Not eating/drinking water.. (stasis?) My very LONG success story!!

nancypantsy

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Joined
Apr 16, 2011
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1
Warning: Very LONG read…not sure if anyone wants to read all this but I will write it anyways!

Loki is my chinchilla(2 yrs old). He hasn’t eaten on his own for 1 month and hasn’t drank water on his own for 2 months.. 100+ days later… he is back to his old happy self!

I wanted to share Loki's success story because there were two success stories I came across on the internet. Both stories were the reason why I didn't give up.

Days “0”(Aug 14-18): I was on vacation. Our housemate made sure Loki always had pellets, hay and water but didn’t really interact much with him.

Day 1-3(Aug 19-21): Loki has a lot of personality. He normally gets “mad” at me for a day when I leave him so I assumed he was “mad at me”. I noticed he has been sleeping for the past 2 days. He hasn’t touched his food or water. Cries in pain when touched. His poops were weird teeny tiny specks. I did see a small dried diarrhea mark. I wasn’t able to get a vet appointment until Aug 22. The front desk asked me if I wanted to pick up Critical Care since Loki hasn’t eaten for more than 24 hrs. I read that if he has a blockage I am not suppose to give him CC? I wasn’t sure what to do so I said no.. I also knew NOTHING about stasis/cc/blockage..etc (I know..such a bad chin mom)

Day 4: "vet appointment"- We weren't sure how many days it has been since Loki hasn't eaten. Vet said he very dehydrated and lethargic. The vet said his teeth/belly/privates looks fine. He said his stomach is completely empty. He told me I could try Critical Care(CC) for 3 days and if he isn't better than bring him back for a blood work. Loki weighed 420g. I told him that I don't want to wait 3 days. I told him I want the blood work now and I will also give him CC. I asked him if Loki has bloat, he said no.

Day 8 (Aug 26): I've been struggling with giving him his CC. I didn't know how to force feed him. I think I was suppose to give him about a tbsp/day but I was only able to give him a 1/4 of that. He still sleeps all day. Vet said that his blood work results came back with "nothing out of the norm". The vet suspects he has some type of infection and prescribed him 10 days of antibiotics. (Baytril 100mg 1cc/4cc orasweet : 0.13cc twice daily)

Days 9-14: I can't seem to force him CC. He spits it and it gets all over his fur/ dries up and hurts him. I am probably still only giving him 25% of what he should be eating. He seems to be going downhill. Seems in pain just sleeps.Not much poop..tiny dots stuck together by clear dried mucus? After giving him the antibiotics for 10 days, I called the Vet back for another check up.

Day 15 (Sep 2): Loki weight dropped to 354g. Vet said he lost too much weight.. is too dehydrated /too lethargic.He told me that Loki should have bounced back usually the first 3 days and he doesn't think Loki will anymore. He told me to consider euthanasia. He said sometimes rodents just give up. He said maybe nothing is wrong with him and he gave up OR if he does have some kind of blockage, Loki is too small and the Xray would be too hard to see. He said because he is too weak.. he wouldn't even survive surgery. The Vet told me again to consider euthanizing him.. I was just crying the whole time he was talking. I said it was my fault. I wasn't feeding him enough. Maybe I just need to try harder? I asked again.. are you sure it's not bloating? The Vet said Loki has zero signs of bloat. The vet still charged me $90 after not helping me and telling me there’s nothing left for him to do and that Loki won’t make it.

Days 16-22: I have no idea what is wrong with Loki and how I could help him. I kept thinking back to what the Vet said. “nothing is wrong with Loki” and “maybe he just gave up”. I figured he is hungry/dehydrated.. of course he doesn’t feel good. I need to give him extra Love and Baby him. This time I tried my best to force feed him hoping to get more than 25% of what he should be eating. I've learned that I needed to make the CC more watery and to burrito wrap him with his head tilted down. I was able to get more CC in him but maybe 30-40% of the amount he was suppose to eat. He still doesn't seem to be any better.. I started wondering if I was torturing him by prolonging his death. I was starting to consider euthanasia.

Day 23 (Sep 10): I am starting to lose hope. It has been weeks since Loki has eaten or drank on his own. I've crying for the past week. I was accepting that maybe he isn't going to make it. Should I put him out of his misery? Then I came across stories about GI stasis and how someone’s Chinchilla recovered after 2 months of hard work. It was weird how my Vet never mentioned Stasis. It looks like other chinchilla’s recovered from meds from the Vet but my vet pretty much gave up on Loki. I didn't know any other vets that sees chinchilla. I was on my own on this. I bought Baby Gas drops and human Acidophilus pills. Also, Loki hasn't pooped in 24 hours. I was afraid that his gut has finally stopped working. I also noticed little puddles of clear mucus around his cage.

Days 24-29 (Sep 11-16): I saw a lot a lot of little teeny tiny poops. Maybe the Baby gas helped? I read that he needs exercise, gas drops, probiotics and extra Love. This was our schedule:

4:30am(before work):
-1/2 tsp cc mixed with 2 tsp and a crushed Acidophilus pill (he only eats about half of that)
-1ml of baby gas drops
-tell him he’s a good boy

3:30pm(home from work):
-repeat above
(Repeated feeding and exercise EVERY HOUR and only gave 1ml of Gas drops every 4 hours until i went to bed (~10pm))

Day 30 : Loki still isn't drinking or eating on his own. I noticed Loki started pooping more often again but it was still very teeny tiny. Today was the first time he seems more active during play time. He even jump-kicked the wall. I noticed during our play/exercise time he kept groom down there. I did a hair ring check and saw that his penis was red/inflamed and had a very small hair ring on it. I pulled it off.

