Smelly poop and low fiber

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MinatoandChili

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May 2, 2022
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Hi everyone! Minato hasn’t been eating his hay for some time due to overgrown teething problems. This has caused his poop to smell and be watered down a bit. (By that I mean it’s sticky and isn’t hard like it should be). I called his vet to see if it was something that could be helped but they told me if he’s not eating hay then he’s not getting the enough fibers he should be getting. (He’s only eating pellets and water). His poop has been tested for any infections or concerns and the results came back fine. I’ve been giving Minato Critical Care in forms of treats and it has some fibers but I don’t believe it’s enough fibers since his poop is coming out like this.

I clean his cage twice every day and have been giving him baths but he continues to have a poop odor. Any advice for what I can do or give him? Thanks!
 

Jawramik

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Nov 3, 2021
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I'm far from an expert, so take what I say with a large pinch of salt, but....I don't feel like the lack of loose hay alone should be giving him stinky diarrhea. While loose hay does provide extra fiber, high-quality pellets like Oxbow Essentials or similar are primarily made from hay and do contain a fair amount of fiber. The fact that his poops are so smelly also suggests to me that something else could be going on. Are you giving him any treats, and if so, what are they? Just wondering if there's something else in his diet that could be upsetting his tummy.

If he's only eating pellets and critical care, I might ask the vet to do another fecal test. I know that some parasites, like giardia (which causes soft, smelly poops), aren't always detectable at certain stages in its lifecycle, so it's possible that he could indeed have some sort of parasitic infection that just didn't show up in the first test.

Oh, another thought: what are you giving him as chew toys? Since chins do sometimes swallow some of what they gnaw on, that could potentially be another source of something that could be disagreeing with him.

I hope you're able to figure out what's going on with Minato and are able to get his tummy feeling better!
 

Amethyst

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Lack of fiber can definitely cause soft poops, but they shouldn't cause it to smell. The critical care has 21-26% fiber, where as timothy hay normally has up to about 30%, so it's not really low in fiber and there are a lot of chins that live off critical care for weeks or months at a time. If you want to try adding more fiber though you can grind up some hay and mix that into the cookies.

Since it smells I would definitely see if they will do another poop test though. As Jawramik mentioned some things like giardia has a I think 2 week lifecycle, so it's not uncommon at all for them to do a test and it come back negative if they don't do it at just the right time. I've heard some vets just treat for it, since it's so common and most chins have it even if they aren't showing signs (drinking tap water is the most common way they get it), or they do multiple tests over a week or two to see if they can catch it to verify.
 

MinatoandChili

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
59
I'm far from an expert, so take what I say with a large pinch of salt, but....I don't feel like the lack of loose hay alone should be giving him stinky diarrhea. While loose hay does provide extra fiber, high-quality pellets like Oxbow Essentials or similar are primarily made from hay and do contain a fair amount of fiber. The fact that his poops are so smelly also suggests to me that something else could be going on. Are you giving him any treats, and if so, what are they? Just wondering if there's something else in his diet that could be upsetting his tummy.

If he's only eating pellets and critical care, I might ask the vet to do another fecal test. I know that some parasites, like giardia (which causes soft, smelly poops), aren't always detectable at certain stages in its lifecycle, so it's possible that he could indeed have some sort of parasitic infection that just didn't show up in the first test.

Oh, another thought: what are you giving him as chew toys? Since chins do sometimes swallow some of what they gnaw on, that could potentially be another source of something that could be disagreeing with him.

I hope you're able to figure out what's going on with Minato and are able to get his tummy feeling better!
hi thanks for the response! I agree, his poop smelling has other factors beside not eating his hay. In reality, he hasn’t been a big fan of eating his hay throughout the time I’ve had him but he will eat it. His poop never smelled like this and I assumed some of it could’ve been the fibers he’s missing although I also remembered that the critical care has fibers. I’ll be looking into taking him for some more lab work. He hasn’t been eating treats besides the critical care. I don’t want him to feel more upset. As chew toys, he has various hanging chewing blocks for grinding his teeth, Timothy twists, and dangling wood safe for him to chew. He doesn’t like chew toys, he lets them sit and rather plays with them by picking them up and throwing them off the floors😂 The only chews he’s ever used are the hanging grinding blocks but eventually stopped after his overgrown teeth.
 

MinatoandChili

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
59
Lack of fiber can definitely cause soft poops, but they shouldn't cause it to smell. The critical care has 21-26% fiber, where as timothy hay normally has up to about 30%, so it's not really low in fiber and there are a lot of chins that live off critical care for weeks or months at a time. If you want to try adding more fiber though you can grind up some hay and mix that into the cookies.

Since it smells I would definitely see if they will do another poop test though. As Jawramik mentioned some things like giardia has a I think 2 week lifecycle, so it's not uncommon at all for them to do a test and it come back negative if they don't do it at just the right time. I've heard some vets just treat for it, since it's so common and most chins have it even if they aren't showing signs (drinking tap water is the most common way they get it), or they do multiple tests over a week or two to see if they can catch it to verify.
Thank you for responding! I agree with both of you, like I said with Jawramik I’ll be getting him tested again. I’ll also try including more hay in the cookies! My husband actually grinded and cut down some hay and put it inside his pellet bowl and he’s been eating them which is good. He also drinks fresh water because I don’t like him drinking tap water. I always remember to clean out his drinking cup each time I refill.
 

Jawramik

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Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
266
hi thanks for the response! I agree, his poop smelling has other factors beside not eating his hay. In reality, he hasn’t been a big fan of eating his hay throughout the time I’ve had him but he will eat it. His poop never smelled like this and I assumed some of it could’ve been the fibers he’s missing although I also remembered that the critical care has fibers. I’ll be looking into taking him for some more lab work. He hasn’t been eating treats besides the critical care. I don’t want him to feel more upset. As chew toys, he has various hanging chewing blocks for grinding his teeth, Timothy twists, and dangling wood safe for him to chew. He doesn’t like chew toys, he lets them sit and rather plays with them by picking them up and throwing them off the floors😂 The only chews he’s ever used are the hanging grinding blocks but eventually stopped after his overgrown teeth.
Yeah, it definitely sounds like there's something going on beyond him not eating loose hay. I think trying to get some more lab work done is the right call, because I'm not seeing anything in his diet that would cause stinky diarrhea on its own.

In the year or so I've had my chin, there have been a few chews and treats I've given her that seemed to not agree with her tummy and made her poops a little soft, but they were never smelly, and always returned to normal within a day or so of removing whatever the offending item was from her cage, so with Minato's persistent and stinky soft poops, I think it's something beyond his diet at fault. I hope you're able to get to the bottom of it and get him feeling better!
 

MinatoandChili

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
59
Yeah, it definitely sounds like there's something going on beyond him not eating loose hay. I think trying to get some more lab work done is the right call, because I'm not seeing anything in his diet that would cause stinky diarrhea on its own.

In the year or so I've had my chin, there have been a few chews and treats I've given her that seemed to not agree with her tummy and made her poops a little soft, but they were never smelly, and always returned to normal within a day or so of removing whatever the offending item was from her cage, so with Minato's persistent and stinky soft poops, I think it's something beyond his diet at fault. I hope you're able to get to the bottom of it and get him feeling better!
Thank you for the help and thank you so much, I look forward to updating you guys!
 
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