Bloat is not a very common ailment in chins, but it can occur, so
we felt it was important to talk about it. Since it is not that common, its not
often spoken of. Any mammal can bloat.
What is it?
Bloat is a swelling of the intestinal tract, due to
non-released gas. This is a very painful ailment, that if not caught VERY
quickly, is fatal.
What causes it?
In chinchillas, there are so many things that can cause
bloat, its hard to pin down. In kits, it can be caused by mom not cleaning the
baby properly, or, if the baby is hand fed, improper formula, or overfeeding.
Though, as with any mammals, two kits can eat the same diet, one may bloat the
other may not, so it is very hard to pinpoint.
In adults, you can pinpoint it a little better at times,
but not always. Some, but not all of the causes are as follows:
Sudden change in diet.
Too much alfalfa in their diet.
Hay or pellets containing impurities, this is why it
is SO important to feed pellets and hay that are fresh and come from a trusted
Anorexia, not eating for any reason for long periods
How to detect Bloat
The bloated abdomen will be obviously distended. If you
pick up your chin and their stomach feels like a balloon, it may be bloated. The
chin may still be up and able to walk, albeit not too willingly, or, down on its
side in obvious discomfort.
How to treat Bloat
Bloat is fast acting, and
MUST be treated immediately!!! If it's possible, any chin who is suspected of
being bloated should go to the vet ASAP! If it is not possible to get them to
the vet immediately, one drop of simethicone can be given. If it is completely
impossible to find these drops, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 4 ounces of
water and give ONE drop of this mixture. This will only work with a very mild
case of bloat however.