Soft/runny poop and something red next to it?

Chungus

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Apr 8, 2021
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Hi all!

I am a proud new owner of a chinchilla. We've only had him a few days so bear with me because I'm still learning about this wonderful little dude.

So far he seems to be doing well. I clean his poop out daily and almost all of it has been dry, but I came across a few wet pieces today with liquid running around them. There's also a strange looking red thing next to them, and I have no clue what it is.

A couple things to note - the first few days I fed him a couple freeze dried fruits (strawberry and mango). Is it possible the red piece is an undigested strawberry? I have since stopped feeding him these treats and threw them away altogether after doing more research about chinchillas and sugar.
Right now he has colored Carefresh paper bedding (yes I know it's bad). I ordered a fleece cage liner that should be coming tomorrow and I'll replace the paper as soon as I can. I caught him eating it a couple times so it has me really worried.
You'll notice also that the cage is a generic cage from Petco with plastic shelves. I plan to replace the entire cage and get only wooden shelves as soon as I can, although I haven't caught him chewing at the plastic yet.

So as you can see I'm still very much learning. I want to make sure he's as safe and healthy and happy as possible.

Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to take him to a vet since buying him. There aren't a lot of exotic vets near me that are taking new clients, and the ones that are don't have availability until a few weeks out. I was just hoping for some guidance to see if this is something that would be considered an emergency or just something to keep an eye on for now.

Thank you in advance!




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Amethyst

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Well the runny poop could have been caused by the fruit, or if you changed the diet from whatever the petstore was feeding, but I honestly have no idea what the red thing is. Could it possibly be pee soaked paper bedding? Chins pee can vary in color from a yellow to a reddish orange depending on hydration and what they ate. Do you notice any blood or red anywhere else? or just that one thing?
 

Chungus

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From the look of it, it could be possible! Do you think that's more likely than a piece of undigested fruit? (I'm not even sure if that's possible in their digestive systems.)

There's no blood or red stuff anywhere else that I've seen, thankfully.
 

Pepperpot

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Please do not feed your chinchilla any fruit, veg, nuts or seeds, fresh or dry. Their digestive systems cannot cope with these foods. Please do not use Carefresh, or any other paper based bedding either. If swallowed, it can cause impaction. Please do in depths research regarding care of your chinchilla.
 

Amethyst

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From the look of it, it could be possible! Do you think that's more likely than a piece of undigested fruit? (I'm not even sure if that's possible in their digestive systems.)

There's no blood or red stuff anywhere else that I've seen, thankfully.
I doubt it's undigested fruit, if it was in cased in poop then maybe, but not like that, their digestive tract doesn't really work to poop out something like that. I'm assuming you already throw it away, but it's hard to tell for sure just from a pic, it would be easier to actually see it, did it look like it could be paper or more like a solid chunk in real life? The fact that there is no blood anywhere, meaning it's likely not something damaged internally either, and I assuming it was just that one also makes me think just some peed on paper.
 

Chungus

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After taking a better look at it yesterday with that in mind, I'm 95% sure you're right that it's paper. I haven't seen any other runny poops since then either, which is good!

I just replaced the paper bedding completely today and the fruit treats are long gone, I only gave him 2-3 before reading up on it some more. My supplies were based on advice from the employee at the pet shop, and unfortunately I've realized much of what she told me was wrong. She said she has a few chinchillas herself so I thought she would know the ins and outs, but I guess not!

Thank you both for your help!
 

Pepperpot

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The advice given by pet shops regarding chinchilla care is truly disgusting. It's just as bad in England too. Well done you for being willing to change what was originally advised.
 

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