Skinny Ricky - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
Pet Health Concerns Post here if you are in need of a response regarding a pet health question. Medical advice cannot be given, only previous personal experience. (Archived since 5-20-08)
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2002, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy Skinny Ricky

I've asked before, but I think this is getting to emergency levels. Here's Ricky's weights for the last 3 months;
1/2... 532.98g
1/11... 530.15
2/1... 501.8
3/19...416.75

He's been to the vet 2z in the last 2 weeks b/c he's been having soft poos and he's been on sulfatrim and benebac for about 10 days. Does anyone have any idea what might be going on, I can feel all his bones and theres no fight left in him. I don't think he's eating, he won't even take treats from me!! Any one?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-20-2002, 12:01 AM
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First of all, if he's not eating, you need to make a mush with crushed pellets and baby food, and feed it to him with a syringe.. then you need to get him to the vet ASAP and TELL them SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!!!!!
I will try to find you more info..
 
post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-20-2002, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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I forgot to mention that the vet prescribed 5 more days of the sulfatrim yesterday, should I keep giving it to him? It seems to me that if it was going to do anything, it would have by now. All I can think is that maybe it's a tooth problem, his front teeth look fine, but I can't tell about the back ones.
Also, he seems to be leaking urine, not peeing on me, but dribbling when I hold him.
It looks like he might have eaten a bit of his food (the vet gave him a b 12 shot yesterday to increase his appetite). What type of baby food should I use, and how much should I try to feed him? Thank you!

Last edited by Becki; 03-20-2002 at 12:24 AM.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-20-2002, 01:16 AM
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Not eating - monitor food intake carefully especially hay. If the intake drops please get the chinchilla checked as teeth could be causing the problem.
Weight loss - This is the most striking sign, often missed as the chinchilla is a fluffy animal and this can hide the large amount of weight which can be lost. Remember to check your chinchilla regularly and if concerned he/she should be examined by a veterinarian.


A steady or very quick loss of weight always is alarming as far as it has nothing to do with birth. In most cases the reason for a weight loss is a disease, and how serious it is can only be stated by examining the animal in question. The symptoms of infectious diseases or trouble in the gastrointestinal tract are very similar, so a detailed diagnosis can often only be made after having examined the excrements and, if necessary, having made a blood count. On this site I would like to name a few points that can give you some hints to make a diagnosis first. You should read these points to be able to tell the vet about them if he asks, as without any information about your pet the vet will be stuck; he is not able to know your pet as well as you should do. 1. What does the weight curve of the past few days look like? As soon as you notice a loss of weight you should weigh your chinchilla every day in order to see how much weight your animal loses every day. Do not wait longer than three days before going to a vet if your chinchilla loses weight every day. 2. Have you treated your chinchilla yet??? With appetite stimulants like delicacies or special vitamin preparations?? If you have done something to stop the weight loss or to support a gain of weight, please tell the vet what you have given. 3. Does the chinchilla eat enough or does the chewing last longer than normal?? This is also an important question as the animal may have a teeth anomaly or it could have something between its teeth (hay, a little corn). 4. What do the excrements look like?? The size and the colour are important; perhaps there is diarrhoea?? 5. Does the chinchilla behave normally or can you see that it is in pain?? If a chinchilla is in pain, it writhes with pain or presses the abdomen onto the floor. 6. Does the chinchilla have much stress? For example when being put into another cage, because the partner has died, by giving birth, by a lot of visitors etc. All these things can cause a reluctance to eat or directly to a loss of weight. 7. Has the kind of food been changed?? Was the food bad, perhaps too old?? A change in food can also lead to a weight loss, and old food can contain mould that we are not yet able to see. Another possibility is the loss of vitamins in old food, which must not be underestimated. 8. Is the cage cleaned regularly or has a too high concentration of ammonia formed that has made the chinchilla ill? 9. Also indigestibility after having bought new cupboards or cushions can lead to a loss of weight, the chinchilla may react on a certain cloth in these things. 10. Have you got a new animal, and perhaps it was not healthy??? All these questions can be hints for finding the causes, but a diagnosis cannot be made by them alone. You can only assume something, but you do not have a definite diagnosis. Not every weight loss must hide a serious disease, there are also weight losses that have obvious causes and they can be controlled very quickly and wellSource
 
post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-20-2002, 01:18 AM
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switch to alfalfa and grind up pellets and some calf manna and mix with baby food (fruits seem best, oddly enough) into a soft mush and get your animal to eat it. Weight loss is dangerous. If your chinchilla's weight drops below 14 ounces (400 Gm), your chinchilla is in danger of failure to thrive and needs to be fed frequently. Stay in close contact with your vet here, as this is probably a major problem.

Hope this helps?


