Chinchilla Disease Symptoms And Treatment


Chinchilla Disease Symptoms And Treatment


A very serious illness requiring immediate treatment. Stroke is an acute violation of cerebral circulation, which causes tissue death and is characterized by rupture or blockage of cerebral vessels. The main symptoms of a stroke are convulsions, impaired coordination, vomiting, falling sideways, salivation, loss of smell, paralysis of the limbs. Stroke in chinchillas occurs due to:

  • Stress and increased psycho-emotional background;
  • Injuries to the head or spine;
  • Toxic poisoning;
  • A sharp change in temperature;
  • Improper maintenance and feeding;
  • Vitamin B deficiency
  • Unproductive treatment of other diseases;
  • Exposure to sharp irritants (sounds).

At home, chinchillas die from a stroke, unless urgent measures are taken under the supervision of a veterinarian!


Chinchillas are better adapted to cold and dry climates and cannot tolerate temperatures above 25.1 ° C. Higher temperatures and higher humidity can cause thermal shock. To predict heat stroke, the following method is used: any values ​​of humidity and temperature, in total giving more than 95 (30 ° С 65% humidity = 95), are dangerous (Donnelyand Schaeffer, 1996).

The clinical symptoms of heat stroke are shortness of breath, muzzle paw friction, an increase in rectal temperature of more than 39 ° C, diarrhea with blood, conjunctival hyperemia of the eyes and mucous membranes and prostration. Prolonged exposure to a hazardous atmosphere can lead to hemoptosis, cyanosis and rapid death.

For treatment, cold water baths and infusion therapy are prescribed. To prevent thermal shock, cells are removed from the windows on the sunny side and heaters and maintain room temperature at 16 ° -22 ° C and humidity 40-50%. The veterinarian makes a diagnosis of heat stroke after detecting a stressful condition and fever during a general examination and other procedures. Doctors should avoid using heating pads during anesthesia, unless signs of hypothermia occur.

Also a deadly disease for chinchilla. These animals are very susceptible to high temperatures, as they have very dense coat and do not have sweat glands. Comfortable temperature for chinchillas is 18 ° С, and extremely high temperature is 24 ° С.

Symptoms of overheating in chinchillas:

  1. Lethargy.
  2. Chinchilla falls sideways.
  3. Seizures.
  4. Cramps.

Symptoms of overheating should be immediately controlled under the supervision of a veterinarian, otherwise overheating can lead to death.

Preparations for anesthesia and analgesia

Isoflurane is the only anesthetic for chinchillas because of the rapid induction and rapid exit from anesthesia, as well as the safety of its use. It is recommended to prescribe isoflurane through a mask or in an induction chamber. A small anesthetic mask can be made from a syringe; it is worn over the chinchilla’s face.

The open end of the syringe is covered with a part of a rubber glove, and a long incision is made in the syringe itself to tightly clasp the animal’s face. A small induction chamber can be made from a two-liter plastic bottle. A durable rubber glove is worn over the cut bottom of the bottle, through which it is placed inside the chinchilla.

For short procedures, injectable anesthetics can be used. Table 2 shows the doses of drugs for anesthesia and analgesia in the treatment of chinchillas.

Fecal softening and diarrhea

Chinchilla diarrhea is a fairly serious disease, but at the same time easy to treat. Symptoms are also very simple and clear:

  1. Chinchilla is sluggish (not in all cases).
  2. Boluses (feces) are softened or liquid, have a smell.
  3. Refusal of food.
  4. Dehydration (rare urination).

The causes of diarrhea are of food origin, bacterial, parasitic, protozoal and less stressful. Diarrhea can be the result of a sharp change in food or the introduction of new components into the diet of a chinchilla, eating fresh products (for example, unsaturated apples), chinchilla, and the ingestion of irritating food to the intestinal mucosa. You need to treat diarrhea in consultation with a specialist.


In chinchillas, lateral saphenous veins of the chest and pelvic limbs are recommended for venipuncture. An ear vein is recommended for taking a small amount of blood. You can also take blood after cutting the claw, since chinchillas have claws that are rudimentary and there will be no traumatic pain or heavy bleeding. Table 3 shows the hematological and biochemical parameters of the norm of chinchillas.


