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  #1  
Old 07-15-2019, 03:17 PM United States
Avaden Avaden is offline
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Default New chin owner: yet another poop post

So around a month ago I adopted my first chin. There were some hiccups with his diet around the start (with many websites advocating for daily fresh greens, mistakenly) which were quickly corrected after 3 days. His poops returned to normal for a while, before turning slightly soft a few days ago. Some are longer than they should be and can have a slight tear drop shape. They dry hard. Treat giving has completely stopped, and I have removed his pellets so he's on a hay diet.

He is currently eating Timothy Hay Natural, and Oxbrow chinchilla pellets (garden variety). I've removed any new toys, including a pumice stone square (which I doubt could be the cause) and a set of small animal woven balls. https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/tN4AA...KcF/s-l400.jpg

Behavior wise, he is still very active at night, and plays normally. There are no lumps on his belly, and he let's me touch it, his ears are regular in color, there's no discharge around his eyes, and he is still eating normally. The only difference is that he has been drinking a lot of water, possibly before the softer poops.

Is there anything else I should be doing? When should I start panicking and calling the vet?

Additionally, although he doesn't show any physical signs of overheating, could this be caused by the temperature being a few degrees too hot? I live in a farmhouse, so temperature can occasionally fluctuate. If this is the case, would cooled/frozen river rocks be enough to counter this?

Finally, I lived within range of the Earthquakes which hit California, so could these softer poos just be from stress? Thank you guys for your time and patience.
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2019, 11:33 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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The Oxbow Garden Select food is actually not good, you want the Oxbow Essentials (red bag). The garden one contains seeds, fruit, and veggies, which can all upset their gut. It also has more calcium, too much calcium can lead to bladder and kidney stones, and a lot of oats and other grain that can cause gas and bloat in chins. If the poop doesn't go back to normal in a few days on hay only or gets worse (wet poop, smelly, or no poop) then a vet visit is needed.

Chins need a low humidity, ideally 40-50% or lower, and a cool temp around 70F or below. Anything above 75F for more then an hour or two (or less the higher the temp is above 75F) can cause overheating issues. It's not always obvious when the heat has caused damage, but just like a human with a high fever, it can cause permanent organ damage that shortens the chin's life. Cooled rocks don't cool the air, and only do any good at all if your chin sits on them (not all chins will even if overheated). An AC is really the only way to keep the temp and humidity within safe comfortable levels in most of the world. If he is getting too hot that could maybe explain the increased thirst.

If he is getting stressed out by the earthquakes then yes, stress can cause soft poops in chins as well.
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:53 AM United States
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Thank you so much! So far his poops haven't changed, but it's only been a day. I also notice he only really likes to eat the hay heads from the hay? Most posts talk about how chins prefer the leafy stuff, but he tends to prefer the stems and heads, which could possibly be another issue? I'm not too sure.

With this in mind, what kind of Hays would you reccomend?
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:08 PM Canada
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Well different chins like different parts of the hay, most do prefer the leafy parts because it's softer and more flavor, but the stems are actually more fiber and tougher so better for wearing down teeth. So that is unlikely the cause. If you want to try to find a hay that is more stem and seed head you could try a company like Small Pet Select, that allows you to buy specific hay cuts, here is a quote from their site explaining the different cuts:

" 1st cutting Timothy hay is high in stem, low in leaf, high in fiber, and low in protein and fat. This makes it the perfect hay for chinchillas that need to lose a little pooch or chinchillas who have GI issues.
2nd cutting Timothy hay is the perfect balance for yourchinchilla. Hay that is both flexible in stem and leaf is great for their digestive systems and 2nd cutting Timothy hay has the perfect amount of fiber, protein, and fat. Itís really the gold standard.
3rd cutting Timothy hay is very soft, very green, and high in leaf. This means it has lower levels of fiber but is high in protein and fat. Itís great for chins that need to gain a little weight. "

Or you can simply take a closer look at the bags of hay at the store when you buy them to try to find more stem to leaf ratio. Although timothy hay is the most balanced, any of the grass hays are fine if your chin prefers them, like orchard, meadow, mountain, bermuda, brome, to name a few. You can also try mixing hays to see if that increases his desire to eat more. You can also mix in small amounts of grain hays, like oat or barley, or legume hays, like red clover or alfalfa, as treat hay.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:39 AM United States
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So, I took him to the vet, the ran tests for the usual and then gave me an anti bacterial and some endosorb for the diarrhea. Finished up the 3 day endosorb, which didn't get him back to normal, but got him back on the right track. When he finished it, I had to leave for a few days, but my brother said he had mushy poos. He put him back on it for a few days. He finished the antibacterial, and nothing changed. Just consistent softish abnormal poo. It's been around five days since he finished that, and I wake up this morning to his poos turning very loose. I have no idea what could be the problem. I've removed any remaining kiln dried pine bedding (had some in a bowl for him cause he liked to mess with them), his walmart bought "fruit flavored woodchews" that he would mostly ignore, and a hanging toy which looks like this: https://s7d1.scene7.com/is/image/PETCO/2152930-center-1?$ProductDetail-large$ . He has a wheel, a sterilized cooling rock (a. K. A. An igneous river polished rock that I heated and cleaned twice over) and a hide. He's got access to his hay and pellets, but I guess I'm going tot take the pellets out again if it does harden back up in a day. He's still active and eating like a champ and drinking eater. Runs on his wheel and grooms my hand. I can't really afford going to the vet again until I get my next paycheck. I have to be doing something wrong, but I'm not sure what. Vet said he looked very healthy minus the abnormal poos.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:53 AM Canada
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When you went to the vet did they do a fecal float test? It's basically a test to see if their is anything like parasites or anything in the poop. If you are giving you chin tap water another common cause of diarrhea in chins is giardia. It's a microscopic parasitic cyst that is commonly found in tap water, the safe level for humans is still too high for a chin. If that's the case you will need anti-parasitic from the vet to clear it up.
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Old 08-04-2019, 12:02 PM United States
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I believe they did, though I can probably call and double check. I also switched to bottled water right before the vet visit, although I know if he already had a parasite that wouldn't help.
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:02 AM United States
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Called the vet again, going to go in for a follow up, so hopefully I'll come back with good news.
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