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Author Topic: Lethargic, not eating and leg problems?  (Read 790 times)

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PikoriDelurio

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Lethargic, not eating and leg problems?
« on: November 05, 2015, 07:20:47 AM »

My chinchilla has been lazing around her cage a lot lately, and when I went to investigate I noticed that she had urine all over her private area. I immediately called a vet (because it's very hard for me to go to one in person), and she told me she might just have low blood sugar, and to just clean her up. I washed her with warm water and then blowdried her fur. At the request of the vet, fed her 2 tablespoons of sugar water (ratio 2 tablespoons of water, 2 teaspoons of sugar). This seemed to help for a day or so. Then I noticed her dragging her back legs and having trouble climbing to the second level of her cage, but then she'd jump right up and walk almost normally again, before sitting back down and slumping to her side. On top of all this, she seems to not be drinking as much water and refusing to eat anything but hay and the treats from her pellets (VitaNature brand). She won't eat her normal treats either (cheerios or dried pasta noodles). Chili Bean is less than a year old, and I'm a first time chin owner, is there anything I can do? Is she sick?

Thank you for reading
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GrayRodent

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Re: Lethargic, not eating and leg problems?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2015, 09:15:45 AM »

I am very sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with your pet chinchilla. I really don't want to upset you but I think the prognosis is poor for these kinds of symptoms. It sounds like your pet has been suffering from illness for some time. Usually chinchillas will hide problems until it is too late to save them. There are measures that I can recommend to monitor a chinchilla's health to detect sickness early.

Your pet needs to get a diagnosis ASAP. I don't think feeding sugar water was a good idea. Your pet needs a recovery diet such as Oxbow critical care if she is not eating properly. Stop giving treats and sugar. This can quickly cause bloat and fatal problems with digestion. Obtain recovery diet from your vet and syringe feeding instructions immediately. You may not have another day. You need to determine what the underlying cause of the anorexia is and get it treated.

I strongly suspect these are symptoms of malnutrition caused by anorexia that can include low blood sugar.  In many cases anorexia is caused by dental malocclusion which is somewhat common for chinchillas that have not been properly bred. Rodent's teeth grow constantly and when they are out of alignment (the faces of the opposite teeth don't completely cover (occlude) over each other) and this causes a number of severe issues. If malocclusion is diagnosed it cannot be cured but it can sometimes be managed with regular tooth filing, although it might not be worth it to do that. This must be done under anesthesia which is going to very risky for a pet in this condition.

There are other possible causes of anorexia as well including most kinds of infections. If antibiotics are prescribed be sure to monitor for antibiotic induced anorexia and be prepared to syringe feed at any time during the course of treatment even if your pet starts eating properly. Oral antibiotics can cause issues with the intestines that can be difficult to manage. Never stop a course of antibiotics until directed to by your veterinarian.

I think you should make an emergency vet appointment if you would like to save your pet. It may need to be hospitalized as well.

Diet is another thing to consider. Sadly, many diets sold and marketed towards chinchillas are inadequate and even poisonous to them. The best chinchilla pellets are alfalfa based and are very plain. Loose hay is actually the main part of a pet chinchilla's diet. Too many treats can also cause serious problems with chins.
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I'm a programmer not a chinchilla breeder. I learn by asking questions just like you.

BLS Chins

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Re: Lethargic, not eating and leg problems?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2015, 09:29:25 PM »

You need to get your chin to a vet ASAP and not the one you called. your chin should never be given sugary products. What you are describing is not a low blood sugar episode.  Mobility issues can be due to injury, neurological problems or infection. None of which you can treat at home. The discharge concerns me. She very well could have a pyo which is life threatening and would require surgery to save your chin. Its possible its just urine, in which case she could have a urinary infection. Please find a good experienced vet and get your chin seen sooner than later.
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BLS Chins
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PikoriDelurio

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Re: Lethargic, not eating and leg problems?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 05:29:00 PM »

You need to get your chin to a vet ASAP and not the one you called. your chin should never be given sugary products. What you are describing is not a low blood sugar episode.  Mobility issues can be due to injury, neurological problems or infection. None of which you can treat at home. The discharge concerns me. She very well could have a pyo which is life threatening and would require surgery to save your chin. Its possible its just urine, in which case she could have a urinary infection. Please find a good experienced vet and get your chin seen sooner than later.


thank you so much, while waiting for a reply I stopped feeding her sugar water and simply let her run around my bedroom more. Now she's back into (seemingly) perfect health, jumping around her cage and eating as much as she can shove in her mouth! However, I will be taking her to the vet soon just to be sure!
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