Flatulence is a very serious chinchilla disease, characterized by an accumulation of gas in the abdomen, accompanied by bloating and pain. Chinchillas are doubly distressed by bloating because they do not have the ability to release gases.

  1. The beast is inactive, lethargic.
  2. Chinchilla is breathing heavily (this can also be a symptom of other diseases).
  3. Refuses food.
  4. The abdomen becomes round and firm.
  5. The animal reacts painfully to touching the stomach.

Finally and fairly accurately, you can determine the swelling by making an x-ray, but not everyone has such an opportunity. Bloating is extremely dangerous for animals. If symptoms are detected, treatment should be started immediately under the supervision of a veterinarian!

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In chinchillas, fermentation of feed occurs in the cecum, they are coprophages. Chinchillas are recommended to feed hay with granular food. There are several types of ready-made granular feeds for chinchillas available for sale – MazuriChinchillaDiet (PurinaMills, Inc., St. Louis, Mo.) and KayteeForti-DietChinchilla (KayteeProducts, Inc.

, Chilton, WI). When fed with one granular feed, chinchillas do not get enough fiber, which can lead to enteritis. Chinchillas should have plenty of hay (timothy and meadow grass). But it is important to monitor the quality of hay, because chinchillas have alpha-toxicosis. Treats are given in small amounts several times a week. These are fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and cereals.


Constipation is not an independent disease. It can be caused by gastrointestinal infections, bloating, lack of water, a sharp change in feed, inactivity of the chinchilla and many other reasons.

  1. The number of boluses has decreased.
  2. The boluses are small.
  3. There are no boluses at all.
  4. Chinchilla is inactive, listless.
  5. The beast refuses food.

This disease is also dangerous for chinchilla and requires timely diagnosis and treatment.


Ushill is very thin, and each follicle grows over 90 hairs. In the wild, chinchillas maintain cleanliness by sprinkling with volcanic ash. At present, a powder of a similar composition is produced, which consists of a mixture of gray sand and Fuller soil in a ratio of 9: 1. Every day, pour this powder into a sufficiently deep bowl so that chinchillas can take dust baths while riding in this powder. Immediately after the bath, the dishes with the powder are removed so that they are not contaminated with feces.

Skin diseases

Dermatophytosis In case of unsatisfactory chinchillas content on fur farms, invasions by round helminths are possible, but infection in this helminth is rare in domestic chinchillas. Tricho-phytonmentagrophytes and Microsporumcanis are often isolated from chinchillas. Clinical symptoms are alopecia, scaly skin, inflammation in the nose, ears and paws.

For treatment, griseofulvin (Fulvicin-P / D Schering-Plow, Kenilworth, NJ) or sulfur baths (Limdeep, DVMPharmaceuticak, Inc., Miami, FL) are prescribed. Kaptan powder (Orthocide, Chevron) and Desenex antifungal powder (CibaSelf-Medication, Inc., Woodbridge, NJ) can be added to dust baths to prevent the spread of ticks. Table 4 shows the corresponding doses.

Biting wounds and injuries Chinchillas held in groups rarely fight, but abscesses may form on the bite wound area during the breeding season. Females are larger than males and may be aggressive during mating. Staphylococcus and Streptococcus species are isolated from the contents of the abscess. Surgical excision of an abscess is more beneficial than autopsy and debridement (Jenkins, 1992).

Samples for cultivation and a test for sensitivity to antibiotics are needed to select an antibiotic (see Drug Therapy Section and Table 4). To prevent aggressive behavior, you need a large cell with several shelters. Males can be kept with pregnant females, because males rarely display aggression towards their cubs.

Injuries in the cell are often the result of improper maintenance. Chinchillas are very active animals, they need vertical planes and several levels for climbing and jumping. The mesh cells should be shallow, 15 x 15 mm, to avoid injuries to the limbs. To prevent injuries to the paw pads, a part of the floor of the cage should be made hard so that the animals have a place where they can rest from the wire.

