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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7938
Experience:  35 years in practice
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My chinchilla is very lethargic and not moving. He sounds like

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My chinchilla is very lethargic and not moving. He sounds like he is having a hard time breathing. One eye is swollen shut. What can I do?
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.
I'm sorry to read of your chinchilla's condition.
Judging from your description of the symptoms and the rapid onset, it sounds like he has a serious respiratory infection.
Do you have access to any antibiotics and/or a heating pad?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I don't have access to antibiotics, but do have access to a heating pad... Thanks so much for your help.

Okay, thank you.
The best thing you could do for him is to get him to an emergency clinic where injectable antibiotics and oxygen therapy are available. If that is not possible, the next best thing would be to place the heating pad set on medium or low under part of his box or cage where he can lay over it to help him maintain his body temperature.
You can make an emergency source of glucose to help keep up his energy level by mixing three tablespoons of warm water with one tablespoon of regular sugar. Use a teaspoon or an eyedropper to administer this solution. You can repeat this procedure every four hours as needed.
Keeping him warm and hydrated with some glucose added is the best you can do for him if emergency services are not available where you live.
If you can, get him in tomorrow as early as possible to see your veterinarian. Time is of the essence in these cases. Chinchillas and other prey-type animals have an instinct that causes them to hide their illnesses until they are quite ill, she he's very likely to have been sick for awhile before his behavior tipped you off that something was wrong.
The treatment I've described above is probably not going to be all he needs, so even if he seems to be feeling better tomorrow, please take him in for a full examination and proper treatment.
If you should have further questions, please let me know.
Kindest regards,
Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I just realized something... How much of the solution do I give him? A couple droppers full? Or do I try to give him the whole 3 Tbs? Thanks so much...
Sorry for the delay, I was offline for a while. Give him as much as he'll reasonably take. If you try to force the administration, he may inhale the solution. just go slowly and let him take what he wants, then try again later.
The amount was more of a formula than a recommended dose for him.
If I may be of further assistance to you, please let me know.
Dr. Bob
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Great - will do. Thank you Dr. Bob. I have been calling around to see about taking him to a vet tomorrow with no luck. There isn't anyone in this area who treats chinchillas... I will hope and pray for the best. I appreciate it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks so much for your help. Unfortunately he must have been sick for some time. He just passed away. I really appreciate your urgency. At least we were able to make him comfortable. It must have just been his time. Thanks, Elena
I'm so sorry to read that he didn't make it for you. You're probably quite right in that he was probably sick for some time. I hope knowing that you did all you could for him helps.
Kindest regards,
Dr. Bob