Won't eat Oxbow Critical Care, not eating much. Help!

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Pixie

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Hello everyone!

I think this would be qualified as an emergency. I'm giving my chin Judy the Oxbow critical care through a syringe and as of yesterday morning, she won't eat anymore of it and is eating very little pellets. Her appetite has decreased.

I took Judy into the vet on Friday because she was wet under her chin and was worried about teeth issues. (This vet is supposed to be a really good one as they specialize in exotic animals and rodents like chinchillas, ferrets, rabbits, rats etc.). They gave her anesthesia and found that she had spurs on her back teeth and they filed them down. It was causing irritation to the inside of her cheek. Luckily they did not have to pull any teeth. They said she did great and she should be fine. They sent me home with a pain killer, acidophilus, antibiotic (baytril), and the Oxbow critical care. She will take everything in the syringe except the Oxbow critical care now....well she doesn't like the antibiotic either, but that's easier to make her take it because its such a small amount.

She took the Oxbow critical care for a couple days but would eat less and less of it. I think Im doing everything right in syringe feeding her it...trying to take my time, put in little amounts in her mouth at a time. I tried to force her to take the Oxbow critical care tonight because she wouldn't eat any of it. It's too hard to force 10ml of the oxbow care into her. I hate it and she does too! She loves the acidophilus, so I tried mixing a tiny bit of it into the oxbow care and a dab on the end of the syringe, but she still won't eat it. I tried calling the vet several times today and it just kept going to their voicemail and they haven't called me back. I think I may just go in there tomorrow morning.

Any advice on getting a chin to take the Oxbow critical care? Why is she not eating? I was relieved that she didn't have any teeth pulled and thought everything would be fine. I know that because they are so small, they can lose too much weight when not eating hardly anything for 2 days. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

Gumby and Elmo

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Normal kind or flavored CC? I rmb my boy wouldn't take normal CC, I got him apple and banana flavor and had to force feed him, he wouldn't take any at all the first few times, I added a bit of unsweetened apple juice into it to make it more tasty. Maybe u could try that, or add a bit of molasses, just add a little bit though.
My boy was willing to take more after that, and I continued from there.
Good luck
 

Narcissus

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are you using the "burrito" method of wrapping her up? baytril cause a chin to lose their appetite completly, she is NOT going to want to eat. That is why it is called force feeding. it take time and patients. she needs to be getting 80ml-100ml per day broken up into smaller feedings through out the day. it is a slow proces, but you'll have to untill she starts eating on her own.
 

Pixie

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I'm thinking its the baytril that is causing her to not have an appetite. I brought her home from the vet Friday night and did not give her baytril until Saturday afternoon. She was eating out of her bowl and taking the CC in the syringe until Sunday morning, which then her appetite decreased. I'm going to call the vet again now and I will ask them about the flavored CC. They told me to give her a total of 30ml of CC a day, 10ml 3 times a day. It sounds like she should be eating more then that? Geez, I haven't even been able to do 10ml at one time for the last couple days. :(

I'm doing the burrito method, but I can't seem to get the syringe in her mouth to force feed. I keep worrying that I'm going to hurt her teeth. I keep trying to go to the side of the mouth, but her mouth is so small it's hard to get the syringe in there. Any tips? Thanks!
 

Stackie

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Baytril is a pretty strong antibiotic to be prescribed. It should be reserved for more severe infections due to the side effects it causes in chins. Was there an active infection or just irritation of the cheeks? Is it being used as a preventative? I would also ask the vet about getting her put on a less harsh antibiotic if they think she needs to be on one. TMS works great with chins, many take it with no problems and experience little to no side effects.

What pain killer did they give you? Some pain medications can also cause a lack of appetite.

If a chin is completely off their feed, I try to get at LEAST 60 mLs of CC into them a day, if not more. Some ways to increase the palatability is mixing in canned pumpkin. I also dip the syringe in infant simethicone as they seem to love the flavor. Essentials of Life made by Tanya is another alternative to CC - http://www.fuzzieskingdom.com/herbs/remedies/syringe-feeding.html

Another thing, sometimes less is more with chins. Have you tried feeding her without restraint? Sometimes when chins are burittoed they will fight and resist just because they don't like the feeling. I have found more often than not if I leave the chin be in their cage, they take the CC much more willingly. I just offer the syringe and they lap the CC right up.
 
