Weight loss? I'm stumped

Amanda81

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Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
7
Hi everyone, I was wondering if any of you have ever encountered a situation like this and if you have any guidance for me. I'm sorry this is a bit long.

I have a 9 yr old female chin named Echo. She was a bit sick a few months ago. She first went in to see the vet on 5/15 because she wasn't pooping. They did tell me she was having some digestive distress - a small bubble - and gave me some meds and some just in case critical care. At the time Echo weighed 716g. The vet also mentioned it looked like one of her teeth might be growing to a point but didn't say anything further about it (made it seem like it wasn't a big deal at the time). They said there were no respiratory problems or any other problems as far as they could tell.

Echo hates critical care and I couldn't get her to really eat much of anything and she also hates taking meds. But I was concerned that maybe she might not be eating because of whatever might be going on with her teeth. I was concerned because she lost weight fast. She went back into the vet one week later on 5/22 to have her teeth looked at and was down to 650g. They put Echo under to give her a dental exam and the vet at the time said Echo's teeth actually looked perfect. She had also started pooping again so they said she might just need a little longer to bounce back. They said everything at the time looked good.

I kept watching Echo's weight the following week and it went down to 620g and I was worried. I talked briefly with the owner of forever fiesty chinchillas (who is lovely btw) to see if she had any advice and she recommended some of the supplement from her website. By time it arrived in the mail Echo finally started eating on her own again and her weight slowly started to rise back up. It was also recommended that I might start to transition her to another food because sometimes chins just get sick of their food. So Echo transitioned from Mazuri to Oxbow and really liked Oxbow. Weight went back up to about 650g and stayed there. But I had another concern because her fur got all messed up on her face from the meds because she would thrash about when I tried to give them to her. So the fur on the left side of her face first looked matted and then after a few days just kinda fell out. So I thought "oh great is this a fungus?" So Echo went back to the vet to be tested for ringworm on 6/16. Good news - no ringworm and Echo's fur started to grow back around that time. She weighed in at the vet at 649g and I asked about the weight and they said this might just be her new normal. I was just glad she's healthy and I decided to keep an eye on it.

Since Echo was back to business like usual, I didn't weigh her again until 6/28 and she weighed 619g. It was less than two weeks and she lost 30g. I felt like that was a lot. But she's pooping just fine, her activity level is fine, everything the vet told me is fine. Since she was losing weight I was wondering if maybe she wanted to go back to Mazuri so I started transitioning her back and it seemed like she was eating more (so now it's like a mix of Mazrui/Oxbow) so I thought she'd gain. I weighted her tonight and she was down to 609g. I'm really worried what will happen if she continues to lose weight and I'm even more worried that I don't know why she's losing weight when all of the typical issues have been examined. As far as I can tell Echo is feeling fine and she does eat, I watch her eat every day, she's just not eating enough to gain or maintain her weight. Does anyone have any experience with this - I appreciate any help - thank you!
 

Amethyst

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Are you weighing her at the same time everyday? Their weight can fluctuate (as much as 20g but normally only 5-10g) depending on if they just drank, ate, peed, or pooped, but should go up and down not just down. It does sound like something is wrong though, you say she is eating, but how much is she eating a day? An adult chin should be eating roughly 2 tb (or about 30g if you would rather weigh it) of pellets and a pile of hay about the size of the chin a day. I don't know what kind of supplement you got but if it's for increasing appetite it might be worth giving it a try. If not I know Fuzzies Kingdom has an appetite and weight gain supplement you could try. If she is still losing weight though I would give the vet a call and let them know there is still a problem.
 

Amanda81

Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
7
Thanks for your reply, Amethyst!

Yes, I am weighing her at the same time every day. Since she initially got sick with the digestive stuff, I haven't been able to get her to eat enough pellets. Even before she got sick, she never was at 2tbs. She was more like 11/2 on average I would say. Now she isn't doing even one, although there have been a few days she'd get up to one and I would think "okay, I have down what she wants for pellets" and then she would just neglect them again. Like this week there was definitely two days she ate a whole tablespoon but then yesterday it looked like she hadn't eaten any. Very inconsistent.

Hay on the other hand is a different story. Echo loves her hay, and definitely eats at least her body size a day, maybe a little more. But she has no issues with consuming hay and she ate a ton of it last night.

The supplement is very similar to the one you posted - like very similar ingredients. And she does love it - she doesn't get it in the same bowl as her normal food, I'll give it to her on a teaspoon and take the teaspoon out when she's finished. When I first got it I was giving her a teaspoon every day to help put on weight, but when her weight started to decrease again I cut her back to 3 times a week because I was afraid maybe she might lay off her normal food. I wonder if I should try every day again.

