Chinchilla Health – Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Chinchilla health issues, could be best described as a scale. Many health issues can arise from negligence and bad management, of their daily, and not only, needs. Contrary, barely and very few health issues could come to foreground and a healthy chinchilla most times is a winner. In general chinchillas are healthy and strong animals and their origin and viability proves that. Chinchillas are prey animals, and therefore do a good job at hiding their illnesses and injuries until many times it is too late when they finally do show symptoms. But there are signs to see and understand if something is wrong with their health. We will adduce many chinchilla health issues, their symptoms, causes and a general treatment.

There will be no medication reference, you must see it as a very basic guide that informs you of the various health issues of chinchillas and all the articles detailing various illnesses and disorders here are not to substitute a vet or a veterinary’s diagnoses and care. In these articles we have deliberately not mentioned in rich details most treatments.

Three GOLDEN Chinchilla Health Rules

Chinchilla health issues, most of them, can be treated and avoided if you follow three basic rules.

  1. Good and proper caring.
  2. Early diagnosis of a problem.
  3. Call the VET!  Please try to find and know (before buy a chinchilla) a vet (preferably more).

Chinchilla Care for Healthy Chinchillas

Good and proper care for your chinchilla is the most essential thing you can do and that promises healthiness and longevity for your chinchilla.

Chinchilla Feeding the Right Quality  –  Chinchillas digestive system is very sensitive and many health issues arise by providing incorrect nutrition. A good quality diet is considered to be rich in fiber low in protein and very low on fats and sugar. Minerals and vitamins should also exist. Fibre is very important for chinchilla’s digestive track as it helps the gut needs for continual movement but fibre also must be provided in the correct proportions otherwise digestive disorders and other health problems like diarrhea, bloat may occur. Fresh, high quality pellets , variety of hays , fresh water , very limitedtreats , and a supplement of vitamins will provide the optimum health for chinchillas. Many treats cause, most times rapidly, very serious health problems. Don’t leave the same food like pellets and hay more than 2 days. Eating moldy food can kill your pet. To maintain the freshness of the feed, store your chinchilla’s pellets in a cool, dry environment and in covered containers. Refresh their water every day.

Chinchilla Cage and Accessories  –  Chinchilla housing requirements are essential for their safety, health and happiness. Chinchilla cages should be all metal, since they will gnaw their way out of a wooden cage. Chinchilla cage must be inspected, before you buy one to be sure, that is safe with no sharply (bad construction) corners or items inside. It must be safe to jump, run and step everywhere they like to. Chinchilla  cage accessories  like food bowl or water bottle should also be safe. Chinchilla bedding is very important too and is needed to absorb chinchillas urine. DO NOT use chinchilla bedding made from cedar or undried pine , as they have aromatic oils, which can damage the respiratory tracts of chinchillas and cause liver problems.

Chinchilla Environment  –  Chinchilla’s environment is a very vital factor for their health.  Room Temperature should never be more than 24 Celsius. Chinchillas ideal room temp is 10-15 Celsius and they can survive temperatures as low as zero. Humidity should be lower than 70%. Finally they should be kept away from windows and radiators. Chinchillas cannot be put in direct sunlight due to the possibility of overheating. You must have or find the best and the most suitable environment to house your chinchilla. Find the best place – room to place their house.  Also they sleep at day so they need a quite dark (not completely dark) place. This place must be quiet as much as possible so they can rest and sleep at day. Try not to change environments and do not make big changes to their house too often.

Chinchilla Needs and Behavior  –  Respect their needs. Stress can also affect a chin’s health. They are quite prone to stress and this lead to health problems and diseases. They have difficulties to adopt and need time. Chinchillas are nervous and they can easily be stressed if they don’t be handled as they should. Handle them with care and do not over- handle them. Please understand the nature of chinchillas and respect that.

Chinchilla Cleanliness  –  Chinchilla are very clean animals and dislike getting soiled in any way. Chinchilla dust bath helps chinchilla to stay clean, happy and maintain its coat naturally. Chinchillas seldom get fleas because their fur is very dense. It is important to make sure that they get proper dust baths periodically especially when humidity is high. Try to avoid humid areas because they can get fungus. Try to have a clean environment. Cleanliness in your housing area is probably the best prevention of many diseases. Mustiness in the air may indicate mold and not enough air circulation and maybe not frequent cleaning. They need frequent cleaning and disinfection, every 2-3 days, the cage, the water bottle, the food dish, dusters and maybe some other cage accessories.