I do about a tblspoon of crushed pellets to half small jar of baby food (Mine like pears)

I would also give him some pedialyte, to make sure he is not dehysrated. you can do this with a syringe as well or in an extra water bottle
 
post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-20-2002, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question

It seems like after the water fiasco last week (he was without water for 2 days) he might not be drinking? I have seen him drink, but only right after I realized what happened and gave them thier bottle back. On the other hand, he's been slowly losing wieght and its just now starting to get to where I can feel a big difference. I'll give him water out of a syringe to be sure, but do you think that could have anything to do with it?
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-20-2002, 02:06 AM
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It could deffinately contribute, but I really think he has an infectious disease.

you need to give him PEDIALYTE, which will resotre his electolites. This is VERY important. If he is dehydrated, normal water will not act fast enough.

If you absolutely CANNOT get pedialyte tonight, you could try a SMALL amount of Gatorade until you can get the pediyalite tommorow, but out 7 - 11 here carries the pediyalite in their small health care section, so check first
 
post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-20-2002, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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The more I think about it, I don't think that he is dehydrated, his urine is clear and has no noticable odor, I know that with people this is a pretty good sign that there is enough water intake, how about with chins? You said infectious disease, do you have anything in particular in mind? He was with his son (11 weeks old) untill earlier today, and about a week and a half to 2 weeks ago, the whole family was together! They are all eating and drinking and acting fine though
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-21-2002, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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CT, you can't throw words like "infectious disease" out there and then leave me hanging, what do you suspect?

Today at 4pm, Ricky was down to 399g and shaking horribly, but I got him to take some pedialyte and he stopped shaking and perked up a tiny bit. At 7pm, he weighed in at 413g, but he was shaking again, so I gave him more pedialyte and it stopped. He seems to like the pedialyte though he won't take much at a time, but he will not swallow the baby food/pellet mush...he just sits there with it in his mouth until I give up and fish it out (I'm so scared of choking him!).
I called the vet to bawl them out for not running any tests and telling me that he was doing better (they said that he was 499g monday but there is NO WAY he lost 100g in 2 days!) and all they could tell me was to get him to drink something, pedialyte if possible and to try to force feed him....WELL SH*T, I FOUND THAT OUT FOR FREE AND WAY FASTER! So, it looks like I'm going to give him pedialyte and try the food every 2-3 hours tonight. I am so scared for him, I can feel all his bones, he's cowering in the bottom of his cage, I haven't seen a poo in days, and his poor little bottom is all crusty
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-21-2002, 12:41 AM
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OMG he is Constipated too?

I am really worried Becki.....

You NEED to take him to another vet ASAP!!!

As far as infectious diseases go, it could be anything! it also could be something as simple as his teeth! There is absolutely no way I can diagnose

I really really want you to get him to another vet ok? this is soo not good, constipation can kill overnight let alone in several days!
 
post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-21-2002, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well, 10pm feeding went pretty well, he was back to 408g (seems he's peeing or something, he went down 5g in the last 3 hours), but he took about 4-4.5mL of pedialyte, and then another 2.5mL of pedialyte with a tiny bit of the mush mixed in, he was 419.6 when I put him back in his cage. He was shaking again when I took him out, so I think I'm going to give him more every 2 hours. Does anyone know how much fluid I can give him without hurting him, should I just give him as much as he will take?
I don't know if he's constipated so much as he just doesn't have anything in him to form poos. I was feeling his stomache and it feels full(kind of odd on his poor skinny little body), but not hard or tight or hot, any of those would be an indication of constipation wouldn't it?
I've never needed any other vet, so I have no Idea where there might be one I would trust, but I'll go look around online right now. I will not take him to an afterhours emergency vet unless they specifically treat chinchillas, I think he feels safer here, and I'm pretty sure getting just as good if not better care(sad but true).
Thank you so much for your help and concern CT! Everyone keep your fingers crossed for the little guy, I'll keep you updated.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-21-2002, 02:33 AM
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Please do keep us posted. Give him as much fluids as you can get into him Just not to fast so he doesn't asperate it , Sometimes, if you rub their belly after they've had a bit, and try again, you will get farther...
 
post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-21-2002, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks CT, I hadn't thought of rubbing his tummy, I tried it this last time and it seemed to work. Ricky seems to be staying around 419g, and at 2 hour intervals he isn't shaking like he was, so it's looking a little better. I'm gonna go grab an hour of sleep (ugh!), be back in the morning/afternoon with an update.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-21-2002, 01:44 PM
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Ok, also do you have a heating pad you could slip under his cage? May help?

(Have to thank Sassy for alot of this advice..... She's helped me through afew tough ones.)
 
post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-21-2002, 02:20 PM
 
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He needs some yogurt to help restore the natural bacterias in his tummy, I don't know what kinds you can get there my chinnies fav is the strawberry banana by dannon, give him about 2 cc's right away. The yogurt will help him poo. You should give him the yogurt about 1-2 hrs after his meds. (preferably 2 times a day)
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