Day 32: Loki still isn't drinking but I finally got him to eat a piece of hay. After buying 5 different brands! It was his first time eating! I tried to sprinkle CC powder into his pellet bowl. He actually started eating the powder from the bowl. His poops lately have been very dry so I started to cut back on the baby drops and I stopped the probiotics.

Day 33 :I woke up to feed Loki and i found him in a pile of hay eating!! He isn't eating much but it is the first time I see him picking through his hay!! I believe that means he is feeling better!?! I still gave him CC and gas drops before I left to work. I am now sprinkling a little bit of CC powder into his pellet bowl everyday. He seems to be enjoying chin rubs again.

Day 34: Loki weighs 369g today ( he was 354g when the Vet told me Loki wasn't going to make it). He seems more active and alert during playtime. He still isn't eat drinking water and eats very little. I have to pick him up and put him in front of the hay 2-3 times and then he will start eating.

Days 35-43 (Sep 22-30) Still not drinking water on his own. I am trying to ween him off CC since he is sort of eating a teeny tiny bit of Hay on his own. He won’t touch apple sticks or pellets yet. I went back to giving him 1/4 of what he should be eating for CC. I weighed him on 9/30 and his weight dropped to 345g which is the lowest he’s ever been. He seems more active but his weight is severely low. not sure how to ween him off CC...

Day 44(Oct 1): Loki started to eat a little bit of his pellets for the first time!! I force would make him move around for 5-10 mins a day by pushing him around until he moves. I am trying to handfeed only twice time a day instead of every hour.

Day 47(Oct 4): Loki weighs 350g. Still not drinking on his own.

Day 57: 353g I am still giving a little CC and water.

Day 59: 369g!

Day 61 Loki started drinking water on his own for the first time!! I completely stopped giving CC. He finally is taking an apple twig from me. I try to keep his days very consistent. Wake up.. empty his pellets/hay and give him fresh pellets/hay. Pick him up and put him in front of his food Tell him to eat his pellets (which he does like a good boy). Get home ..give him more hay and pick him up and place him in front of his hay and demand that he eats(which he does)! and forced walks!

Day 64: 373g

Day 68: 381g and seems more Full of energy. Running around waiting for apple twigs. Before he was sick, he would eat two scoops of pellets a day.. now he only eats 1/3 of that and seems to eats primarily more Hay than pellets.

Day 78 (Nov 4): 389g. I’ve been training him. He now knows to jumps on my hand when I say “up”. I would give him an apple twig as an reward. I also make him jump on my hand from his cage when it is time for a dust bath.

Day 88: 397g! Almost to 420g!!

Day 91: 409g! I also noticed after these 91 days, Loki has bonded with me more than ever. I think he knows I nursed him back to life. He now lets me pick him up. Before he would run away if I try to reach out to grab him with both hands. He would run and yell “NE NE NE” at me. Now he runs towards me when I open the cage and if I reach both hands towards him.. he stays perfectly still to be picked-up. He even snuggles into my arms. It is soo cute! Also I couldn’t to touch his butt/lower back before … he would totally freakout and yell/run. Now I could put and leave my hand on his butt and back all I want. I guess he realizes I am not a threat!

Day 95: 414g! Getting closer! Still eats mainly hay and very little pellet. He eat two hand full of hay a day.

Day 98: 417g

Day 103 (Nov 29): 424g!

Conclusion:
From Aug to Nov.. 103 days.. It was tough but in the end all worth it. We bonded more than ever! He eats a lot more hay and barely any pellets .. compared to before. Not sure if that is okay?
Now I know to monitor his weight, poop, water, and have CC for emergencies! If only I knew in the beginning it wouldn’t have been such a long crazy journey…
 
Last edited:

draagonfly

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
8
Location
San Diego
Sounds like you did a great job. I had that problem with my chinchila Artemis once, and again with Edwyn. I don't like using Critical Care because I worry about changing their diet suddenly, but sounds like it worked for you, so that's good! What I did for Artemis was to use a mortar and pestle to crush up the Oxbow pellets he was already eating (thereby not changing his diet). I would also add in a strand or two the hay he'd been getting and when all that was crushed to a powder, I'd add water and use a syringe to feed him. Sometimes I'd add a little bit of sweet potato baby food (only organic with nothing else added - you have to read the labels carefully), or I was told canned pumpkin with water added is another good thing for chinchillas with gut problems. (Never got to try the pumpkin theory.)

Sounds like you need a better vet to be sure. They have gut motility drugs chinchillas can take - I can't recall the names offhand, but I know my guys had two different types before they responded to them. Your vet didn't try any of those to get the bowels moving again? The gas drops were a good idea. That probably helped in a similar way that a gut motility drug would.

If there is a gut blockage, a wee bit of pineapple juice sometimes helps that, but they shouldn't have much of it more than a couple days in a row.

It's very satisfying to be able to nurse any animal back to health. I'm really glad to hear your baby is doing better!
 

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