CareFresh Harmful to Chinchillas?

We received a note from Dez the other day regarding some possible problems with CareFresh bedding…

My Chinchilla recently went through a bout of digestive bacterial infection. It was the first time in 6 years that anything like that had happened and it was right when I decided to try Carefresh bedding. After lengthy and costly vet visits, he got better for about a month. Then a few days ago, I switched out the towels I was using when he was sick, and went back to Carefresh, and this morning, I can see Diarrhea and he's slumped over and not active at all.

I have tried syringe feeding but he seems to have lost all interest in eating.

Could it be the Carefresh that has caused this to come about again? Has anyone else had any issues with Carefresh? I only tried it after reading all great reviews online about it. I was wondering if anyone has had any bad experiences with it? Thanks.

Our answer to Dez…

We tried CareFresh a long time ago. It seemed like such a good idea to use a recycled product that was absorbent and odor free. And if it meant saving a few trees from becoming wood shavings then that seemed like a good idea too. Unfortunately, our chinchillas kept eating the pellets. Although we don't think the bedding is toxic, it's absorbent nature does seem to suggest that it will expand while in a chinchilla's digestive system. This expansion seems like it could lead to a number of problems so we stopped using the product.

It's possible that our chinchillas would've stopped eating the pellets over time, but it didn't seem like the risk was worth it.

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  1. Gary Stiffler. I have three chinchillas all males they eat the carefree bedding to but not a whole lot of it just a small piece here and there but they mainly eat the timothy hay and their pellets that they are supposed to but other than that I have not seen them eat the carefree bedding that often.

  2. Our rescue does not work with chinchillas, however we are researching the carefresh bedding that is highly 'recommended' and are looking for any people out there who have evidence to support how harmful and risky this bedding is for animal use. We work with rabbits, who also are highly susceptible to blockages and cannot vomit, and have sensitive smelling *research has found that carefresh does not absorb ammonia from urine at all* Our rescue simply wants to unveil the truth on recommended products that are hazardous to our pets!

    • our chinchilla ate carefresh complete bedding and now has blockage. We went to vet and got an x-ray to confirm it is the bedding. We don't know if he will make it, but we're trying to keep him hydrated and praying it will work. I contacted the manufacturer, and the bedding is supposedly made of paper and pulp, no fiber. Hope this helps others.

  3. We had a perfectly healthy female chinchilla. She was only two years old. After putting carefresh colors bedding in her cage she died. I have read a lot now about how if eaten it will cause a blockage and kill the pet. I am very confused with all these reports of pets dying the company continues to sell this product.

  4. Hello,
    We had a chinchilla for 4 years and always used Aspen wood shavings bedding.
    We ran out one day so I decided to use some carefresh bedding we had for our hedgehog. The next day the chinchilla was lethargic and acting very strange. I took her to our vet who specializes in them. He said she was going into shock and got her on an iv. He wanted to keep her overnight and try and bring her around. Unfortunately, she died within a couple of hours. He did an autopsy on her and said she had a blockage which looked like the carefresh bedding.

    PLEASE do NOT use carefresh with a chinchilla! There systems are real sensitive and eating even a small amount can kill them. This product should not be marketed for chinchillas.

  5. I have had my chinchilla for about 2 months. The pet store that I bought him at said that Carefresh was one of the best bedding to have them in. I haven't had and issues with it. Also I have had guinea pigs, rabbits, and hamsters and I've always used it with no problem. So Dez just look at your chinchilla and maybe he is allergic to that type of bedding. I recommend you get a cage where the chinchilla doesn't touch the bedding but as I said I have never had problem with it. Good luck!

  6. i would like to say me and my mother bought our chinchillas when they were just 5 weeks old it was like getting new babies for us well she started using differen bedding smartfresh and last night we had to rush her chinchilla to the er and it was not a good out come her chinchilla passed at 307 this morning and the vet told us that is was a 99% chance that the beddinmg is what made my mothers chinchilla sick i know that it may not effect everyone but please be careful

  7. I'm 13 years old and i just got my first pet chinchilla ever! i love him to death and i've had him for 3 days now.. he's using carefresh and i saw him eating it today! should i be worried?! because i don't know what to use but i want him to be okay!

  8. I've been using carefresh for my chinchillas for years and have never had a problem with it although the chinchilla is not directly in the carefresh it is in a sliding pan that fits underneath. Before I got this cage I did use it with no problems I guess it is situational with if your chinchilla is eating it or not.

  9. Having read of the experiences here I'm sure not going to try Carefresh. I figure that in the wild they probably line their nests in the rock crevices (tunnels?) with grasses, small twigs, bits of bark, leaves, petals and their own fur in very small amounts. Carefresh seems very far from these natural materials to me. Also fleece seems unnatural that some people are using but at least with it they say the chinchilla can't separate out threads to eat and cause themselves problems although I would worry that they'd chew out whole chunks of it. Mine hasn't been bad about chewing the wrong stuff but I keep her a lot of natural chewables so maybe that's why. I did read where carefresh is supposed to be safe for Chins but I just stuck with what I saw in the store cage when I bought her which is aspen flakes along with the Timothy hay she has knocked off the shelf above.

  10. I find this really surprising, because I switched to Carefresh as a result of my chinchilla having repeated issues with eye irritation. Carefresh is the only bedding that doesn't seem to exacerbate the problem, and I've never seen Pele attempt to eat it, and he tries to eat everything. So maybe it just has to do with individual animals behavior. Does your chinchilla have lots of hay at its disposal? Because they really need to be constantly nibbling, and I wonder if they don't have enough hay if they'll resort to chewing on their bedding...

  11. I used care fresh with my hedgehog and it died two days later. It had a large amount of care fresh in its mouth when I found it. I can't say care fresh killed it, but it seemed fine untill I used it.

  12. Hi, I was wondering,this has nothing to do with chinchillas though, is care fresh bad for rabbits too? I use it with Lilly, my bunny, and I want the best for her!

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