Why Chinchilla Refuses Food


Chinchillas have an excellent appetite, constantly chewing something, digging in the feeder in search of the most delicious pieces. A healthy animal will never refuse the proposed treat. However, in some cases, the animal stops eating and even drinking, becomes apathetic, and loses weight. Most often, dangerous symptoms indicate the presence of diseases.

Reasons to refuse food

Some chinchillas are big picks in food and can refuse food if the food is not fresh, monotonous or the animal is not in the mood. Also, a furry pet may refuse the proposed food in the hope of receiving a more delicious treat. Often, animals lose interest in food after experiencing stress. A new home, moving, visiting a veterinary clinic, or sharing a new neighbor can provoke stress. In this case, the pet is better to give rest, talk to him kindly, offer favorite treats.

However, in most cases, refusal of food signals a health problem. The most common of them:

  • Gastrointestinal tract inflammation (catarrhal),
  • Heatstroke,
  • Food poisoning,
  • Teeth problem
  • Flatulence.


Catarrh of the gastrointestinal tract can be catarrhal in nature, and also have an acidic or alkaline form.

Each of the forms of the disease has some similar symptoms – refusal of food, loose stools, accumulation of feces around the anus, lethargic state. The common cold is characterized by feces of a yellowish color, chinchilla often sneezes and rubs the nose. With the acid form of inflammation, chinchilla defecates very often, feces have a sharp acidic smell and have a grayish color. The alkaline form of inflammation is characterized by a rare, but very liquid stool, which has an unpleasant smell of rot.

Why Chinchilla Refuses Food

The treatment of the disease depends on the form of inflammation. Acidic catarrh is treated with synthomycin, which is given twice a day for 0.2 grams. A decoction of oak bark and a one percent solution of tannin are also recommended. Qatar is treated with alkaline droplets of Salol, which are instilled in the animal’s mouth. A weak solution of ordinary potassium permanganate also helps. The common cold is treated with Biomycin. Give it twice a day for 0.2 g. It is also necessary to use nasal drops – one percent furatsilin or 33% aqueous solution of Ekmonovocillin.

Any form of catarrhal inflammation requires a strict diet for the animal.

Why Chinchilla Refuses Food

Everything except fresh and clean hay, as well as water, must be excluded. When the condition of the animal returned to normal, they begin to give grated carrots, chopped oats and a decoction of oats. After this, normal feeds are introduced.


Chinchilla poisoning can be caused by too salty foods or poisonous substances entering the feed. These include poisonous herbs, as well as various nitrates and other pesticides. Salt poisoning is characterized by refusal to eat, loud gnashing of teeth, profuse salivation, intense thirst, loose stools. The chinchilla becomes lethargic, refuses to make contact with the owner. Sometimes salt poisoning is accompanied by paralysis. Treatment of salt poisoning consists in evaporating through a syringe with milk or natural vegetable oil. It is also necessary to supply subcutaneous chloride with five percent calcium:

  • One milliliter for young individuals
  • Adults – three milliliters.
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Why Chinchilla Refuses Food

Poisoning can also occur as a result of eating poisonous grass or hay together with hay, mold and rot. Symptoms of poisoning vary depending on the amount of poison ingested by the animal. The most dangerous is severe poisoning, in which the chinchilla dies within two to three hours after feeding. Symptoms – severe diarrhea with an abundance of blood, salivation, blood discharge from the mouth, foam, refusal of food and water, cramps, heavy and hoarse breathing. In acute poisoning, the animals have diarrhea or constipation (depending on the poison), bloating, the animal poorly coordinates itself in space, frequent convulsions appear. Poisoning can also have a chronic form.

Symptoms are observed within one to two days:

  • Refusal of food
  • Apathy,
  • Pallor of the mucous membranes,
  • Loss of shine
  • The animal is losing weight dramatically.

For successful treatment, the source of the ingestion of poison into the body of the chinchilla should be established. In the first hours after the onset of symptoms, the animal is recommended to give strong emetic (Anamorphine) or laxative medications, and it is also necessary to rinse the stomach. For washing, ordinary warm water is used, in which crushed charcoal (activated carbon can be used) is dissolved. Flaxseed decoction, milk or any dairy products also help.

Why Chinchilla Refuses Food

Poisoning is always accompanied by severe dehydration, so it is necessary to monitor the constant presence of water in the drinker.

If the pet does not drink, it is artificially removed from the syringe every hour.

Tooth diseases

Most often, the chinchilla does not eat due to tooth problems. Hooks on teeth or malocclusion is a common and common disease not only in chinchillas, but also in all rodents. First symptoms:

  • Poor appetite or refusal to eat,
  • Fast weight loss
  • The animal chews every piece of food for a long time and carefully,
  • Selects only the smallest and softest pieces,
  • Profuse salivation
  • Inflammation of the tissues of the lower jaw.

