How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Gary Your Own Question
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 19324
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
15010675
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Dr. Gary is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

hi, my chinchilla has diarrhea and can barely hold his weight.

This answer was rated:

hi, my chinchilla has diarrhea and can barely hold his weight. have been giving water through a syringe to avoid dehydration, he is less than 6 mo. old. just lost another chinchilla doing the same thing within hours. not sure what to do, no exotic pet vets around. he is showing the same signs as heat stress, but it is very cool, deffinetly not heat exhaustion
Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

I'm sorry to hear about your chinchilla. I am very worried about him as well. I find that we end up losing these guys when we see diarrhea and this degree of weakness. The cause is often difficult to determine, but it's likely some type of bacterial or viral infection. Sometimes it's due to diet if he's not on a good quality chinchilla food and hay.

I will typically treat these guys with IV fluids, Oxbow Critical Care feedings every 2 hours and antibiotics.

If you have a 24 hour ER vet around, I would use them. Most ER vets are comfortable treating exotics in life threatening situations.

If all you can do is supportive care at home, I would mix up some Critical Care and syringe feed him 5-10 mL every 2-4 hours. You can also give ~ 5 mL of water every 2 hours. If he seems cold, then try to warm up some water bottles or put warm water in some rubber gloves and use that to keep him warm. The other thing you can do is put some blankets in a dryer and wrap him up to keep him warm. Chinchillas will drop their body temperature when they are shocky.

I hope this helps give you some ideas, let me know if you have any other questions.

Dr. Gary and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you