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  #1  
Old 05-14-2019, 08:16 PM United Kingdom
YorkshireChin YorkshireChin is offline
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examine I just adopted a 9-year-old chin!

Hi everyone! Apologies in advance for the long post.

Me and my boyfriend have just adopted a 9 year old chin 2 days ago. So far, so good - I wasn't expecting her to be so affectionate so soon, but she's been nuzzling our hands through the cage, and been quite playful, and even let me brush her after her dust bath this afternoon.

She's not pooping much - not noticed many (maybe 50 in 48 hours?) in her cage and haven't seen her poop. I know it's normal for stress to affect chins' digestive systems but I wasn't expecting her to be constipated for so long. She's also not eating much - she's nibbled a few twigs we've given her and I've seen her eating hay and her pellets but the food bowl doesn't seem to be going down much (her old owner also gave her tiny amounts of apple, which I know isn't ideal because of the high sugar, but I gave her a tiny bit this morning since it's her favourite and I want her to eat more). I want to phase out her food to put her on to Oxbow but I'm worried this change might put her off her food altogether. I'm hoping it will have the opposite effect, though!

We didn't want to change her cage too much in the first week of having her, since she's in a completely new environment, but when she arrived her cage only had a wooden box for her to sleep in and two wooden ledges! So we couldn't resist giving her this large edible log that she can run through, play on, and chew on. She absolutely loves it, and I can't wait for her to get more settled so we can give her the rest of the toys we've bought her.

A few more questions before we put them in her cage - we live in England, so it doesn't get incredibly warm, but sometimes in the afternoon it feels around 24 degrees (75 degrees to Americans!). We put an ceramic plate in the freezer as we thought that might be a good alternative to a cooling plate? Has anyone done anything similar?

Also, in the pet shop we were recommended a "lava ledge" for our chin to chew. We haven't put it in yet - I wanted to check it was safe on here, as I don't completely trust the pet shop - I feel like they generalise all small animals rather than considering their individual needs!

More questions: our chin has very dry ears. They look like they need some oil rubbed on them Is there anything we can do to immediately soothe them? Her last owner said she only had a dust bath around once a week, so I think it's something missing from her diet. Once we change her food hopefully it will clear up, but I wanted to apply something topically in the meantime. And also wanted to give her some vitamin supplements in her water, since she's been through so much the past few days. Can anyone recommend some good chin supplements?

One last question: after her dust bath this afternoon, we noticed she's been sneezing a lot! Once every 20 mins or so for the entire evening. It's so cute, but is this normal? I think it's just the dust, but I worry her immune system is down because she's stressed (another reason for wanting supplements). Is there anything to watch out for? Other than the sneezing and constipation she seems very lively and happy.

Sorry for all the questions! Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2019, 10:04 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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The not pooping is definitely causes for concern, a healthy chin poops about once every 30-60 seconds when awake. Stress can cause them to hold it, but it shouldn't least more then a day or so. If she doesn't start pooping soon, or if she starts acting not right, I would get her to the vet. More commonly stress can cause diarrhea not constipation though.

Most of those edible logs are not safe, unless it's made of chin safe wood. Most are made of mostly sawdust and honey, which is not good for them, like this one. Of course chins love them, they are like a big candy house, lol.

You really should keep the temp 20C or below, temps above that for more then a couple hours can cause heat stroke, and/or brain and organ damage, repeated exposure to high temps will shorten the chin's life. It's best to get a thermometer to go next to the cage so you can keep an eye on the temp, and get an AC if it really is that hot. They also need it to be below 50% humidity, ideally around 40%. Cooling tiles (most people use granite tiles) or a ceramic plate can help with added cooling, like if 24C is the hottest it ever gets and only for a couple hours. Then switching out tiles/plates every half hour or so (switching as soon as the tile or plate warms up) until the temp drops back down is ok. Or for after running around for added cooling in an already cool room. Also if you put them in the freezer it's best to let them sit a minute then wipe it off any condensation that forms, you don't want your chin getting wet.

Lava ledges are great, but a good amount of chins chew through them quickly, like sometimes over night, so keep that in mind, they are safe but can get expensive. Also make sure you regularly check the bolt, they are known to get loose over time or come loose. A little glob of non toxic school glue (like Elmer's) fixes them.

I don't know if you can get it over in the UK but Bag Balm works great on dry ears and feet. If you can't get that try just using some vitamin E oil on the ears. Take a gel cap and poke a hole in it, squeeze a small amount out and rub it into her ears.

It's best not to add anything to the water, it can put a chin off drinking and that is dangerous since they drink so little as it is. It can also cause the water to start growing stuff if not change every day. Unfortunately without knowing what she may be lacking it's impossible to know what supplement(s) to give. You can easily throw the whole body out of balance if you start trying to supplement blindly. It's best to go to the vet and get tests done to know what needs to be given. Or simply get the chin on a good balanced diet and see if things improve on their own.

It's not uncommon for a chin to sneeze after a dust bath, they can get some dust up their nose sometimes and sometimes sniff it up again off stuff in the cage. I would watch for excessive sneezing (more then a couple in a row) especially with any nasal discharge, as well as coughing, wheezing, watery eyes, or noisy breathing. Any of those signs could mean a respiratory infection and needs emergency vet care.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:16 AM United Kingdom
YorkshireChin YorkshireChin is offline
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Yeah I'm hoping she starts pooing more and more - like I said she is pooing, but not nearly as much as I've read chins do. So I'll keep an eye on her. She's very lively though, so at the moment I'm not too worried about a deeper problem.

I'll leave off on the vitamins for now, then, and have a look at Bag Balm! I wonder if just normal petroleum jelly would work, since that's all Bag Balm seems to be. Thanks for the recommendation!

Thanks for the heads up on edible logs! The one we have is actually made of compressed timothy hay, though, not unsafe sawdust.

We've got a thermometer set up actually, which is why I'm not too worried yet! We've also got plans to move her into our second bedroom in June, when the weather gets hotter, since there is less sun in there and it's a lot cooler.

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:23 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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Bag balm also has antiseptic in it, so it is more beneficial then just plain petroleum jelly. If the skin is cracked at all you want to make sure nothing gets in and causes an infection while it's healing.

After thinking about it, if you really want to try supplements I would go with something like the broad spectrum supplement sold on Fuzzies Kingdom. They are in the US though so shipping may be pricey. If you want to go that direction though, you could also contact the Fuzzies Kingdom owner and see what she suggests.
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