Hi, my name is Darma. I love rodents. I have a ferret, two guinea pigs, several rescued feeder rats and a hedgehog. I am an extremely conscientious pet owner, and I know how hard it can be to find medical tips on small animals. In some cases, it can even be challenging to find vet care for them. In this blog, I am going to write about everything I have learned in my decades of being a small pet owner. I am going to write about cleaning, nursing, feeding and taking care of small pets. I am also going to write about finding the right medical treatment for them and knowing when to seek help. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy my blog.
Your pet chinchilla can become painfully constipated for a number of reasons. Here are four things chinchilla owners need to know about constipation.
Why do chinchillas become constipated?
Usually, chinchillas develop constipation due to not consuming enough dietary fiber. Chinchillas need to eat a lot of fiber to remain healthy, so they need constant access to fresh hay, which is naturally high in fiber. Your pet won't overeat hay, so don't worry about giving them too much; just make sure their hay feeder is always full.
Chinchillas can also become constipated if they are dehydrated, so ensure that they always have access to fresh, clean water. Lack of exercise and obesity may also lead to constipation; if your chinchilla's cage is too small for them to run and play, get them a larger cage that allows them to exercise.
In some cases, constipation can be a sign of more serious problems. For example, if your pet develops an intestinal obstruction (a blockage in their intestines), they won't be able to produce bowel movements. Constipation can also be caused by infectious gastrointestinal disorders.
What are the signs of constipation?
If your pet is constipated, you'll notice that they're straining to defecate. When you spot clean their cage, you'll also notice that there are fewer fecal pellets to sweep up than there normally are. The fecal pellets that are present will be smaller than the normal, healthy pellets that you're used to seeing. These pellets will be thin and short and may be stained with blood.
Why is constipation a concern?
Everyone suffers from constipation occasionally, so you may think that it's not an issue if your chinchilla is constipated, too. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Constipation can be a serious concern for chinchillas, as if it becomes chronic, it can lead to intestinal torsion or intussusception. Intestinal torsion means that the intestines become twisted, while intussusception means that one part of the intestine slides inside another part.
How do vets treat constipation?
First, your vet will determine the precise cause of your pet's constipation. If the cause is determined to be something minor like a lack of fiber or a lack of exercise, your vet will give you tips to remedy the problem at home. As long as the constipation clears up, your pet won't need any further treatment. If it doesn't clear up, your vet may prescribe a laxative to get things moving again.
If the constipation is caused by something more serious, like a blockage, your pet may need to have surgery to repair the problem.
If your chinchilla has constipation, don't assume it's just a minor problem; take your pet to an animal hospital like Riverside Pet Hospital to determine the cause.