URGENT CHINCHILLA NOT EATING

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NigelAndPeanut

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I recently switched fully from kaytee fortified diet to oxbow essentials food. I did so slowly over a few weeks all seemed fine. However nigel i believe isnt eating he is drinking and will take treats what should I do
 

Amethyst

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Is he eating hay at all? is he losing weight? How long has he not been eating? Also how do his poops look? How is he acting?

If he is not eating pellets don't give him treats, unless you meant you just give him one to see if he would eat a all. How old is the bag of pellets and does it smell good? Even if it's a brand new bag it can happen that you get an off bag sometimes and my guys would just switch to eating more hay because they didn't like the pellets.
 

NigelAndPeanut

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Is he eating hay at all? is he losing weight? How long has he not been eating? Also how do his poops look? How is he acting?

If he is not eating pellets don't give him treats, unless you meant you just give him one to see if he would eat a all. How old is the bag of pellets and does it smell good? Even if it's a brand new bag it can happen that you get an off bag sometimes and my guys would just switch to eating more hay because they didn't like the pellets.
Thankyou for answering
I gave him a treat to see if he would eat and he did i cant tell if he is eating hay i believe he is a little but not much. Do you think he needs more stimulation as he is a lone chinchilla
 

Amethyst

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Ok, I do kind of need more info to understand what might be going on and how serious or not it might be. If his poops are not right or his energy level is off in addition to not eating it could be a sign of an issue like that he has a gas bubble causing him to not want to eat. If that is the case your best bet is to try some infant gas drops and get him moving to see if that helps. If that doesn't help within about 12-24 hours it's best to take the chin to the vet since that could mean something more serious then just gas. Also if it has been going on for more then 12 hours of not eating anything at all and he is still pooping, you will need to hand feed him to prevent his gut from shutting down. If not pooping that could be a sign of a blockage and/or going into gi stasis, in which case you need to get him to the vet rather then try to feed him. Critical care is best if possible for hand feeding, but if you don't have that you can just grind up some pellets and mix with some water to syringe feed him.

If everything else is normal though he just doesn't want the pellets then I would try getting a new bag and see if that helps, as I said it is possible to get an "off" bag sometimes. Also if it's more the bottom of a bag he was eating fine then it could just be the food has gotten a bit stale making it not as tasty.
 

NigelAndPeanut

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Ok, I do kind of need more info to understand what might be going on and how serious or not it might be. If his poops are not right or his energy level is off in addition to not eating it could be a sign of an issue like that he has a gas bubble causing him to not want to eat. If that is the case your best bet is to try some infant gas drops and get him moving to see if that helps. If that doesn't help within about 12-24 hours it's best to take the chin to the vet since that could mean something more serious then just gas. Also if it has been going on for more then 12 hours of not eating anything at all and he is still pooping, you will need to hand feed him to prevent his gut from shutting down. If not pooping that could be a sign of a blockage and/or going into gi stasis, in which case you need to get him to the vet rather then try to feed him. Critical care is best if possible for hand feeding, but if you don't have that you can just grind up some pellets and mix with some water to syringe feed him.

If everything else is normal though he just doesn't want the pellets then I would try getting a new bag and see if that helps, as I said it is possible to get an "off" bag sometimes. Also if it's more the bottom of a bag he was eating fine then it could just be the food has gotten a bit stale making it not as tasty.
Everything else is normal he even just had a dust bath
 

Jawramik

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Do you always make sure to re-seal the bag of pellets and get most of the air out, or do you leave the bag sitting open? In my experience, while my chin LOVES the Oxbow Essentials pellets, she won't touch it if it's stale (she's the same way with hay). I ended up wasting part of a bag because I wasn't re-sealing it properly. She wouldn't eat the stale stuff, but once I got a fresh bag she went back to happily chowing down on them. I haven't had any issues with her refusing pellets since I started being more conscious about re-sealing it properly. Also, as Amethyst said, sometimes you'll get a bag of pellets that is just "off" somehow and they won't eat it. I haven't experienced it myself, but I've seen several people on here mention it happening to them.

