I don't think my chinchilla is drinking/eating!! I need help!!

RylanWebster

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Apr 13, 2020
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17
Hello all,

On Wednesday I got two chinchillas, I am a first-time owner. I am stressing out because I don't think my chinchillas are eating and drinking!

I've seen one of them, Nova, drink from her water bottle once, and I've occasionally seen her eat her hay. I offered her pellets once and she ate one or two. My other one, Nyx, has also eaten a bit of hay but I have never seen her drink or eat her pellets.

Here's some more context to help you understand the situation:

They are not a bonded pair, they have lived in separate cages next to each other most of their lives. Nyx's previous owners got her from a breeder and Nova was rescued. Their previous owners rehomed them to me. They do get along together, as their owner said, and on Wednesday and Thursday and this morning I had them out together and they were fine.

On Thursday evening I put them in the same cage and they were sitting on a Hide together. Then right before I was going to go to bed I noticed that Nyx wasn't eating and nova had left the hide to eat from her hay feeder. I debated leaving them in the cage together or putting nyx back in hers and I decided to put her back. She seemed more comfortable in her cage, so they have been in separate cages since then but still running around together in my room.

I thought they would have eaten more last night, but the water bottles are still pretty much as full as they were yesterday and I don't think any other pellets are gone. Their bowls are still full that I filled on Wednesday.

Their owner before had many plastic hides and didn't give me any hay feeders so I replaced the hides with New wooden hides and got them hay feeders.

How do I get them to eat and drink? Are they too stressed out? How do I distress them?

I would really like it if someone could please, please help me out, I'm really desperate at this point.

Thank you so much,
Rylan
 

Amethyst

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They could be stressed but also could be a problem like a blockage. They don't actually drink a lot of water, only about 1-2oz a day so depending on the size of the water bottle it can be hard to tell. You can use a washable marker or a piece of tape to mark the bottle and see if it really is going down or not. For pellets they only normally eat about 2tb of food a day (some a little more some a bit less), the rest of their diet, about 70% or more is hay. You can try weighing the food bowl to see if any has actually been eaten, or just measure out the food to make it easier to see. Are they peeing and pooping ok? There should be lots of poops, they poop about once a minute when awake. If they are peeing and pooping then they are eating. If you know for sure they are not eating I would get them checked out at a vet, they may have a blockage from the plastic if they chewed the old hide houses or had any other no chin safe items in the cage (cardboard, paper bedding, fabric other then fleece, etc). If they are not pooping or pooping very little (they should be dry and about the size of a tic tac) you need to get them to the vet, after about 24 hours of not eating their gut starts to shuts down, and it can be an unhill battle to get it going again.

It takes most chins at least a week to settle into a new home, so the best way to help them is to just leave them alone and try to keep everything the same. You can obviously go talk to them and try to pet them if they let you but hold off on playtime and putting them in each other's cages, they need to get use to all the new sights, sounds, smells, and people (and animals if you have any).
 

RylanWebster

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Apr 13, 2020
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17
Thank you so much! I think a big part of it was just stress. I held off on play time like you said for a bit and now they are eating and drinking better. I also switch to bottled water instead of tap which helped. But as soon as this problem ended, I think a new one has arrived! One of my Chinchilla's has brownish pee. Does that mean she is sick?
 

Amethyst

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Yeah, some times even though they are cute and you are wanting to start bonding, you need to just let them settle in. New home and getting to play with the other chin was likely a bit much all at once. :) I'm glad it wasn't anything serious.

I answered on the other thread about the pee, but could she have just been chewing a lot of sticks? Certain bark can cause brownish pee.
 

WWPH

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May 25, 2020
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Singapore
So sweet "they were sitting on a Hide together. " 😌

"One of my Chinchilla's has brownish pee " - Like human, this is sign of heat, chin is not drinking enough....

New home from where I got my chin knowledge, you don't want to touch them in day 1 or 2. Leave them to sit for at least a day to familiarize the new place. Moving into new environment are stressful to the chin. This means no play time just sit for at least a day. I am not sure if this apply to your case but if is new environment, ya you want to keep them in for a day.

You seem to be writing about day to day as I see things on your post like "Wednesday and Thursday and this morning ". RylanWebster pls could you show the current setup? Just make sure the water bottle is not put too high or too low. They have fresh supply of hay and hay is reachable etc.

Alright thanks! And talk soon
 

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