Why Chinchilla Refuses Food

A more serious stage of the disease is accompanied by lethargy, copious discharge from the eyes and nose. The cause of the problem is a genetic predisposition to improper location of molars in the oral cavity. This leads to improper grinding of the molars – the rubbing surface as a result of such grinding is in contact with the rubbing surface of another tooth at an acute angle. Long and very sharp hooks are formed on the surface of the tooth, which injure the delicate mucous tissue of the cheeks, palate and tongue.

This causes severe pain to the animal, makes it difficult to chew and swallow food.

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With the disease running, the pet loses more than ten percent of its weight, feces become rare and often come in the form of very loose stools, the animal constantly rubs its muzzle and tries to get something out of its mouth, often yawns, and is anxious.

Why Chinchilla Refuses Food

Treatment is done by removing or filing the hooks. If the disease is started, then the correction must be repeated every 4 to 5 months until the bite is fully restored. The procedure is carried out only in a veterinary clinic and under general anesthesia.


Bloating in chinchillas usually occurs when too much green and succulent food enters the diet. Green foods (especially legumes – clover and alfalfa) cause strong fermentation and gas formation. The disease is also accompanied by noisy and labored breathing. Characteristic cramps are heard in the tummy. The pet becomes lethargic, refuses food and water. In more rare cases, flatulence leads to convulsions. After seizures, the body temperature of the chinchilla drops sharply to a dangerous 34.5 degrees. Young and weak animals may die at this moment.

Flatulence treatment involves the use of adsorbing drugs:

  • Espumisan
  • Carbolena
  • Activated carbon.

Magnesia and antibiotics have also worked well: Etazole and Norsulfazole. They give 45 – 50 grams. You can also give Biomycin – about 20 grams. When treating flatulence, it is necessary to make the animal move, since usually a sick chinchilla prefers to sit or even lie. Movement is necessary to restore bowel function. A massage of the tummy, as well as an enema with warm and slightly soapy water, will also help.

On the first day after detecting the symptoms of the disease, all hay and any food residues are removed from the feeders, leaving only water. On the second day, with positive dynamics, the animal can be given a little hay. On the third day – a little hay and granular feed.


Improper keeping of the animal or living in a hot climate can lead to heat stroke. Overheating of the body of a chinchilla is accompanied by:

  • Lethargy
  • Refusal of food,
  • The animal does not drink,
  • Breathing and palpitations are quickening
  • The mucous membranes become pale.

Why Chinchilla Refuses Food

Severe overheating can also cause seizures, animals fall on their side, lose coordination of movement.

Strong heat stroke can cause the death of the animal.

First aid – moving the chinchilla to a cool and shaded place with good ventilation, but without drafts. You can put a wet cold towel on your head. If the heat stroke caused convulsions, it is necessary to inject intramuscularly with a caffeine solution – no more than two milliliters, and for heart problems – no more than two milliliters of twenty percent camphor oil and about twenty milliliters of twenty percent ordinary glucose are injected subcutaneously.

Recovery after illness

If the chinchilla does not eat and drink for several days, this leads to inevitable weight loss. It is very important during the recovery period after illness that a proper and balanced feeding is necessary to avoid the depletion and death of a furry pet. If the chinchilla has not drunk anything for a long time and refuses water, it must be artificially removed from the syringe without a needle. For one drink, up to seven milliliters of liquid is injected into the animal’s mouth. It is good to feed the animal dairy-free oatmeal porridge, in which you can add a little calcium. Porridge is fed twice a day – in the morning and in the evening.

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If the chinchilla refuses to eat on its own – you can enter a little porridge through a syringe over the cheek of the animal.

Why Chinchilla Refuses Food

After the use of drugs, the liver inevitably suffers. To restore normal liver function, you can use the drug Carsil. The course is designed for one month. On the day, the animal is given three times in one-fourth of a tablet dissolved in water. It is also good to take a course of vitamin Gamovit injections. Subcutaneous administration of 0.5 ml of the drug once a day is sufficient for chinchilla. Five days minimum. If your appetite and activity have fully recovered, you can stop injections. Gamovit can be replaced or used together with Katozal, which well improves the metabolic process in the body. Catozal is also placed subcutaneously in the withers area, once a day for five days.

Why Chinchilla Refuses Food

Of the probiotics, it is recommended to use Lactobacterin or Bifidium. Half the ampoule is mixed with ten milliliters of water and soldered through a syringe at a time. The probiotic helps well in normalizing the intestines and eliminates all the negative effects of antibiotics. You can also use the probiotic Vetom 1.1. Dosage – dissolve a gram or two drugs in two teaspoons of water and drink through a syringe twice a day.

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