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Constipation


Debbie

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Constipation in my opinion should be regarded as a condition that does require prompt treatment.

Main Symptoms are:

Small, dry, scant droppings.

Thin, curved droppings.

Few droppings or no droppings at all.

Lethargy. Lack of appetite. Abdominal pain.

Possible Causes

Dental problems that mean the chin is not eating enough fibre.

Unsuitable diet lacking in fibre.

Illness.

Bloat.

General treatment should begin immediately. But in acute cases veterinary advice is recommended (as always).

For mild cases a little syrup of figs can be given. 1ml twice a day - and an improvement should be noticed by the next day.

Probiotics (from vets/suppliers) in the drinking water is also useful.

A little extra exercise may also help.

Ensure that the chinchilla is drinking well and is fully hydrated.

The latest thinking is to avoid giving anything too sweet (although syrup of figs is the exception) - as sugary treatment (such as pineapple juice) in some rare cases can cause bloat to develop in a constipated chinchilla.

If you wish to get the same effect as pineapple juice - but without the sugars - then try giving bromelain powder (from health food shops) in the drinking water. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme (an enzyme that digests proteins) and this can especially be useful if the constipation is caused by post-partum gastric stasis.

Strong laxatives should only be given if you are certain that the chinchilla is not suffering from a blockage or intersusseption. This WILL require a veterinary examination to be sure.

If the chin is free from a blockage - you can also try medicinal liquid paraffin. 1ml twice a day is usually effective - and once again an improvement should be noticed by the next day.

Do not give liquid paraffin for more than 2 days - as the gut can become immune to its effects.

Do not give castor oil - as this is harmful to a chinchillas digestive tract.

If no improvement occurs after 48 hours - or the chinchilla is showing signs of abdominal pain - then seek urgent veterinary advice.

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