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Mousethechinchilla

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Joined
Jan 21, 2022
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Someone please help me figure out what is wrong with my chinchilla! I want to avoid vet fees if possible but if it’s an emergency I’ll take her. I have a female chinchilla about 6 months old and she’s absolutely perfect. So sweet and everything but she’s acted like she’s in pain tonight and I’m hoping someone knows what’s going on?! She’s done this once before about two months ago after eating an almond. She’s been loose in the house for some background info for the last hour. Right now she’s running around fine in the bathroom with me but these episodes are scaring me! They last about a minute or two. Please please help 😭
 

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Jawramik

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Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
233
Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry your chin is exhibiting concerning symptoms.

I'm not sure what's going on with her, but it would probably be best to get her looked at by a vet. I don't necessarily see anything super alarming in the video.....but I don't know what her normal behaviour looks like (and I'm also not a vet or chin expert). I know it's expensive and inconvenient (trust me, I get it, sometimes I think wistfully of all the things I could buy if I didn't have to keep some significant savings in reserve for future vet bills for all my critters), but providing medical care when your pet needs it is part of being a responsible guardian. If you're concerned about her, the best thing to do is really to have her looked at by a good exotics vet who has experience with chins.

Just as a note, chinchillas shouldn't have almonds or any other nuts. Also, you said she's been loose in your house. Are the areas she has access to chin-proofed? Chinchillas love to chew, and will chew on all sorts of potentially toxic/otherwise harmful stuff if given the opportunity. It seems possible that she got into something she shouldn't have.

How is her appetite, and how are her poops? Also, what are you feeding her and what (if any) treats are you giving her? It seems the most common health issues in chins are digestive issues and teeth issues, and obviously their diet affects both those things. Sadly there's also a lot of misinformation out there about what is and isn't safe to feed them. Their staple diet should be a high-quality pellet-only chinchilla food (Oxbow Essentials and Mazuri are the best) and a high-quality grass hay like timothy. Treats should be offered infrequently, and safe treats are mostly various dried plants and herbs. Some safe treats my chin enjoys are rose hips, rose petals, lavender, and camomile (all dried). Amethyst, a very helpful member of this forum, has a great list of safe treats. Hopefully she'll pop in and post it (or I can try to find it in a bit). Things like nuts, fruits, and veggies (whether dried or fresh) are not at all good for them. Virtually all store-bought treats for small animals are not safe to give them (even if they're advertised as being for chinchillas).
 

Mousethechinchilla

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2022
Messages
4
Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry your chin is exhibiting concerning symptoms.

I'm not sure what's going on with her, but it would probably be best to get her looked at by a vet. I don't necessarily see anything super alarming in the video.....but I don't know what her normal behaviour looks like (and I'm also not a vet or chin expert). I know it's expensive and inconvenient (trust me, I get it, sometimes I think wistfully of all the things I could buy if I didn't have to keep some significant savings in reserve for future vet bills for all my critters), but providing medical care when your pet needs it is part of being a responsible guardian. If you're concerned about her, the best thing to do is really to have her looked at by a good exotics vet who has experience with chins.

Just as a note, chinchillas shouldn't have almonds or any other nuts. Also, you said she's been loose in your house. Are the areas she has access to chin-proofed? Chinchillas love to chew, and will chew on all sorts of potentially toxic/otherwise harmful stuff if given the opportunity. It seems possible that she got into something she shouldn't have.

How is her appetite, and how are her poops? Also, what are you feeding her and what (if any) treats are you giving her? It seems the most common health issues in chins are digestive issues and teeth issues, and obviously their diet affects both those things. Sadly there's also a lot of misinformation out there about what is and isn't safe to feed them. Their staple diet should be a high-quality pellet-only chinchilla food (Oxbow Essentials and Mazuri are the best) and a high-quality grass hay like timothy. Treats should be offered infrequently, and safe treats are mostly various dried plants and herbs. Some safe treats my chin enjoys are rose hips, rose petals, lavender, and camomile (all dried). Amethyst, a very helpful member of this forum, has a great list of safe treats. Hopefully she'll pop in and post it (or I can try to find it in a bit). Things like nuts, fruits, and veggies (whether dried or fresh) are not at all good for them. Virtually all store-bought treats for small animals are not safe to give them (even if they're advertised as being for chinchillas).
I actually learned about the almonds and fruits thing immediately after she scrunched up the first time and haven’t given any to her since. She has oats for treats usually and vary sparingly if so. Her diet follows your recommendations but I’m curious as to if she possibly got into something when I wasn’t paying attention and it made her stomach feel icky when it was going down or getting digested for a second? Her behavior is normally zoomies and running around exploring everything. Rarely will she sit in one place for so long-let alone with pinned ears.

I really appreciate the alternative treat Recommendations and will be switching to those things immediately. I will probably take her to the vet as well but seeing as how she acts totally normal after this happened I’m hoping it’s nothing serious! Thank you again!
 

Amethyst

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2,730
Location
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I'm not sure if my pc and phone lack some program, but I can't see the video (you aren't the first one with a video lately that I can't seem to view), so I can't really help there. If it's odd behavior bring the video to the vet if you go, that why they can see what is going on in case the chin is not doing it when at the vet.

