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Q&A: Why Is My Chinchilla Constipated, and How Can I Help?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He works with dogs, cats, exotics, and livestock.

Constipation in chinchillas is extremely dangerous and can quickly turn into a medical emergency.

Constipation in chinchillas is extremely dangerous and can quickly turn into a medical emergency.

What Can I Do for My Constipated Chinchilla?

"I have a chinchilla that has not gone to the bathroom but was very active until 2 days ago. I gave her carrot, which may not have been smart. What can I do for her to help her go?" —Lety

Common Causes of Constipation in Chinchillas

What kind of diet has she been on? The most common cause of constipation in chinchillas is low fiber, like giving too much fruit or a diet of pellets. Sometimes just switching to a fibrous diet (like hay) helps them to start going to the bathroom normally, but if your pet has bad teeth or is stressed out, they might not want to eat.

When to Visit a Vet

However, these little guys cannot stand to be sick long and if this has been going on for two days, this should be considered a medical emergency.

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Read More From Pethelpful

There is a condition where the gut stops moving normally, and if your chinchilla does not receive medication and mineral oil to loosen things up, she might not survive. Sometimes they need fluids under the skin, an enema, or even surgery. (1)

Possible At-Home Remedies

If you cannot take your chinchilla to your local vet, I am not sure they are going to be okay.

The only thing you can do at home is give Laxatone, a lubricant that we give cats with hairballs (you can get it in most pet stores), and a liquid medication called simethicone (available in pharmacies without a prescription). The dose is not exact, but you can give about half a dropper-full every four hours. But again, it may be too late for a home remedy to save your chinchilla.

Source

  1. Johnson, Dan. How I treat gastrointestinal stasis in small herbivores (Proceedings), August 1, 2009. https://www.dvm360.com/view/how-i-treat-gastrointestinal-stasis-small-herbivores-proceedings

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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