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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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Eating large amounts, loosing weight.

Our chinchilla (9 years) is just getting over a sinus infection. It was a long battle, and when she started eating again she weighed in at about 425g. She is now eating voraciously and still loosing weight.

We gave her strawberry yogurt for a few days after her antibiotics were done, but once it gave her some diarrhea we discontinued it. In the last 3 days she has eaten a few pellets, several handfuls of alfalfa, a 10" carrot (ALL of it), some oats and whatever else is in a handful of the intensive care supplement we ordered for her. She seems to be drinking just fine, the water level in her bottle recedes and we see her drinking. She dropped below 400g this morning.

She is so hungry she is FRANTIC at the side of her cage. Every time we walk by she presses her face through the bars so hard it worries me. After so many weeks of her not eating and being very inactive I can understand that she would be hungry, but since she is SO hungry and not gaining weight I'm very worried. We have a call into the vet, but it’s early in the morning here.



We have let her out to run around, and she is very active, in her cage and out. She does not act sick, however she is bouncing back and forth between diarrhea and constipation, which based on her diet lately, I can't say that I am surprised. I really don't want to take any food away from her since I am just ecstatic she is eating, but I need her to eat the right things and feel satisfied.

Anyone else have this issue? We are picking up some Pedialite this morning... Do I just get the clear Pedialite liquid?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 11:56 AM
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I would look into getting some Oxbow Critical Care. It's high calorie and designed for herbivores. Your vet can order it or call Oxbow and I think have it shipped to you (don't quote me on that). The varying diet is hard on her digestive system, as you've mentioned. Critical Care also has probiotics in it to help rebuild the balance that the antibiotics may have disrupted.

What kind of pellets is she on? What kind of hay does she have?

I'd probably pass on the pedialyte myself, just because it's high in sucrose which could further upset the balance in her GI tract. If she's drinking water, I wouldn't think she'd need the added hydration but ask your vet.

Talking with your vet about where to go from here is the best plan, really. They know her better and can better advise you. Speaking from personal experience, Critical Care, high quality pellets and high quality hay are what helped one of my chinchillas regain weight and get back to normal when he was very sick.

Stephanie

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 12:13 PM
 
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Goodluck. I have no real advice. Maybe she is just starving?? When I get sick I don't want to eat at all then when I feel better it is like I cannot eat enough. Maybe her body is just trying to get back all the lost nutrients?

The only thing I can think of is Hunchback? The symptoms are extreme emaciation, drooping neck, and stiff back when the animals sits. You can ascertain progressive emaciation on a kitchen scale: even if the animal is eating, a weight loss of about .75 ounce to 1.5 ounce (20 to 40g) per week is cause for alarm. The possible causes for Hunchback is a symptom of chronic illness such as illness such as liver damage or intestinal inflammation due to improper living conditions, especially improper feeding.

Treatment: Have the veterinarian determine the cause of the illness. Perhaps the animal can be helped by modified, proper feeding program.



I don't know if I will be helpful at all. I would just get his furry tush to the vet! they will know way more than me, I am sure. I don't know if chinchilla's can get a tape worm, but perhaps he/she got something from the food you were giving it to try and nurse it back to health? It could be a parasite, so I would see the vet and get a fecal test and float to be sure. Goodluck

Sorry for the rambling.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'll try flattening her diet.

No hunch back on her. Very active and sits the same as she always has. She hunches over her food when she stands on her hinds and eats, but I'm assuming what you are talking about will be pretty evident when I see it. I will flatten her diet out and get some Critical Care and see what happens. I feed her KayTee pellets for Chins and Alfalfa. Last time I bought her food I got the Kaytee pellets with the extra bits in it that are supposedly good for thier teeth. She has been loosing weight regularly for a long time now, but sick and taking antibiotics I would expect that since she was not eating.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 01:30 PM
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Personally, I would very slowly introduce a better brand of pellets. Mazuri is probably the best you can get in pet stores, though I prefer Oxbow. I'm not a fan of Kaytee at all. I feel the same way about their hay and would order some alfalfa and western timothy or even some oat and brome hay from Oxbow. (http://www.oxbowhay.com) The varying hays could help encourage her to eat more.

Hailey mentioned a good thing - you may want to have the vet check for Giardia. It's often hard to see on a direct fecal but they make SNAP tests for it now.

You say she had a sinus infection. Have her teeth been checked for overgrowth? (I'm speaking to molars, which requires a vet exam and scope to see inside her mouth, often x-rays.)

Getting some capsules of acidophilus from GNC or the like and sprinkling them over her food may not be a bad idea either.

Stephanie

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Teeth.

The vet did check her teeth with the scope and said they are flat and fine with no occlusion. I will get some better pellets and maybe she will like those better.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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I agree....ditch the Kaytee!
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