Hoping someone can help me figure this out! (Stomach and skin issues)

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honeybear99

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2022
Messages
6
Location
Texas
Hello, I am new to this forum and have been reading as much as I can looking for answers!
I got my chin a couple months ago when he was 1-2 months old. He was very sweet and friendly from the very moment he was home. About a week to 2 weeks of having him, I was changing his water bottle and seemingly out of nowhere his attitude changed drastically and he became very jumpy, scared and shy.
I figured it was health related as his poops were getting a bit smaller and after examining him closer, he also had pretty chunky white crusts with the texture of scabs on his nose so I took him to the vet. They only prescribed Revolution because they thought it could be mites, they didn’t really focus on the stomach/digestive issues at all because “he looked like he was acting fine” in the office. They took a fecal sample and never got back to me.
I then went to more of a specialist vet where they examined him again, but they scraped the white crusts off his nose to check if it was ringworm. They didn’t recommend gas drops after I brought them up “because it would be kind of pointless in a Chinchilla’s digestive system”. After almost 3 weeks, they finally got back to me and said it was negative for ringworm and prescribed Revolution again and some balm for dry skin. Again, his digestive issues were pretty much ignored.
Since it took so long to get back to me, my chin lost fur at the top of his head in a circular pattern and it looks like he’s still losing some fur now. He’s itchy and the insides of his ears are flaky. And his poops are still showing signs of constipation? (Pointy ends, small, fragmented)
I’m not sure if I’m looking too much into it, but I’m not at all convinced that he’s as okay as they are making it out to seem. This is my first time owning a chinchilla and I don’t know what to do, especially if vets are minimizing the importance of the situation. Again, don’t know if I’m overreacting, so I’d like some reassurance or advice!
Thank you to everyone for all the general health info on here, very helpful all around.
 

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Amethyst

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Ok skin problem first. Mites are not that common in chins unless you have other pets that are infested and the chin has contact with them, chin's fur is really too thick for mites to find them a suitable host. Also most common type of mites I've heard of chins getting is ear mites, which that does not sound like. How often are you giving dust baths? Chins only need dust baths for about 5-10 minutes a couple times a week depending on humidity and handling. If it's dry where you live 1-2 times a week may be enough, more often can cause dry itchy skin.

For the digestive issues, I don't know why the vet said gas drops are pointless, they are one of the first go to things to give when chins have small poops. Chins can't pass gas on it's own (they pass gas in their poop) so gas drops work great for chins to help break up the gas so it can pass. The dosage for chins is 0.3ml of infant gas drops every 8-12 hours.

I would also look at what food you are feeding, there is a lot of misinformation about diet (including from vets who tend to lump them in with rabbits and guinea pigs), which can lead to a lot of issues, including digestive issues. Chins should have a pretty simple diet, a good quality pellet only food (personally I advise an alfalfa based chinchilla food), hay (kits under 6 months should have alfalfa hay in addition to timothy), and water. No fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, or animal products, grains should be limited if given at all since they can be gassy. Since he is still young it's best to not give any treats, but once older there are certain herbs and flowers adult chins can have (I can give you a list if you need). Even some toys and chews can cause digestive issue if contain things like starches, vegetable parts, or grains.
 

honeybear99

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2022
Messages
6
Location
Texas
Thank you so much for your response! He gets 2-3 dust baths a week in humid Texas and I gave him a dose of gas drops today! I will update on his stomach issues if I notice any difference. His diet is pellets, lots of alfalfa since it’s his favorite, Timothy hay and orchard hay, no treats.
I want to start adding antifungal powder to his dust, would you recommend this just in case?
Thanks again, I really appreciate your help!
 

Amethyst

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Since it doesn't look like ringworm to me (ring worm is normally red and flaky, it doesn't look red to me) I honestly would try just hold off on dust baths all together for like a week, see if that helps. I kind of wonder if it could just simply be dry skin. It could be ringworm though, in which case withholding the dust bath wont help, but it also shouldn't hurt either.

Here is some info about ringworm if you decide to try treating with antifungal powder
 

honeybear99

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2022
Messages
6
Location
Texas
Thank you for your response! I wonder now if it could just be dry skin. I saw that you could use a UV light to check for ringworm and it looks like he’s clear according to the UV light. On top of the negative ringworm test.
 

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