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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33316
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my chinchilla has slightly soft stools he seems weak and out

Customer Question

my chinchilla has slightly soft stools he seems weak and out of character seems to want to keep his bum to the floor and has slight matting of his fur near his bum
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 4 years ago.


I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin

I'm sorry for the delay in responding to you. There aren't a lot of vets on the UK site who work with chinchillas.

Diarrhea and soft feces are common presentations in chinchillas. Beside infectious causes (e.g. parasites, bacteria), inappropriate feeding or sudden changes in diet with resultant dysbacteriosis (bacterial imbalance in the GI tract) commonly cause soft feces. Overfeeding of fresh green feed or items high in simple carbohydrates can result in dysbacteriosis and soft feces. Feces smeared on the cage resting board of a pet with or without matted, fecal-stained perianal fur are often the first signs the owner notices. The pet might be otherwise normal or, in chronic and severe cases, it can be anorexic, dehydrated, and depressed.

A vet needs to rule out infectious causes based on the history and appropriate diagnostic testing - whole-body radiographs, fecal parasite examination, fecal cytology, and fecal culture for enteric opportunistic pathogens (e.g., E.coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa).

Intestinal secondary yeast overgrowth caused by Cyniclomyces guttulatus which lines the stomach, is often seen in chinchillas with soft feces. However, increased numbers of this yeast in chinchillas with diarrhea or soft feces is considered secondary rather than a cause and promoted by an underlying disease process.

I'm hopeful that you have a nearby vet experienced in exotic medicine. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.