Likely teeth problems with chin

tcraighenry

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Hi all, we think our chinchilla has teeth problems. She's picking up pellets, gnawing on them a little bit and throwing them aside. She's lost a lot of weight.

We didn't realize what was happening because she's also been throwing her food out of her bowl, because she's like that. She's still pooping and drinking water.

Right at this second she's still bright eyed, alert, grooming,bathing, bouncing and chewing toys. We picked up some critical care from the pet store and we're going to start hand feeding.

We placed a call to her regular vet to get her in for an appointment to get her teeth checked asap.

I'm preparing myself (by bawling) for the possibility this is malo but hoping it's something else that can be treated but any other advice is welcome.

(And yes, it's that gorgeous little 9 year old baby in the pic)
 

Amethyst

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My only advice is take her to the vet. However there are other causes then just malo, she could have a tooth spur, chipped tooth, her molars could have grown over her tongue, she could have something caught in her teeth. If she isn't eating hay as much any of those become very possible.
 

tcraighenry

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So... an update. Up until today she was throwing her food out of her bowl and not really eating. We hand fed her last night and this morning and then she started eating normally (picking up pellet, eating half of it, tossing it) and drinking so I am mystified. The weight loss is still very worrying so she's still going to the vet tomorrow but seriously wtf.
 

tcraighenry

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At this point I'm updating the thread in case someone else has something similar happen. We got her in to the vet and no obvious signs of rot, abscesses or malocclusion. He's doing blood work to screen for other problems and make sure she's ok to put under to do a full dental exam. She's down to 488 from 560 grams which I feel so bad about.I didn't notice she'd lost so much weigh because it was so gradual and we stopped doing weekly weigh ins a good few years ago.

He's recommending we mix the banana critical care with her regular pellets and soften them a little bit with water.
 

BellaBella

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Both of my chins have teeth issues now, but previously pulled fake outs like this with me during times when I had been busy and not spending enough time with them. I babied them, handed them pellets and hay, piece by piece, and eventually they were back on track. Have you spent less time than usual with them?
 

tcraighenry

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It's likely not just attention seeking, very little has changed in our routine and there's actually not been any change in her behavior. That's why this has taken us by surprise. She's also been eating pretty regularly since Monday and not nibbling on a bit of a pellet and throwing it away, she's eating whole pellets. But she's still down to 460g.

The vet did some basic blood work and found nothing worrying. She's not pawing her mouth or drooling.

He did prescribe her Reglan which she's on until Monday along with a probiotic.

Of course my husband didn't get a lot of detail about the blood work (separate issue) but he's going to call tomorrow. The vet did say the results were boring except for a slightly elevated white blood cell count which she had last time.

I'm at a loss, I suspect we need to get her in for a full dental xray and exam under anesthesia but I am worried with her weight getting lower she might not be strong enough.
 

BellaBella

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Could be that her eye is watering some, and when it dries the fur looks less full. That’s usually an indication that my girls teeth are bothering them and they usually have molar spurs to be trimmed.
 

tcraighenry

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It's back to normal today. This is unbelievably frustrating. We just called the vet to let him know she's still losing weight and fed her a bit of CC this morning but upon further research it doesn't look like Critical Care is good for weight gain?
 

MaineChins

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You might find that CC feedings dampen her appetite and she may not be taking in the volume of hay and pellets she needs.
The thinning hair around her eye could be a simple reaction to stress. The eyes are where breeders look first to assess health. Check that the area doesn't spread or get flaky, that's fungus and will need Tinactin added to the bath for treatment.
 

tcraighenry

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We let off on the CC for Tues-Thurs just to see how she was eating in response to the meds. She is eating whole pellets and isn't digging through her bowl like she was on Saturday but I'm still really unhappy with the further weight loss so we thought we'd start supplementing again. Her poops are much smaller than normal which again we'd attributed to only biting off chunks of pellets.

The fur around her eye is looking much better and almost back to normal today.

Could it be giardia or another parasitical infection? I don't think the vet did a fecal float to screen. Is weight loss expected while she's on the Reglan? She doesn't have any other symptoms of diabetes, she's alert and bouncing (though she's spending more time in her house which we're attributing to being handled more and being angry about it.)
 

