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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19798
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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I have an eight year old chinchilla that is not moving. He

Customer Question

I have an eight year old chinchilla that is not moving. He is breathing with no sounds. Occasionally he will open his eyes to us, but other than that we just notice him breathing. His nose isn't twitching as often. I've been researching all night. He does not show signs of fever. His droppings appear normal. Though his water and food appear to have been barely touched at all. No vet can see him currently, is there anything I can do to help him survive until the morning?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 4 years ago.
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. It sounds like he's in rough shape right now. I would really worry about some type of encephalitis (infection in the brain) given those signs. This is something we can see on occasion in chinchillas. They will often present with lethargy, labored breathing, tremors and anorexia.

There is not much you can do at home, but I would try to get food into him. If you have a grocery store open nearby, you can see if they carry Oxbow Critical Care. This is a feed supplement that you mix up and syringe feed as needed. You would give 5 mL every couple hours as needed.

If you can't get any critical care, then I would take some of his pellets and blend them up with water to feed him. You need to get some fluids and calories into him to keep the gut moving.

In the morning, I would try to get him seen and likely started on some antibiotics to get this under control. The prognosis is not good for survival, but we can sometimes pull these guys through and get them to recover.

Best of luck, let me know if you have any other questions.