Chinchilla Poop: Everything You Need to Know

Dealing with chinchilla poop may look difficult to some due to the surprising number of droppings that chinchillas regularly deposit. But, lucky for us because we don’t have to struggle with the smell when cleaning their excrement, unlike other pet owners. 

I know how important it is to know every detail about your pet’s stool as this is an important indicator of their health. 

To help out other chinchilla owners, I came up with a complete guide about chinchilla poop and diarrhea. 

What Does Chinchilla Poop Look Like?

From regularly cleaning up your pet’s cages, you might be able to perfectly describe by now what their usual poop looks like. Just like other rodents, a healthy chinchilla excretes small, compact, and rounded tubules of poop that are either brown or black. What’s good about owning a chinchilla too is that even though they poop frequently, it’s usually dry, solid, and doesn’t stink at all. 

The ability to distinguish a healthy poop from a bad one can help you understand your pet’s health better. But, also take into consideration that the appearance of their poop may vary depending on their usual or most recent diet.  

Now, let’s paint a clearer picture of what a healthy chinchilla poop looks like by reading through some important details written below.

Size

Generally, chinchilla poopies are tiny and shorter than the diameter of a dime. The size of their stool resembles the size of the usual pellets that they feed on. When their diet hasn’t changed, the size of their poop alongside its shape and color should also remain the same. It’s good to regularly check the size of their poop so you will be wary if they start producing irregular-sized ones. 

Softness

Since our pets live in a dry environment, their poop should always be solid and dry. Excreting a slimy poop that contains mucus or additional fluid is a sign of a digestive issue.

Shape

As mentioned, the poop that comes out of our chinchillas looks like the usual pellets that enter their body as food. The pellet-shaped stool looks like a skinny cylinder with rounded ends. When you notice missing pieces such as holes in their poop, or when they start producing irregular-shaped stool, this could suggest an illness with your pet.

Do Chinchillas Poop a lot?

Do not be surprised to witness your chinchilla produce poop so frequently. Our pets excrete in numerous quantities up to 250 times daily solely because of their fiber-based diet.

A study shows that plentiful droppings are an indication of a well-functioning digestive system.

So, as long as your pet is behaving normally, and feeding in normal amounts, frequent droppings are completely normal too.

When your chinchilla excretes feces less often than usual, a vet should be consulted right away. Such change in their poop frequency reflects a health concern. 

Cleaning Chinchilla Poops: How to Keep them Clean?

Some owners-wanna-be might be wondering why chinchilla owners love taking care of chinchillas even with the fact that these rodents poop almost all the time, taking so much time and energy to clean their droppings up. Well, I know all our responses will boil down to the same simple answer. Chinchilla poops are odorless making them extremely tolerable to tidy up.

Depending on where you allow your pet to play around, you’ll certainly find about 15-20 small scattered stools in that specific area in a short time. You can invent your strategy to make it easier for you to collect and throw out your pet’s droppings in just a matter of minutes. 

You can sweep it with a small-sized soft broom and a dustpan, you can use a vacuum, or, you can even grab it too with the use of hand gloves. Any of these methods are convenient and wouldn’t take up so much time. 

Just a tip, if you’re letting them out of their cage to play, a dustpan nearby will be helpful. You may grab it anytime when the need arises. 

Diarrhea in Chinchillas

As mentioned, any change in your pet’s droppings is indicative of a health issue that may be a serious threat to their life. To understand diarrhea in chinchillas better, we made a few notes for you.

Your pet’s diarrhea may develop from one of the following factors: 

  • A sudden change of brand of pellet
  • Abrupt switch to a new diet
  • Excessive treats or too much water-based food in treats
  • Inadequate fiber in regular food
  • Spoiled or contaminated food
  • Algae in the water bottle
  • Metabolic conditions
  • Parasites

Other rare causes include:

  • Toxins
  • Harmful substance
  • Response to stress

For the symptoms, your pet may be having these issues with their droppings:

  • Mucus present in their stool
  • The stool has a bad odor
  • Runny or watery stool (poop almost in liquid form)
  • Change in color of stool

Alongside the above symptoms, they may also be experiencing any of the following:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Showings signs of discomfort   

Once any of the symptoms are present, your pet may be needing medical attention as soon as possible. 

Treat Diarrhea in Chinchillas

How to Treat Diarrhea in Chinchillas

For humans, diarrhea is just annoying and tolerably painful. But this isn’t the case for your chinchilla. Experiencing diarrhea may result in something more serious and in some cases, this can be fatal.

Never leave your chinchilla on its own and allow its diarrhea to disappear normally. A careful process of knowing the possible causes and giving your pet suitable treatment shouldn’t be delayed.

Talk to a trusted vet who is an expert in treating exotic animals immediately. Information you’ve gathered from reliable sources, books, and past experiences may not be enough for cases like this. A vet can help in various ways by giving your pet the proper medical attention and care it needs. 

What you can do before rushing to the vet clinic is take a sample of their poop, and pick out the most recent and mushiest you can see. The sample will then be examined by the vet, and a few questions about your pet’s diet will also be asked. 

Depending on how serious the symptoms are, your pet may also undergo an abdominal ultrasound, and X-Ray for further examination.

After the diagnosis, depending on the cause of diarrhea and the severity of your pet’s illness, a change in their regular diet might be observed. The vet may instruct you to only offer your pet high-quality or Timothy hay, and temporarily restrict them from eating pellets and treats. Alkaline water together with some motility drugs might also be prescribed for faster recovery.

In case of an infestation of parasites in their intestines, your vet will attend to deworming your pet to get rid of them in its system. For bacterial infection diagnosis, your pet might be medicated with antibiotics.

Your vet will also give you home care instructions for you to only give them the approved diet and to follow the prescription rightfully. Keep a close eye on your pet for 24 hours, and if their condition doesn’t seem to improve, you should contact the vet again immediately. 

Instances like this should be avoided so it matters to assess your pet’s diet and living conditions. Make sure they get the proper nutrients from their regular food, and if necessary, cut out some treats and pellets, and feed them with fresh hay. Just a reminder that when you switch to a new diet, do it gradually, otherwise, the situation might just get worse.

Other factors should also be considered. Assess the kind of cage your chinchilla has and see if it’s placed in the proper location. You may evaluate if there is a need to transfer it to a more appropriate area. Also, monitor the room temperature and humidity in the room, to make sure this doesn’t cause them stress. 

All the changes and adjustments you made for your pet’s diarrhea treatment should be monitored closely. Improvements in their behavior, weight and other noticeable activities will indicate that they’re doing better, otherwise, another vet consultation might be needed.

After your chinchilla has completely recovered, a quick water bath might help, but not necessary. If you wish to push through it, make sure to stick to the proper precautions and dry it carefully afterward. I have also prepared a separate article about water baths for you to be guided rightfully.

Final Thoughts

Taking care of our little furry friends isn’t just about the unending cycle of giving them a secure home, offering them a proper diet, and cleaning up their mess. Every chinchilla owner should also take some time to learn about certain health indicators such as their poop.

It matters to keep an eye on every little detail about them so we can know what’s wrong and what else we can do to make their life better.