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, it’s 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 source
• Anorexia, not eating for any reason for long periods of time.

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.

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