I can however help with a list of treats that are currently considered to be safe.

Treat list.jpg
 

Hmarie

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
14
I will second what was said about running free and chewing. Chinchillas are such adept chewers they can bite into something very quickly and run on, even if you think she isn't being still long enough to chew anything. I didn't see anything that concerning in the video, unless it was seeming to not move as well on one side? They do get tired and just konk out. We almost thought something was wrong the first time we saw one of ours sleeping on his side, but they'll do tht when super relaxed. She is a cutie!
 

Jawramik

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
233
I actually learned about the almonds and fruits thing immediately after she scrunched up the first time and haven’t given any to her since. She has oats for treats usually and vary sparingly if so. Her diet follows your recommendations but I’m curious as to if she possibly got into something when I wasn’t paying attention and it made her stomach feel icky when it was going down or getting digested for a second? Her behavior is normally zoomies and running around exploring everything. Rarely will she sit in one place for so long-let alone with pinned ears.

I really appreciate the alternative treat Recommendations and will be switching to those things immediately. I will probably take her to the vet as well but seeing as how she acts totally normal after this happened I’m hoping it’s nothing serious! Thank you again!
Sometimes they'll just sit on one place for a bit, possibly to smell/listen to their surroundings, or perhaps sometimes to just take a quick rest. Mine will sometimes have her ears down for a minute when she first wakes up, almost as if it takes her a bit to fully wake up and perk up her ears.

It could be that your chin was just experiencing some digestive discomfort from eating something she shouldn't have. If the symptoms resolved, then it's likely whatever it was safely passed through her system.

Oats can cause gas in chins, and while they used to be recommended, it seems that now people are advised to stay away from oats in lieu of other treats that are less gassy (like the ones on Amethyst's list). If you do choose to give oats, it's best to offer them in extreme moderation (like maybe one oat a week, if that).

Trust me, I know how annoying it is that there's so much misinformation about what chins can eat! When I first rescued my girl, I wrote up this list of safe and unsafe foods and posted it in the kitchen, so my roommate and I would have a quick and easy reference.....only to find out a couple of days later that it was totally outdated information and that none of the things on the "safe" list were actually safe. 🤦‍♀️ (Fortunately Margaret, the chin, hadn't touched any of the fresh fruit we'd tried to give her, so no harm done....she clearly knew more than we did, haha.)

It still wouldn't be a bad idea to take her to a vet, just to get a general wellness exam and to get her listed as a patient with a good vet. That can make it easier to get seen quickly if you ever have a real emergency. It's also just a good idea to have any new pet looked over by a professional, if only to just get some peace of mind that she's in good health. I usually try to get my critters in to see a vet within the first month or so of getting them for those reasons.
 

Jawramik

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
233
I will second what was said about running free and chewing. Chinchillas are such adept chewers they can bite into something very quickly and run on, even if you think she isn't being still long enough to chew anything. I didn't see anything that concerning in the video, unless it was seeming to not move as well on one side? They do get tired and just konk out. We almost thought something was wrong the first time we saw one of ours sleeping on his side, but they'll do tht when super relaxed. She is a cutie!
Ugh, my chin likes to sleep just stretched out on her side, out in the open on the second floor of her cage. The first couple times I saw it, it scared the crap out of me because I seriously thought she was dead. She looked dead. But of course she jumped up when I poked her and was obviously fine. That's just how she likes to sleep. But it still freaks my roommate out, haha.
 

Mousethechinchilla

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2022
Messages
4
Sometimes they'll just sit on one place for a bit, possibly to smell/listen to their surroundings, or perhaps sometimes to just take a quick rest. Mine will sometimes have her ears down for a minute when she first wakes up, almost as if it takes her a bit to fully wake up and perk up her ears.

It could be that your chin was just experiencing some digestive discomfort from eating something she shouldn't have. If the symptoms resolved, then it's likely whatever it was safely passed through her system.

Oats can cause gas in chins, and while they used to be recommended, it seems that now people are advised to stay away from oats in lieu of other treats that are less gassy (like the ones on Amethyst's list). If you do choose to give oats, it's best to offer them in extreme moderation (like maybe one oat a week, if that).

Trust me, I know how annoying it is that there's so much misinformation about what chins can eat! When I first rescued my girl, I wrote up this list of safe and unsafe foods and posted it in the kitchen, so my roommate and I would have a quick and easy reference.....only to find out a couple of days later that it was totally outdated information and that none of the things on the "safe" list were actually safe. 🤦‍♀️ (Fortunately Margaret, the chin, hadn't touched any of the fresh fruit we'd tried to give her, so no harm done....she clearly knew more than we did, haha.)

It still wouldn't be a bad idea to take her to a vet, just to get a general wellness exam and to get her listed as a patient with a good vet. That can make it easier to get seen quickly if you ever have a real emergency. It's also just a good idea to have any new pet looked over by a professional, if only to just get some peace of mind that she's in good health. I usually try to get my critters in to see a vet within the first month or so of getting them for those reasons.
Thank you!
 
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