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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2004, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Milk Thistle

As many of you may know, I have two chinchillas who suffer from idiopathic epilepsy, Maureen and Muad'dib. Maureen has been having seizures since 1999 with her last bad episode of seizures in 2000. (A single seizure every 4-6 months is the norm, but she has had two episodes where she had seizures every 5-10 minutes for hours, the last of which was in 2000.) Well, last week, her son Muad'Dib had his first prolonged episode, seizing on and off for 2 hours. Of course, by the time we got to a vet that would treat him, he was fine. So on Friday I took him to his regular vet for blood work to rule out vitamin deficiency, lead poisening, or any treatable causes of seizure.

For reference, I brought in a couple of Maureen's CBC from 2000. So all was pretty much as expected. NO nutritional problems or high levels of poisen. His electrolites, particularly his potassium were a little out of wack, but that is probably a result of having seizures more than a cause. The main issue seems to be with two of his liver enzymes (I don't have their names with me at work, if anyone is interested in the specific enzymes, I'll post them tonight.) For Muad'dib, one was a little high was one was 10 times higher than it ought to be. For Maureen's blood work, one was normal and and then one that was high for Muad'dib was a little high for her. (Standard values were given by both labs and were quite similar.) To that end, the vet has suggested that both suffer from some metabolic problem, which is not severe enough to cause frequent seizures or cause them to loose weight or quality of life.

The vet specializes in traditional medicine and even does acupunture. They suggested giving both chins milk thistle on their raisins. I looked it up, and it is supposed to promote liver health, but I have never heard of it before. Have any of you?

I'm going to give it a try, but I don't think it will do much. If their seizures increase in frequency, I will discontinue it, if not, what the heck. Any opinions?

Patti

Back in NC again! (Army wife and proud!)
Chinnies: Maureen, Max, and Muad'Dib
Cats: Daphne (who says, I only play with mousie toys with a string tail and a bell.)
And introducing: Tasselhof and Kittira (Hubbie's childhood cats, who are 10 and 9 repectively)
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2004, 10:58 AM
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Elvis was thought to have high liver values when he was recovering from his neuter. We discussed both milk thistle and dandelion, both of which my vet was ok with using. Just watch and make sure Muad'dib is getting enough water and staying hydrated.

Milk thistle is commonly used and I've not heard of any detrimental effects. I would give it a shot, Patti. Keep us posted, ok?

Stephanie

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2004, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jade. I don't seem to have a problem getting my little guys to drink, so hopefully all will go well. What I really want to know is where they get these 'typical levels' from.

I'm just releaved that this isn't the typical chinchilla liver problem (usually caused by feeding the wrong food) where they get sick, loose a lot of weight, and die a really long and painful death. My two are fighters and it looks like they will be with me for a long time.

Patti

Back in NC again! (Army wife and proud!)
Chinnies: Maureen, Max, and Muad'Dib
Cats: Daphne (who says, I only play with mousie toys with a string tail and a bell.)
And introducing: Tasselhof and Kittira (Hubbie's childhood cats, who are 10 and 9 repectively)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-2004, 09:56 PM
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Just a note: Low potassium can aggravate seisure problems.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2004, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks chinhappy. The vet and I were thinking his electrolites were all out of wack, because he'd been having seizures so much that night, but that could have certainly been a cause too. HOwever, Maureen didn't have any pronounced electrolite imbalances.

Just as a note, I lick the raisins and put the milk thistle powder on them by rolling them in it. Maud'dib views them with suspician, but I usually get him to take 1 or 2. Maureen, being uncharacterisitically nonfinicky, eats her 1 or 2 pretty well. Every once in a while, Max grabs one from them, but that shouldn't hurt him. I can't tell much on this little amount of time, but Maureen is acting 2 again, zipping around like a crack baby. We'll see. $20 for 100 pills is cheaper than $250-$350 for the emergency vet and follow-up.

Patti

Back in NC again! (Army wife and proud!)
Chinnies: Maureen, Max, and Muad'Dib
Cats: Daphne (who says, I only play with mousie toys with a string tail and a bell.)
And introducing: Tasselhof and Kittira (Hubbie's childhood cats, who are 10 and 9 repectively)
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2004, 02:48 AM
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Hi Patti,
Just a sort of off topic, but not really question...Which vets are you using here in town? Who is your regular chin vet and who did you go to for emergency? I know a lot of vets here in town say they know chinchillas, but I just want some feedback from another Fayetteville Chin Owner

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
Bunny Mom to Dutchie
Plain ole Mom to Zach, Brandon and Connor!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2004, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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I take all my critters to Academy in Fayetteville. For the emergency, I used a small animal clinic in Cary; however, it turns out there is an avain and exotics ER in Raliegh.

Sorry, I was out of town for a couple of days looking at houses in MO. My husband reported that my chins were jumping from his chest to his head and back when he played with them.

Patti

Back in NC again! (Army wife and proud!)
Chinnies: Maureen, Max, and Muad'Dib
Cats: Daphne (who says, I only play with mousie toys with a string tail and a bell.)
And introducing: Tasselhof and Kittira (Hubbie's childhood cats, who are 10 and 9 repectively)
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