However, if his overall appetite (for both hay and pellets) seems decreased/non-existent and you rule out any issues with the freshness of his food supply, then there could be something else going on.
 

NigelAndPeanut

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Do you always make sure to re-seal the bag of pellets and get most of the air out, or do you leave the bag sitting open? In my experience, while my chin LOVES the Oxbow Essentials pellets, she won't touch it if it's stale (she's the same way with hay). I ended up wasting part of a bag because I wasn't re-sealing it properly. She wouldn't eat the stale stuff, but once I got a fresh bag she went back to happily chowing down on them. I haven't had any issues with her refusing pellets since I started being more conscious about re-sealing it properly. Also, as Amethyst said, sometimes you'll get a bag of pellets that is just "off" somehow and they won't eat it. I haven't experienced it myself, but I've seen several people on here mention it happening to them.

However, if his overall appetite (for both hay and pellets) seems decreased/non-existent and you rule out any issues with the freshness of his food supply, then there could be something else going on.
Thankyou i believe i found the problem its that the bag was placed next to heater and that changed it somehow
 

Unicorn777111

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Do you always make sure to re-seal the bag of pellets and get most of the air out, or do you leave the bag sitting open? In my experience, while my chin LOVES the Oxbow Essentials pellets, she won't touch it if it's stale (she's the same way with hay). I ended up wasting part of a bag because I wasn't re-sealing it properly. She wouldn't eat the stale stuff, but once I got a fresh bag she went back to happily chowing down on them. I haven't had any issues with her refusing pellets since I started being more conscious about re-sealing it properly. Also, as Amethyst said, sometimes you'll get a bag of pellets that is just "off" somehow and they won't eat it. I haven't experienced it myself, but I've seen several people on here mention it happening to them.

However, if his overall appetite (for both hay and pellets) seems decreased/non-existent and you rule out any issues with the freshness of his food supply, then there could be something else going on.
I buy Mazuri in bulk and freeze it in Ziploc bags. That way I can use a small amount at a time. And the bottom of the bag is as fresh as the top of the bag. Also, I don't waste any by throwing away what went bad.🐭💕
 

Jawramik

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I buy Mazuri in bulk and freeze it in Ziploc bags. That way I can use a small amount at a time. And the bottom of the bag is as fresh as the top of the bag. Also, I don't waste any by throwing away what went bad.🐭💕
That's a great idea! I always avoid buying the big bags because I only have one chin and I don't want the pellets to go stale before she finishes them, but I never even considered freezing them! That could be a great way to save some money by buying in bulk and still keeping it fresh.

Only problem is that I'm not sure I have the freezer space, haha.
 

NigelAndPeanut

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Update
Nigel had stopped eating his oat treats so we bought him some new food that had goji berries and rose hips mixed in just to try and get him to eat something while mazuri ships. He picks out the treats and avoids the pellets however im just happy hes eating. How should i ween him off of this diet onto mazuri. Hoping that he likes it as he did not like oxbow. And if he doesnt like mazuri what should i do? He is acting otherwise normal as previously stated despite also refusing hay. We are switching hay aswell
 

JamaisVu

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If the only thing he's eating is treats, I would call the vet asap.

Even when sick, a lot of chins will still take treats...which, I get it. When my Kumo was sick and losing weight my first instinct was to get him to eat anything because I was so worried so I offered treats, but a vet is needed before the problem gets worse. Treats will not meet their nutritional needs and them eating only treats can make the problem worse, since they shouldn't have too many.

Not surprised he's picking the treats over the pellets. Chins are like children and it's like offering a plate of veggies with fries in the middle. If they fill up on the fries, they'll ignore the veggies.

Like I said, I totally understand the instinct to just get them to eat anything when you're worried, but if the chin isn't eating hay or pellets at all and it's been a few days, it's time for the vet.

How are his poops? That is often a better indicator of how much he's eating than you watching them.
 