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ticklechin

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Baytril is useless for dental infections on its own, it needs to be used with flagyl, and a antibiotic is not needed for a simple filing, a "premed" antibiotic should only be used on chins with active mouth infections or chins who have periodontal disease and have a chance of teeth falling out during the filing or the vet disturbing a pus pocket. If the vet really wants to use something or soft tissue was damaged during the procedure then something mild like TMS should be used.
 

Pixie

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Thank you all for the feedback. I took Judy into the vet this morning because she wasn't eating. She will be there all day as they will be feeding her since I couldn't get the syringe in her mouth to force feed her. I will be calling them shortly and Im writing a list of questions for the vet from the feedback you all have given me. She was taking the regular Oxbow critical care without force feeding the first 2 days after the anesthesia. Then her appetite declined rapidly after giving baytril and metacam. I'm assuming its the baytril that is causing her appetite to decline. She will voluntarily take the acidopholus and metacam through syringe. Should she be on pain meds and is metacam the best pain med? Also, she has developed thick mats of fur under her chin where she was drooling. Seems uncomfortable....I wonder what can help get the mats out? Thanks for the feedback!
 

Pixie

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They took her off baytril and metacam today and put her on Reglan to help her have an appetite. They also told me to pick up childs gas x because they said her tummy felt gassy. The vet was able to get under 20ml of CC in her today....I expected more since they had her all day and are professionals at this. They said it was a challenge to force feed her. I kept trying to get the flavored CC in her just now. I was able to squirt it in her mouth with a smaller syringe, but she spit out most of it. I got some in her, but not enough. :(. I was really patient, slow, and sang to her. She loves the Reglan and acidophilus and will take it voluntarily.

They originally gave her the baytril to prevent infection. The spurs on her teeth scratched the inside of her cheek and they didn't want it to get infected. I wish I would have joined this forum before I took her in last week. I wouldn't have given her the baytril or would have asked for something else.....I think she would have kept eating without baytril. Even though she's not eating much, they only recommended 30ml a day of the CC. I'm feeling a bit frustrated and Im at a loss of what to do except keep trying to force feed her. Anyone have experience of chins spitting out their CC?
 

ticklechin

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Metecam is fine, how long the chin needs to be on it depends on how deft the hand was of the vet doing the work, vets who truely know chin teeth chin trim what is needed where is needed and no more, vets who go in there willy nilly cause more harm than good and chin needs to be on metecam for awhile. I keep them on 7 days and then wean off and see how the chin does. As far as the chin of the chin goes, that needs to be kept clean and dry as possible, or the chin may develop dermatitis. I clean with warm water and Dawn soap, comb out the crud and blow dry on low as needed or at least every couple of days. I also put a brick covered by a sock sprinkled with dust on the lowest level of the cage, I found that most would wipe their faces on it to try to keep the drool off the paws. Dental chins chew squat so the sock is safe in the cage.
 

ticklechin

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They took her off baytril and metacam today and put her on Reglan to help her have an appetite. They also told me to pick up childs gas x because they said her tummy felt gassy. The vet was able to get under 20ml of CC in her today....I expected more since they had her all day and are professionals at this. They said it was a challenge to force feed her. I kept trying to get the flavored CC in her just now. I was able to squirt it in her mouth with a smaller syringe, but she spit out most of it. I got some in her, but not enough. :(. I was really patient, slow, and sang to her. She loves the Reglan and acidophilus and will take it voluntarily.

They originally gave her the baytril to prevent infection. The spurs on her teeth scratched the inside of her cheek and they didn't want it to get infected. I wish I would have joined this forum before I took her in last week. I wouldn't have given her the baytril or would have asked for something else.....I think she would have kept eating without baytril. Even though she's not eating much, they only recommended 30ml a day of the CC. I'm feeling a bit frustrated and Im at a loss of what to do except keep trying to force feed her. Anyone have experience of chins spitting out their CC?