But other than that, I'm really not sure. I keep hoping running her around at night will spike her appetite but it doesn't seem to have an effect. Since she seems fine otherwise I'm just going to keep an eye on it for now, but if it goes below 600g I'm going to call over to her vet.

Thanks again for the reply!

Are you weighing her at the same time everyday? Their weight can fluctuate (as much as 20g but normally only 5-10g) depending on if they just drank, ate, peed, or pooped, but should go up and down not just down. It does sound like something is wrong though, you say she is eating, but how much is she eating a day? An adult chin should be eating roughly 2 tb (or about 30g if you would rather weigh it) of pellets and a pile of hay about the size of the chin a day. I don't know what kind of supplement you got but if it's for increasing appetite it might be worth giving it a try. If not I know Fuzzies Kingdom has an appetite and weight gain supplement you could try. If she is still losing weight though I would give the vet a call and let them know there is still a problem.
 

chinniesnyc

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
7
Poor Echo! I am sorry you are going through this.


I had a similar issue with my chin: had a little gas, hated critical care, and was losing about ten grams a day at one point. He dropped significantly in weight during his illness and recovery — similar to your girl. And it took him quite a while (a month or so if I remember correctly) to feel back to normal. He was over 700g before the scare and I was obsessively weighing him because I wanted to be on top of things. And I was driving myself crazy. One of the best pieces of advice I found from a breeder was not to obsess about weight when everything behaviorwise looked good. There was a good chance that the tummy upset, multiple trips to the vet, and stress of being grabbed and fed were all weighing on him. I needed to give him time.

Like your girl, he became a big hay eater after this. He used to be a big pellet eater before but I was popping down loads of hay under his nose when he was unwell and he took to it. I think this also contributed to him not being as heavy as before. He took about a solid year to gradually put on his weight again, but he’s never been as heavy as he was prior to the tummy upset.

I also think 30g may be a generous estimate for how much chins eat of pellets per day. It’ll depend on how much hay the chin eats, weight, weather, and activity to a certain extent. After the tummy upset, I’ve been weighing his food out and measuring every day. He always eats around 20-22 grams of food a day plus hay. You might want to buy a little kitchen scale to weigh her food...it can be hard to tell from just looking at it sometimes.

Long winded way of saying, I would keep an eye on her but I’d also give her some time to adjust. And stick to a super steady routine and the same food that she is currently used to. Her body has probably been feeling off, she’s been at the vets a lot ... unless she stops eating entirely or starts acting really oddly I would give her a little bit of time. Of course, if these things happen, vet would be best, but I don’t think recovery is as quick for some chins. I hope she bounces back! ❤
 

Amanda81

Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
7
Hi chinniesnyc,

Thank you so much for the thoughtfulness of your reply! It's comforting to be able to hear from someone with a similar experience. I'm so glad that your little guy made a good recovery. I do have a kitchen scale because that's what I've been using to weigh Echo. I've never weighed her food, just measured the pellets and I free feed her hay. I was thinking she might just need some more time with recovery, I'll continue to keep an eye on her. Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience with me and for the suggestions! :)

Poor Echo! I am sorry you are going through this.


I had a similar issue with my chin: had a little gas, hated critical care, and was losing about ten grams a day at one point. He dropped significantly in weight during his illness and recovery — similar to your girl. And it took him quite a while (a month or so if I remember correctly) to feel back to normal. He was over 700g before the scare and I was obsessively weighing him because I wanted to be on top of things. And I was driving myself crazy. One of the best pieces of advice I found from a breeder was not to obsess about weight when everything behaviorwise looked good. There was a good chance that the tummy upset, multiple trips to the vet, and stress of being grabbed and fed were all weighing on him. I needed to give him time.

Like your girl, he became a big hay eater after this. He used to be a big pellet eater before but I was popping down loads of hay under his nose when he was unwell and he took to it. I think this also contributed to him not being as heavy as before. He took about a solid year to gradually put on his weight again, but he’s never been as heavy as he was prior to the tummy upset.

I also think 30g may be a generous estimate for how much chins eat of pellets per day. It’ll depend on how much hay the chin eats, weight, weather, and activity to a certain extent. After the tummy upset, I’ve been weighing his food out and measuring every day. He always eats around 20-22 grams of food a day plus hay. You might want to buy a little kitchen scale to weigh her food...it can be hard to tell from just looking at it sometimes.

Long winded way of saying, I would keep an eye on her but I’d also give her some time to adjust. And stick to a super steady routine and the same food that she is currently used to. Her body has probably been feeling off, she’s been at the vets a lot ... unless she stops eating entirely or starts acting really oddly I would give her a little bit of time. Of course, if these things happen, vet would be best, but I don’t think recovery is as quick for some chins. I hope she bounces back! ❤
 

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