Whimsy's Menagerie

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Fatty Liver Disease

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Fatty Liver Disease (Hepatic Lipidosis)

How serious is it? Moderate to lethal.

What is it? Accumulation of excesses fat in and around internal organs. 

How can I recognize it?

Do chins get it? A diet high in fats or sugars is the leading cause of this disease. Prolonged malnutrition and anorexia converts sugars into fats for storage. 

How do you treat it? It can be reversed if treated before clinical signs show. Feed copious amounts of high fiber foods such as hay, loofah and prepared chin safe woods. Avoid all colorful food mixes and sugary treats.

How can I avoid this happening?

This disease is completely dietary related. Chins who are given nuts, seeds, dried fruits or who often go without food for days at a time are prone to developing this condition. 

A chinchilla's natural diet is high in fiber, low in protein with virtually no fats or sugars. Chinchillas are hind gut fermenters and require unlimited access to to hay and other fibrous food sources. Pellets are considered a soft food and should not be their primary diet. 

Most cases of hepatic lipidosis come from pet owners who are either unaware of a chins dietary needs, or who kill their pet with kindness by feeding the wrong kinds of treats.  Fruits and nuts are an absolute no-no.