Giardia, how long can I wait?

Kaston

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Feb 22, 2021
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Hi all, after some back and forth with my vet around potential bloat, I took my chin to the vet and they said she felt fine and he couldnt feel any gas in her tummy. I’m still not happy because I can tell there is something wrong in the way that she is behaving, I’ve taken her off all medication and treats so she just has Timothy hay and pellets with sprinkling of acidophilus probiotic. I’m now suspecting that there could be a parasite, potentially giardia. Her poops have shiny bits on them (which I think I was previously mistaking for gas) and I’ve noticed that some have holes in with almost shine covering the holes? I’ll attach a photograph as I’m unsure if this description makes sense. I have phoned literally every vet in my area to get a fecal analysis and they are all saying different things (could take 7-10 days/need to collect 3 days worth of faeces/need to make an appointment for next week) but the general consensus is that I won’t be able to get a diagnosis until early next week/end of this week absolute earliest. She doesn’t have any crazy diarrhoea or anything and is still eating and drinking fine, however she has lost 5 grams in weight since last week. My question is is this too long to leave it? None of the vets seem to have any sense of urgency around this and I’m just really concerned about leaving it this long. Does anyone have any experience with timeline of this sort of thing? Is there anything I can do for her in the meantime? Thanks everyone 25D5B8B0-6C8C-4962-B117-93A4CC307102.jpeg
 

Amethyst

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I would get a fecal test done, yes it takes about a week to get the results back but so long as it's not actual diarrhea the chin should be fine to wait. Giardia can also be tricky to diagnose though, it goes in cycles which can make it hard to always find in the poop, which is why it's best to have several samples if possible, and sometime done a week or so apart. Basically the parasite multiplies, the body fights it, causing the numbers to drop, but since the body can't completely fight it off the parasites repopulate again, and it goes in that cycle. If you get the poop during the time in they cycle the numbers are low it can be missed.

A lost of 5g isn't much, their stomach and bladder can each hold that much, so they can lose that amount just peeing for example. I would be more worried about a steady weight loss of more then 20-30g.
 

Kaston

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Thank you for the info and advice Amethyst! Relived to know that she should be fine to wait. In your experience, does the picture I uploaded indicate to you more parasites or gas?? This is my first chin so i have no frame of reference and there are disappointingly few chinny poop pics online!!
 

Amethyst

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That looks more like gas to me, but gas that are passing in the poops meaning she is getting rid of it. I've never had the misfortune to deal with parasites like giardia, but from what I've read the poop would be soft, smelly, and possibly slimy as well as greenish since the chin isn't digesting things properly.
 

sc300ttev

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I have had almost the exact same issues with my boy for months now. He's been to 4 vets and still haven't completely solved the issue. He acts normal 95 percent of the time but when I notice him stretching or not jumping around as much I give him gas drops for a day or two and he's back to normal. One vet said he did have giardia but not to treat it. His droppings look exactly like yours but he eats, drinks and plays like nothing is wrong most of the time. If you figure this out please let me know.
 

Kaston

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I have had almost the exact same issues with my boy for months now. He's been to 4 vets and still haven't completely solved the issue. He acts normal 95 percent of the time but when I notice him stretching or not jumping around as much I give him gas drops for a day or two and he's back to normal. One vet said he did have giardia but not to treat it. His droppings look exactly like yours but he eats, drinks and plays like nothing is wrong most of the time. If you figure this out please let me know.
Hiya- sounds like a very similar issue. I sent a sample of my girls faeces off to a lab to check for giardia/parasites/infections, and it came back negative for everything! Do you mind me asking what brand of pellets your boy is on?
 

sc300ttev

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Hiya- sounds like a very similar issue. I sent a sample of my girls faeces off to a lab to check for giardia/parasites/infections, and it came back negative for everything! Do you mind me asking what brand of pellets your boy is on?
Mines first fecal test came back completely negative as well but the second one showed giardia. He's on Oxbow Essentials now and has been since about a week after all of these issues started.
When I first got him I was giving him Mazuri but after a few months he started to have major issues with pooping and drinking and seemed to be on his way to stasis. After that I switched everything over to Oxbow products.
 