With improper maintenance in the cell or with restraint, fractures of the tibia are possible. The tibia is long and thin, with minimal muscle, so it often breaks. Transverse and short spiral fractures with fragmentation are usually observed. Surgical restoration with cerclage or external fixators was more successful than external restoration.

Eating wool Sometimes chinchillas eat their own or someone else’s fur, which gives the wool an untidy look. The causes of this disorder are not known, but it is considered a behavioral response to depression or stress. A detailed history of the entire chinchilla maintenance period is needed. Pay attention to the size and levels of the cage, shelters, chewing items and dust baths.

Improving the content can relieve stress and boredom, as a result, eating wool will also stop. Chinchillas are nocturnal animals, they will be uncomfortable if you keep them in a busy place throughout the day. In a calm room, animals can sleep peacefully during the day. Other factors affecting this behavioral reaction may include hereditary, hormonal, and nutritional disorders.

Hair Rings In adult males, paraphimosis can begin if a ring of hair forms around the penis inside the prepuce. Clinical symptoms include increased grooming, pollakiuria or dysuria. In severe and chronic cases, complete obstruction of the urethra is observed. For treatment, the penis is manually pushed out of the prepuce, lubricated and the hair ring removed.

Foreign body stuck in the throat

A piece of hay, feed, twig, or a treat that you gave the animal may be stuck in the chinchilla’s throat.

  1. Salivation.
  2. Vomiting or urging for her.
  3. Yena and mucus from the nose.
  4. Sneezing.
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Treating chinchillas on your own can be detrimental to your beast. It is important not to confuse a foreign body stuck with poisoning, as the symptoms are very similar. Take the animal to the vet!


Conjunctivitis is often caused by eye irritation in dust baths. The duration of the bath should be limited to 30 minutes per day. Also, conjunctivitis can cause various materials used for bedding. Pine and cedar needles are especially irritating to the mucous membrane of the eyes. Chips (aspen) and cut paper are best suited for bedding.


A cold in a chinchilla begins due to hypothermia, being in a draft, is characterized by such symptoms:

  1. Cough.
  2. Sneezing.
  3. Runny nose (wet nostrils).
  4. Sluggish state.
  5. Watery eyes.

It is not worth treating a chinchilla runny nose and other symptoms at home, it is necessary for the doctor to confirm that the chinchilla really has a cold, and not bloating or anything else. If there is a suspicion of pneumonia, an X-ray should be taken immediately and treated strictly under the supervision of a physician.

Respiratory disease

Pneumonia is caused by unsatisfactory conditions – overcrowding, inadequate ventilation and high humidity. These problems are most often observed in animals on fur farms, and not in domestic chinchillas. In the treatment of chronic respiratory infections, Bordetella, Pasteurella, Pseudomonas, and Streptococcusspp were isolated from chinchillas.

Tooth hooks

Hooks on teeth can deprive the animal of the ability to eat food, respectively – to live.

Symptoms by which you may suspect something is wrong with the teeth:

  1. Selects small pieces / crumbs.
  2. Crumbles food.
  3. The jaw is not completely closed.
  4. Rubbing and “brushing” the muzzle.
  5. Salivation.
  6. Small boluses.

Hooks can be diagnosed at home, but this procedure is not safe for the animal, so it is highly recommended to consult a specialist.

Neurological diseases

With the free content of chinchillas, lead poisoning is possible, because they can find and nibble objects covered with lead paints. Clinical signs are convulsions and blindness. Blood lead levels of 25 mcg / ml or higher are indicative of lead poisoning. In chinchillas with signs of lead poisoning, red blood cells with a core and basophilic granularity of red blood cells are not found. For treatment, calcium EDTA is prescribed at a dose of 30 mg / kg sc every 12 hours.

A case of spinal nematodosis has been reported with Baylisascarisprocyonis invasion. Chinchillas became infected by eating hay and feed contaminated with raccoon feces. Clinical symptoms of the manifestation of the disease were torticollis, ataxia and paralysis. This is an incurable disease that is zoonosis and is transmitted through the consumption of contaminated feed.