MaineChins

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We let off on the CC for Tues-Thurs just to see how she was eating in response to the meds. She is eating whole pellets and isn't digging through her bowl like she was on Saturday but I'm still really unhappy with the further weight loss so we thought we'd start supplementing again. Her poops are much smaller than normal which again we'd attributed to only biting off chunks of pellets.

The fur around her eye is looking much better and almost back to normal today.

Could it be giardia or another parasitical infection? I don't think the vet did a fecal float to screen. Is weight loss expected while she's on the Reglan? She doesn't have any other symptoms of diabetes, she's alert and bouncing (though she's spending more time in her house which we're attributing to being handled more and being angry about it.)
If she had giardia she would have runny slimy poop, drastic weight loss, and be dead in 10 days.
As for supplement, you may try a supplement she likes, such as an oat supplement. Weight gain in chins is slow, and they won't eat more than they need to satisfy their energy needs. I have some chins that only eat a tablespoon of pellets a day unless they're pregnant, then eating about 1/2 cup a day. Make certain her water bottle is good and you're using filtered or spring water.
If you decide to give her CC, try offering it on a spoon as a treat and let her lick or bite it on her own terms, she'll be happier with you.
Don't just feed her anything she likes to get her to eat. She needs quantity and quality, good pellets, timothy hay, and water.
 

tcraighenry

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We're not force feeding the critical care she takes it willingly from the syringe. It is the banana flavored variety!

We've tried to make sure her whole diet isn't the critical care so we're giving it to her sparingly and watching to make sure she eats her pellets, which she is doing. She's never really been that into hay as a primary part of her diet no matter which brand, type, freshness we've tried and we've run through them all. She does have fresh hay though. She's also only been on Oxbow essentials like since she was 6 months old. Our other chin was on the Purina show chow and did lose weight when we switched her over but has been stable since.

The reason she's pissy is because she's being hand fed meds and probiotics which she will take a little willingly but not the full dose.

Do probably not a parasite, we haven't seen any of those symptoms. She's drinking water like a little champ and we've always used plain Aquafina (plastic bottles be damned.) Our other chin is drinking the same water and doesn't have any of the same symptoms. She's also caged separately because jerky here can't be trusted with a cage mate.


I'm at a loss, the only thing that seems to be wrong with her is she's losing weight. She doesn't have obvious symptoms of malo, diabetes, giardia, bloodwork came back negative for signs of cancer, kidney problems.

As a side note (and I'm probably being overly cautious, I've never had a reason to doubt anything she's made in the past.)

Whimsy's Menagerie sells a supplement I was looking at but I'm not 100%.

It's the one listed as "Whimsy's Recipe" linked below. Thoughts? Should we wait until she's done with her meds before worrying about weight gain?

 

tcraighenry

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Our vet came back to us and thankfully have a cancellation on Monday to do some more urine tests. I'm a little freaked out it could be a kidney problem because if it is I've heard those really can't be treated in chinchillas?
 

tcraighenry

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I found this from another post:

Tanya got back to me with recommendations for a kidney and stress supplement, both of which I ordered today and will likely have on Monday.
Does anyone know what this is? I'd love to order it for her.
 

Amethyst

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I found this from another post:

Tanya got back to me with recommendations for a kidney and stress supplement, both of which I ordered today and will likely have on Monday.
Does anyone know what this is? I'd love to order it for her.
Fuzzies Kingdom is Tanya's website, the supplements are at the bottom of the list on the left. I don't see a kidney supplement, but you can always e-mail and ask her about it.
 

tcraighenry

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Just an update - she actually seems to be behaving like more herself yesterday/today. She's been spending a lot of time in one of her houses but slept in her tube last night. She's also begging for critical care now but has been eating some hay we put out for her. She's going to the vet tomorrow to have a ua done. We've been weighing her daily and her absolute low was 468 but she jumped back up to 474 last night. Her eye was back to normal and then swollen again yesterday so I'm not really sure what's going on there.
 

tcraighenry

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The vet found blood in her urine and some bloat. We have Baytril, more Reglan and more probiotics. She had a full head and body xrays which didn't find any broken bones or other masses. Her teeth are really good and according to the vet she has perfect chinchilla ears (?) She came around from the anesthesia well and was apparently barking and kacking at the vet techs. One of them had never really dealt with a vocal chinchilla so she was a little startled. But that's my baby.
 
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