Kaston

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Mines first fecal test came back completely negative as well but the second one showed giardia. He's on Oxbow Essentials now and has been since about a week after all of these issues started.
When I first got him I was giving him Mazuri but after a few months he started to have major issues with pooping and drinking and seemed to be on his way to stasis. After that I switched everything over to Oxbow products.
Ahh I see. I just realised a couple of days ago that my chins symptom onset (stretches, gassy poops) started a few days after I switched her over to some different food (Science Select), I made the switch slowly and because I heard that this was the gold standard food here in the U.K. but now I’m suspecting this is the cause. I’ve taken her pellets away completely and she has been on just Timothy hay for 1.5 days now, I feel really mean but she seems to be getting far better, she hasn’t stretched once today and she hasn’t had any simethicone since I took her pellets away. I ordered some oxbow essentials pellets as eveeeeeryone seems to recommend these, so I’m thinking if she seems okay for the next few days I will start to slowly re-introduce these. I will keep you updated with her progress!
 

sc300ttev

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Ahh I see. I just realised a couple of days ago that my chins symptom onset (stretches, gassy poops) started a few days after I switched her over to some different food (Science Select), I made the switch slowly and because I heard that this was the gold standard food here in the U.K. but now I’m suspecting this is the cause. I’ve taken her pellets away completely and she has been on just Timothy hay for 1.5 days now, I feel really mean but she seems to be getting far better, she hasn’t stretched once today and she hasn’t had any simethicone since I took her pellets away. I ordered some oxbow essentials pellets as eveeeeeryone seems to recommend these, so I’m thinking if she seems okay for the next few days I will start to slowly re-introduce these. I will keep you updated with her progress!
Hopefully you caught the problem before it got too bad. It seems like you are taking the right steps so far. When my little buddy first got sick we had to syringe feed him Critical Care 4 times a day to get his system moving again and that was an absolute nightmare. After that experience I've been content to just treat the gas as it presents itself. He seems perfectly happy and healthy otherwise and vets in my area aren't knowledgeable enough to offer any meaningful help.
 

Kaston

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Hopefully you caught the problem before it got too bad. It seems like you are taking the right steps so far. When my little buddy first got sick we had to syringe feed him Critical Care 4 times a day to get his system moving again and that was an absolute nightmare. After that experience I've been content to just treat the gas as it presents itself. He seems perfectly happy and healthy otherwise and vets in my area aren't knowledgeable enough to offer any meaningful help.
Aww that sounds horrible! So glad he’s healthier and happier now. I had a similar issue when I first got mine and she was on critical care, so when I noticed gas I immediately tried everything I could think of, but she seems 95% fine like yours! My vets are the exact same, not sure where you are but here in the U.K. there really aren’t many exotic specialists that are accessible so I have to do a lot of diagnosing myself and go to the vets for tests and scans to confirm or deny my suspicions.
 

sc300ttev

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Aww that sounds horrible! So glad he’s healthier and happier now. I had a similar issue when I first got mine and she was on critical care, so when I noticed gas I immediately tried everything I could think of, but she seems 95% fine like yours! My vets are the exact same, not sure where you are but here in the U.K. there really aren’t many exotic specialists that are accessible so I have to do a lot of diagnosing myself and go to the vets for tests and scans to confirm or deny my suspicions.
We are in US near Atlanta Georgia. The funny thing is before we decided to get a chinchilla I called around and found exotic/chinchilla vets in my area but once I actually had an issue they admitted they don't "specialize" in them. Luckily one of them was professional enough to actually reach out to other more knowledgeable people and gave me some great information. Btw I also give him Bene-Bac plus pet gel when he has his gas issues and that really seems to help as well. Just wish I could find a long term solution.
 

Kaston

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That’s the d
We are in US near Atlanta Georgia. The funny thing is before we decided to get a chinchilla I called around and found exotic/chinchilla vets in my area but once I actually had an issue they admitted they don't "specialize" in them. Luckily one of them was professional enough to actually reach out to other more knowledgeable people and gave me some great information. Btw I also give him Bene-Bac plus pet gel when he has his gas issues and that really seems to help as well. Just wish I could find a long term solution.
Thats the same as me! My vet even had a whole chinchilla page on their website and yet as soon as we had issues they weren’t “specialists”. I’ve heard of Ben-e-bac, I give my girl acidophilus probiotics which she seems to get on well with but thank you for the recommendation! I will let you know how my experiment works out, I’ve heard people say before that feeding just hay and water for a few days almost “re-sets” their little guts so that’s what I’m attempting and so far seeing positive results!
 

sc300ttev

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That’s the d

Thats the same as me! My vet even had a whole chinchilla page on their website and yet as soon as we had issues they weren’t “specialists”. I’ve heard of Ben-e-bac, I give my girl acidophilus probiotics which she seems to get on well with but thank you for the recommendation! I will let you know how my experiment works out, I’ve heard people say before that feeding just hay and water for a few days almost “re-sets” their little guts so that’s what I’m attempting and so far seeing positive results!
It's so frustrating. Hope your girl feels better and keep us posted.
 

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