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Dr. Christina
Dr. Christina, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 358
Experience:  Works at a veterinary teaching hospital to bring you the best.
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I have a female white-nosed coati. What does it mean if she

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I have a female white-nosed coati. What does it mean if she is making grunting noises and holding the end of her tail in her mouth? She is also holed up in her den box. If she comes out then it is only for a brief moment then she grabs her tail in her mouth and retreats to the back of her den box again.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Christina replied 1 year ago.

Dr. CMar :

Hello, my name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian here to try and answer your questions.

Dr. CMar :

Can I ask you a few more questions about Lola?

Dr. CMar :

I apologize we were unable to connect today. I will be back later today to try and speak with you.

Dr. CMar :

Some questions I have are: how big is her enclosure? what does her den look like? and is it on the ground or elevated? has she been eating normally? what does she eat? is there any way she could be pregnant? is she the only coati in the enclosure? do you have any wild animals around the enclosure?

Dr. CMar :

I will check back in later to see if I can help you and Lola.

Dr. CMar :

Until then, grunting is a normal way that coati's communicate. Sometimes they can grunt when they are on high alert or afraid. That she is hiding would go along with this as well. The other reason they can hole up is when they are breeding/pregnant.

Dr. CMar :

I strive for 100% satisfaction. I appreciate a positive rating. Please do not rate me unless you are satisfied with my service.

Customer:

Dear Dr. ,

Customer:

Lola is in a nice large enclosure. Her den box is located off the ground as I know they enjoy climbing and prefer to sleep well off the ground. She has been in this enclosure for about 6 months and been very happy there. Yes, there are other animals around her but she has not been disturbed by them and squeaks happily at me every time I am near. I am not sure as to whether she is spayed or not as she was a rescue and not much is known about her past. I do not know her exact age but am fairly certain she is on the younger side of the scale. She has been eating regularly but showed signs of being constipated and I was able to give her psyllium to try to alleviate the blockage a few days ago. There is no way that she is pregnant as she has been with me for over a year and I do not have a male coati for her to breed with. I do not think that there is anything that she could be as she has been quite happy. A friend said that she might be exhibiting displaced maternal instincts, since they knew that rats sometimes do this. Is my friend right? I love my little coati and she loves me. For her not to come to me when I approach worries me. If this is something that she might do while she might be in heat then OK, but if she is trying to tell me something I just want to know what it is.

Customer:

Dr. Christina,

Customer:

Den box is a large wooden box 4 x 4 feet. She eats fruits and kibble, no tarantulas. Her favorites are oranges and strawberries. Lola has her enclosure to herself but there is another female coati next door. Though they can easily see each other they cannot come in contact with each other and ignore each other. The other coati was spayed long ago and has never shown these kinds of behavior signals. Which is why I wonder if maybe Lola is NOT spayed and thus maybe going thru her first heat cycle and maybe a little unsure as to what she is experiencing?

Dr. CMar :

Hello,

Dr. CMar :

It is possible that she is in a heat cycle. The first heat cycle usually doesn't happen until 20-22 months of age, so depending on how old you think she was when you got her, she may be in heat currently. They do grunt, but often become very aggressive during a heat cycle, which it doesn't sound like Lola is.

Dr. CMar :

I doubt this is displaced maternal instincts, but if she is not spayed she may not understand the hormones that are going through her body.

Dr. CMar :

Her enclosure and diet do seem appropriate. Even though she does not interact with the other coati she can see, they can still communicate and she may feel threatened by the other coati. Potentially blocking off the line of site for a few days to see if that will help make her feel safe.

Dr. CMar :

The diarrhea does make me concerned. Has Lola been vaccinated and dewormed recently? It is possible that she has a medical problem that is making her feel bad, and thus is still friendly with you, but is being reclusive. This behavior can be common when they are sick. Do you have a veterinarian you take her to?

Customer:

Dr. Christina,

Customer:

Thank you for the information. Lola is more aggressive lately, however, not towards me perse. Lola has been increasingly more growly at the woman who feeds her in the mornings but has not tried to attack her, though this is not altogether unusual as Lola has only built a strong relationship with me and I am the only one allowed in her cage to clean since she is the friendliest with me. I did block off the cage between the two coati's today to see if that might calm her down as I noticed that when the other coati was in the area directly adjacent to Lola, Lola peered around the corner of her den box and grunted loudly at the other coati and then retreated back into her den box. She did this several times while I was there. The other coati was relocated near her about 3 months ago and until today Lola had really not paid any attention to her. Lola does not have diarrhea but was in fact straining a bit to go poop, thus she was given something in her food to make it easier for her to go. She has since stopped straining. She has received all of her deworming and vaccines per the set schedule for the coati's and yes we have a vet on call and my boss is a exotic animal specialist, however, was not familiar with Lola's recent behavior and thus the reason I wanted verification from a vet that this was possibly what she was trying to tell me since the other coati has never shown these behaviors before. I love Lola and want only that she is happy and healthy. I watch her very closely and constantly get her some of her favorite foods to make her happy. I interact with her on an ongoing basis and we have built a very special and strong relationship. One last question if you don't mind and then I will leave you alone and do the rating thing at the bottom to give you the appropriate question. How long do coati's stay in heat? and how often do they go into heat? Thank you again for confirming our/my suspicions.

Dr. CMar :

I am glad she has had appropriate vet care. That makes me less nervous. Female coati's tend to live in groups and go into heat together. It would be interesting to know what is going on with the other coati next to Lola.

Dr. CMar :

White nosed coati's typically go in to heat 1 to 3 times per year and the heat cycle usually last about 10 days.

Dr. CMar :

I am unsure whether they can get psuedopregnancies, where even though they have not been mated, the hormones in their body continue for about 3/4 the length of their gestation (which for a coati would be 70 days). I do not think they get pseudopregnancies, as I cannot find any literature about it.

Dr. CMar :

I am happy to answer any of your questions. :) I hope Lola starts to feel a little better. Please keep me informed if you would like.

Dr. CMar :

Have a great evening.

Customer:

Dr., The other coati seems to ignore Lola even though as you said, they can see each other and smell each other. Thank you so much for easing my fears that Lola was trying to tell me that she needed help and instead was just letting me know that her hormones are in overdrive and to be careful. She does seem confused as far as I am concerned. She squeaks, then grunts, then squeaks again. I can still pet and touch her everywhere and she does not growl at me and seems to love the attention I give her but I will be more careful that she does not try to hurt me because of her mixed emotional state. I have told the lady that feeds her in the mornings to be very careful of her as Lola could become aggressive towards her. I will watch her over the next 10 days and see if after the 10 days she returns to her happy normal self. I will also keep the other coati more closed off from Lola so that during this time it does not upset Lola while she is dealing with her first cycle. Thank you again for everything. If you would like I can let you know if she does in fact return to normal or if it gets worse.

Dr. Christina, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 358
Experience: Works at a veterinary teaching hospital to bring you the best.
Dr. Christina and 4 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Christina replied 1 year ago.
Hi Andrea,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Lola. How is everything going?

Dr. CMar

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