Constipation can be caused by overfeeding, inappropriate diet as well as not enough exercise. Ensure that your chinchilla has plenty of fresh water and hay and try giving him a couple of raisins. If the condition persists, please seek veterinary advice as soon as possible as the constipation may be caused by an obstruction. For further information, contact your vet.
Dental problems are a major health issue for chinchillas. They suffer from a problem called open root which is caused by the back teeth growing inside the mouth and upward towards the eye sockets and through the jaw. It’s advisable to feed your chinchilla fibre and provide a wooden block in your pet’s cage to wear down their continuously growing teeth. If teeth don’t get worn down enough this can cause drooling and lack of appetite. For further information, contact your vet.
Fungal infections and mites
Fungal infections can lead to scabby sores, particularly around the face, and are caused by poor housing and inadequate hygiene. Infections can be passed from animal to animal, so it’s advisable to thoroughly disinfect a chinchilla’s cage. Mites are often harboured in a chinchilla’s dense fur and they cause loss of fur, scaly skin and itching. For further information, contact your vet.
Fur biting is thought to be caused by a number of factors including stress, boredom and lack of sleep. To prevent fur biting, provide your chinchilla with interesting toys, lots of interaction and a quiet place for undisturbed sleep during the day.
Hair ring is caused by hair trapped around the penis and is common in breeding and young males. The hair often winds tightly around the penis, stopping blood flow which can cause blood poisoning and can even be fatal. Symptoms include the penis sticking out from its sheath, unusual swelling and excessive grooming. It’s advisable to regularly check chinchillas for hair ring. If you think you’re chinchilla has hair ring, please seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. For further information, contact your vet.
Chinchillas can’t sweat, but they expel excess heat through their ears; therefore if their ears seem red, they’re too hot which can potentially lead to heatstroke, even if they’re housed indoors! If a chinchilla seems hot, move him to a cooler location and lightly dampen its ears with a cool, damp cloth and provide plenty of fresh, cool water. For further information, contact your vet.
Seizures can be caused by a variety of reasons, but the main one is lack of vitamins and minerals in a chinchilla’s diet. This can be remedied by adding vitamin drops to the water. Heat can also bring on seizures. For further information, contact your vet.
Worms are internal parasites that can cause loss of condition and ill health in chinchillas as well as posing a risk to people. Most pets have worms, although it’s not always easy to tell if your chinchilla is infested as often there aren’t any outward signs of ill health. For further information, contact your vet.