How are you positioning the chin? What syringe are you using and what consistancy of the CC are you using? Here are a couple of my videos of handfeeding, see if any of what I am doing helps.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICgcpTg06kU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGryprGknXY
 

Pixie

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Thank you so much for posting the videos. I will definitely try putting her in that position this next feeding. Hopefully that will help her not spit it out. I worry about her choking on it with her in that position, but it looks like your chin does just fine. The syringe I was using is the one you are using in the video, but I switched to a smaller syringe last night as its easier to get in her mouth. I get anxiety when trying to force feed her as I worry she will choke or inhale the food as I read on the Internet that can cause more problems so I'm trying to ~breathe~ and relax and take my time. I hate force feeding, but I know I need to do it in order for her to survive. Thanks again for posting the videos! :)
 

Pixie

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Dawn, I can't thank you enough! You are a lifesaver. I was able to get 7ml in her just now because of the position I learned from your video. She can't spit it up when I hold her in that position. I'm working on the mats with my fingers, a little bit at each time. I scrape the CC that has dried on her fur with my finger nails to get it out. Then I try to wipe as much as I can when Im feeding her. What a mess that makes! I'm working on the mats with my fingers too.
 

Pixie

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So it's still challenging to feed her, and I would ideally like it to not be a struggle everytime. Im wondering if there is anything else I could switch too instead of using Oxbow CC. Maybe she doesn't like the taste of Oxbow? I'm thinking of trying Lifeline or the "Organic Essentials for Life Advanced Formula Syringe Feed Complex" that I've seen members on here talk about. Thoughts?
 

ticklechin

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I have had good luck with Lifeline, I mix it 50/50 with the CC and chins dig it. The Essentials for life can be used on its own, the Lifeline can't IMO.
 

Pixie

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Thanks Dawn! I'm going to order the Lifeline and The essentials for life. Also I was wondering about this. http://www.fuzzieskingdom.com/herbs/remedies/appetite-weight-loss-rabbit-chinchilla.html

Judy seems hungry and she is now picking through her pellets and breaking a few in pieces. I think she has nibbled a little bit on the Timothy hay. I'm wondering about trying a different pellet other then Oxbow? Any recommendations? I tried getting the oxbow pellets a little moist, but she still hasent eaten any as far as I can tell.

I'm also worried that because they didn't do X-rays when she was under anesthesia, that there could be something more wrong that they can't see looking into the mouth.
 

Pixie

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It doesn't look like she's pooping! If she is, its not very much. Vet told me to give her 0.5 ml of infants gas x every 12 hrs. Should I do it more often? I think that's why she doesn't want to eat. Her tummy feels big! Poor baby! Any advice? It's hard for me to tell if she's pooping because I have the care fresh bedding. I'm going to pick up fleece today. If I can get her digestive system moving then she will survive. Vet is closed today. Please give advice if you have any. I'm really worried about her. :(
 

Pixie

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She's pooping, but its very tiny....I mistaked it for food. I'm going to be giving her more gas x then the doctor recommended, but in little doses through out the day. Any recommendations? I'm massaging her belly as well and Im letting her out to run around more often. I'm also increasing the amount of CC she's getting. She's also not drinking water, but I am putting extra water in her CC because of that. So I have some questions...

1. How much gas x should she be getting?

2. Is there any side effects from gas x, can you give a chin too much? Anything to worry about? (She's only been on it for a day now.)

3. She's almost out of the acidophilus and I don't know if I can go to the vet in the morning to pick more up. Is there any other acidophilus I can pick up at the store?

4. Is there anything else I can do to improve her digestive system and get rid of the gas, help her eat and poop?

5. Any other foods or hay to try? I only have her on Oxbow CC, oxbow pellets, and Timothy hay. I'm going to pick up some alfalfa hay too today. Anything else?

6. Anything else I can do to increase her water intake?

If you have any ideas, please let me know! Thank you so much! Xoxo
 

becky12883

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There's some articles stickied at the top of the Health and Hygiene section about stasis. Hopefully they can give you some more tips.
 
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