NigelAndPeanut

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We cant see vet till 19th what should i do till then and his poops are tiny but getting bigger since he started eating treats
 

Jawramik

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The 19th is quite a ways away....I would really try to get him seen as soon as possible, even if it means going to a different vet who can get you in sooner.

You could try syringe feeding him, either with Critical Care if you have it, or if not, you can crush up some Oxbow pellets and mix it with water so it's a sort of paste and syringe feed him that.
 

Amethyst

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Update
Nigel had stopped eating his oat treats so we bought him some new food that had goji berries and rose hips mixed in just to try and get him to eat something while mazuri ships. He picks out the treats and avoids the pellets however im just happy hes eating. How should i ween him off of this diet onto mazuri. Hoping that he likes it as he did not like oxbow. And if he doesnt like mazuri what should i do? He is acting otherwise normal as previously stated despite also refusing hay. We are switching hay aswell
Giving only treats is bad enough for their health, if he is not eating you should not be giving ANY treats at all, if you give him treats when he refuses to eat his food you are teaching him that if he doesn't eat his pellets and hay for long enough he gets treats instead. Specifically big issues with the treats you are feeding though is, oats can cause gas, so they are starting to no longer be recommended as treats. If given it's best to limit them to just 2-3 oats a week at most if given at all. One sign, often the first sign, of gas is small poops, to treat that try infant gas drops, about 0.3-0.5 ml (20mg of simethicone per dose) every 8-12 hours, if it doesn't resolve in 24 hours though it's best to get the chin to the vet since it shouldn't take that long to resolve if it is just gas. You can also rub his belly to help get things moving and get him to run around which can help get the gut going too.
The goji berries are not as bad as raisins, but they are still high in sugar, they should be limited to only one per month, otherwise they can cause a lot of health issues. Especially if given multiple berries, the sudden sugar rush followed by the drop can cause seizures and even death.
The rose hips it's best to limit to one per week, or a small pinch of crushed a few times a week, too many can cause diarrhea, which can quickly turn to dehydration and death if not treated right away. So really none of those treats can be used to replace actual food, it's one thing to just give a single small treat at the start of noticing he isn't eating, just to make sure he physically can eat, it's another to just be feeding/letting him eat treats as his whole diet.

In case you are not aware (I know a lot of people believe what the pet store or non chinchilla knowledgeable vet told them or honestly believe since it has a chinchilla on the bag it must be safe for chins), a proper diet for a chinchilla is hay and a good quality pellet only diet, not treats, colorful bits, or other junk food mixed in. The pellets in junk/treat food filled foods are not nutritionally balanced, they count on the other things mixed in to make up for the lack of nutrients in the pellets themselves, so it's not a good idea to just feed the pellets from those foods even if you remove the treats, and in some cases the junk food is also blended into the actual pellets anyway. When giving a bowl of pellets and treats most chins will just pick out the treats and leave the pellets, they aren't smart enough to know that will cause health issues. The other part of a chins diet is hay, it adds much needed fiber to the diet for proper digestion, and is the primary way that chins wear down the molars since hay takes a lot longer to chew then pellets (more time chewing=more tooth wear). Ideally the chin should be eating a couple tablespoons (about 30g) of pellets and about a small handful worth of hay everyday. If your chin is not eating that something is wrong, they are very good at hiding issues and acting normal so you need to take all the little clues, not eating pellets or hay, small poops, and things like that, seriously since it means the issue has gotten bad enough that they can't hide it anymore.

As Jawramik mentioned, if he is not eating you will need to hand feed him, if he wont eat it you may need to burrito wrap him and force feed him. If he doesn't eat proper food, either on his own or force feeding, not just junk food, he will die. It would be best to get him to the vet to find out why he isn't eating though. Tell the vet that he is not eating anything at all, that way they realize it's an emergency and hopefully get you in faster. I could be a sign of a tooth issue, it could also be a sign of gas from getting too much oats or from not enough fiber.
 
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