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What is normal weight fluctuation in a chinchillla?

JamaisVu

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Jan 7, 2012
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Disclaimer: I know I am likely overthinking/overinterpreting things since I just lost my other chin, but just want to make sure.

Hello again!

I've been weighing Susu every couple of days this past month just to monitor how she's doing with the loss of her buddy. She's a big girl (has been above 700g for as long as I've had her). When I weighted her in late November she was around 750g. Since then she's mostly weighted in the 760s range, but the past 2 weights (yesterday and about a week ago) she weighted in at 743g and 737g. Would this be considered a normal weight fluctuation?

Just as an fyi: I haven't noticed any other changes in her eating/pooping/activity patters other than this slight weight loss. If anything, she has seemed to perk up and be more active in the last week and finally regained interest in toys and playtime.

Thank you to all you wonderful people in this forum for answering my constant questions these past few weeks. You've been a huge help.
 

Amethyst

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Are you weighting at the same time every time? 10-20g weigh fluctuation is still within normal. The stomach and bladder can each hold about 5-10 g for example, so they just ate, drank, or peed that can effect their weight. However the weight should be going up and down, not just down, so I start paying closer attention if they have lost more then 20 g and are continuing to lose. If she has been more active that could also explain a bit of weight lost too, burning off a bit of fat if she was overweight before.
 

JamaisVu

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Are you weighting at the same time every time? 10-20g weigh fluctuation is still within normal. The stomach and bladder can each hold about 5-10 g for example, so they just ate, drank, or peed that can effect their weight. However the weight should be going up and down, not just down, so I start paying closer attention if they have lost more then 20 g and are continuing to lose. If she has been more active that could also explain a bit of weight lost too, burning off a bit of fat if she was overweight before.
I do try to weigh roughly around the same time every night

The vet did say she was a bit overweight and wanted her to lose some weight in her last wellness visit, so that could be part of it.

Agreed that the part that made me a bit nervous was the consistent loss, despite her behavior picking up.

I guess what I'll do is request an appointment for a general checkup maybe a month from now or so (since she'd be due around March, anyways) and continue monitoring her weight. If it continues on a downhill trend or if I see anything else that seems off I'll request to move it up to as soon as possible.

I hate that she'll be all alone at the vet, but I don't expect covid protocols to change anytime soon. :(
 

JamaisVu

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Jan 7, 2012
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Update on this: since my vet isn't currently seeing "normal" visits and only emergencies/injuries/sick animals at the moment, I have continued to track her weight carefully.

It seems that I was just unlucky and kept catching her on low dates. While she may have lost a bit of weight, it seems it's closer to 10g or so, which isn't something that I find concerning. Her weight over the last 3 weeks has been steady, fluctuating between 740g-750g and she's been pooping consistently between 7g-10g every day, so it seems her food intake is very similar each day.

She also finally seems to be more eager to play with toys and myself, so I think she's finally coming around from mourning. Last night she was having a party of 1 at 1:30 a.m. and when I went to check on her (because of all the noise from the wheel) she decided to jump on my shoulder and groom my ears and pull on my earrings for a good 10-15 minutes. 😅

So I have hope she'll make a full comeback into the sassy little chin she's always been.
 

Idgie

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Jan 30, 2009
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Funny, I wouldn’t consider 700 grams a “big girl” at all. (Ripley is over 900!)
It’s easy to get caught up in weighing them all the time. Their weight does fluctuate by 20g. If you are feeding them healthy food & very minimal treats and they are pooping, then I think it is best to not weigh so often. Just makes you crazy lol.
Sounds like she’s just fine 😀
 

Pixie1984

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Feb 18, 2017
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Honestly, as above I wouldn’t bother weighing as much unless there’s issues with poop or not eating. Especially if her overall behaviour has been pretty much normal. All chins that have lost a cage mate will be quieter & less active due to them not having another chin around to bounce off of so to speak, but that’s normal & nothing to worry about.
Unless you’re noticing visible fat deposits/rolls around her head & neck, then your chin is not overweight. They can be deceptively large under all that fur, but it’s very rare they actually over eat. Of my 6 girls, 4 of which are breeding girls, not a single one is under 870g & definitely not overweight.
Size is primarily a genetic factor, so I really wouldn’t look too much into being told she’s overweight if she’s eating everything she should & not overindulging in treats. It sounds like you’ve got a perfectly happy, normal chin.
 

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