasn't eating or drinking much on his own which I just contributed to him being fed so much critical care.
I slowly backed off the critical care and he started eating and drinking on his own. He is active and has gained all of his weight back plus about 20 grams. My issue is that he still shows signs of gas. He is pooping a lot but during the day they are small and dry and then later towards night time they are much larger and softer. And when I break them open they always have a bunch of air in them and sometimes little bubbles.
I took a sample to the vet the other day and they said that he tested positive for giardia but that his poop looks normal which I know it doesn't. They recommend NO treatment.

Some extra information: he hasn't gotten any treats since all of this began and even before that he only got a few oats and rose hips. He is on pellets and hay only for the past 1.5 months.
 

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Amethyst

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I've heard that it's not uncommon for chins to have giardia in their system, especially once they have had it. It wont cause a problem unless the chin's immune system is weakened, so basically testing positive doesn't mean you chin is sick, it's immune system could be keeping it in check if the numbers are low and the poop isn't slimy and smelly (symptoms of giardia). Hopefully that makes sense.

Alright my next suggestion is just coming from a owner I am not a vet and it's just something you can try and see if it helps, I don't see why it would hurt. Please feel free to run the idea past your vet. Since everything else seems to be ok, drinking, eating, etc, just the poops are off I wonder if bulking up with fiber and kind of flushing/resetting his system might help. Pull the pellets and just give hay for a few day, as well as gas drops, and see if that helps. The idea is to kind of flush his system, and start over, if you can I would also try giving some probiotic to help replenish the good bacteria after having taken antibiotics (which tend to kill all bacteria good and bad).
 

sc300ttev

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
14
Thank you for the reply. I did forget to mention that he is currently on probiotics but it's only been about a week since I started them for some reason the vet advised against them when he was on the antibiotics.
The idea of resetting his gut with hay only sounds very intriguing. I'll check with the vet tomorrow and see what they say. Thank you again.
 

turtlemoon

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Feb 12, 2013
Messages
62
Location
Las Vegas, NV
when our chin had gas, caused by GI stasis after a dental surgery (he did not poop for three weeks!), our vets (he had three different vets simultaneously at three different locations) advised giving him daily playtime - more than usual - to help move things along and get the gas out. that, along with the rest of the treatment regimen, really helped. it also helped to determine how much better he was doing daily based on how active he was during his playtime sessions. it's not much, but i hope that helps! 🙃
 

sc300ttev

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
14
It helps in giving me hope that my little bud can get through this. Initially we cut back playtime when all of this started but for the past two weeks we have bumped it back up and honestly he is more active and seems happier than ever. You wouldn't know anything is wrong with him unless you see him stretching a bunch and check his poop.
 

Randi

New member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
1
This is going to be long and I apologise in advance but please read and help me out. We are on our second vet now and I just don't know what to do.
It all started back towards the beginning of June. My 4 month old chinchilla stopped pooping. He also wasn't eating much and was barely touching water. He went to the vet and they prescribed critical care. He had to be hand fed the CC and really wasn't enjoying the whole process after about a week I called the vet to give him and update and ask for any tips on feeding him the CC. He suggested I put it on a few vegetables and fruits that I have read are really harmful to chinchillas including mango and peso and at that point I decided to get a new vet.
Vet number 2 did an x-ray and found gas in his intestine. Prescribed an antibiotic, metoclopramide, gas drops and continue the critical care.
30 minutes after giving him the metoclopramide he started dragging his back legs and contorting his body to the point I thought he was going to snap his back. I haven't given that to him again with the agreement of the vet.
So for 10 days he was on antibiotics, gas drops and CC. Everything was going okay but he was pooping rather large air filled poops and he wasn't eating or drinking much on his own which I just contributed to him being fed so much critical care.
I slowly backed off the critical care and he started eating and drinking on his own. He is active and has gained all of his weight back plus about 20 grams. My issue is that he still shows signs of gas. He is pooping a lot but during the day they are small and dry and then later towards night time they are much larger and softer. And when I break them open they always have a bunch of air in them and sometimes little bubbles.
I took a sample to the vet the other day and they said that he tested positive for giardia but that his poop looks normal which I know it doesn't. They recommend NO treatment.

Some extra information: he hasn't gotten any treats since all of this began and even before that he only got a few oats and rose hips. He is on pellets and hay only for the past 1.5 months.
Hi! A few things—When on an antibiotic, you should always give a probiotic about an hour before the antibiotic—benebac is the most commonly used in chins. The antibiotic will upset the stomach, resulting in the chin eating less or not at all. Giardia—as someone else also mentioned—all chins have a small amount of this in their systems. It’s when it’s more than a small amount that you should be concerned. I would def get a second opinion to be sure the giardia isn’t an issue.
Is he stretching a lot, rubbing his belly on the floor, etc.? If so, the gas is still present and needs to be taken care of also. Extra playtime and some gentle belly massage will help also. 🙂
 

sc300ttev

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
14
I asked the vet about probiotics when he first started the antibiotics and she said she would wait till after so we didn't overwhelm his system. I should have listened to my own instincts.
As far as the stretching goes I really don't know if it is a lot because he's so young and I've never been around chinchillas before I got him. He does lay on his stone and out his chin down and then he will stretch but it's not constant.
We have upped his play time and I do try to give him belly rubs but he isn't a huge fan and just tenses up. Thank you for your reply.
 

Gawellent

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Joined
Sep 16, 2022
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1
Location
Leeds
When you doubt your pet's diagnosis, consulting another expert is a good idea. It is possible that you can do some research online and find out if there is a specialist who specifically treats the condition of your pet. You can read the article at Mobile Vet Near Me (Updated 2022) | Traveling Vet Near Me – The Pet Guide Home. Suppose you do decide to look for a second opinion. In that case, you should take all of the previous records of testing and examinations with you so that the new experts can consider all the available information to make an accurate assessment.
 
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