Chinchillas are very susceptible to Listeriamonocytogenes infection. Outbreaks of this disease in fur farms are caused by contamination of the feed and poor sanitary conditions, but this disease was not observed with room keeping of domestic chinchillas. The clinical symptoms are ataxia, walking in circles, cramps and death. The infection is treated with chloramphenicol and oxytetracycline, but after the onset of clinical symptoms, they are usually ineffective.

Chinchilla Eye Disease

  1. Cataract – manifested by clouding of the lens. Most often in older chinchillas. Partially lost the vision of the beast, and in the absence of timely treatment, vision may disappear completely. This disease is treated quite simply, but only on the condition of a timely trip to the veterinary clinic.
  2. Corneal inflammation – this disease manifests itself as a result of the ingestion of microparticles of the filler, sand, dust and other things into the eye. It is treated very simply with the use of antiseptic ophthalmic drugs. But, again, we want to focus on the fact that it is not recommended to engage in self-medication.
  3. Inflammatory eye diseases – most often it is a conjunctivitis. Inflammatory diseases can develop due to colds and viral diseases. Often accompanied by the release of pus from the eyes. They require instant treatment prescribed strictly by a specialist.
  4. Colds – if you encounter this problem, then we will not limit ourselves to discharge from the eye. These symptoms will include coughing, nasal mucus, sneezing, and more.
  5. It is also important to note that the cause of tearing from the eye of the animal can be problems with the teeth – overgrown tooth roots, this problem can only occur in chinchillas older than two years.

The main symptoms of all eye diseases are: the depressed general condition of the beast, the chinchilla gets sour eyes, festering or becomes wet (tears), in special cases a white film appears on the eye.

Hair ring

This problem is a ring on the penis of a male from his coat or from the coat of a female (if they live in a pair). Often males monitor the state of their “dignity”, but it also happens that even they fail to clean everything clean, and a hair ring begins to form. Also, a frequent reason for its appearance is mating with a female, subsequently which the female’s hair accumulates under the male’s foreskin. Having seen this problem, it is difficult not to recognize it. The penis does not stick back under the foreskin, a tumor is visible on it, it has an unhealthy color.

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In order to get rid of the hair ring, you should show the chinchilla to the veterinarian and entrust him with this important task. Remember: ignoring this problem can be fatal, since the male’s penis is not only a reproductive organ, but also an organ necessary for urination.


Sex Determining sex in chinchillas is quite difficult, especially in young animals. The clitoris is large and cone-shaped, located ventrally to the vagina and looks just like the penis. Males do not have a true scrotum, and the testes are in the groin. Sex is determined by the length of the perineum, which is larger in males.

Castration To castrate a male, chinchillas are placed in a dorsal position. To monitor breathing, a transparent self-adhesive coating is used, which is manufactured by Veterinary SpecialtyProducts, Inc. (BocaRaton, FL). The testes are pushed out of the inguinal canal, on top of each make a separate cut. If it is difficult to isolate the testes, then raise the cranial part of the animal’s body and gently press in the caudoventral part of the abdominal cavity.

Closed castration is recommended, but if the shell is cut, the cut is continued cranially to close the inguinal ring and prevent herniation. The skin incision is left open for healing by secondary intention, or closed with absorbable suture 5-0 or tissue adhesives.

Pathological birth The causes of the pathological birth can be the large size of the fetus, a narrow pelvis, poor feeding and atony of the uterus. Clinical signs include anxiety, vocalization and enhanced genital grooming. To begin with, oxytocin is administered at a dose of 0.2-0.3 IU / kg s / c, v / m or iv.

In the absence of reaction, the injection is repeated, and if the chinchilla has not given birth within 4 hours, then surgery is performed. A cesarean section or ovariogisterectomy is performed. The main advantage of ovariogisterectomy over cesarean section is the absence of filling the abdominal cavity with uterine contents.

With ovariogisterectomy, the fruits remain viable. But this procedure is contraindicated if the uterus is very large, swollen with blood, or the animal has signs of anemia. An alternative is first performing a cesarean section for involution of the uterus and the return of blood to the peripheral system, and then an ovariogysterectomy.

Ovariohysterectomy and cesarean section are performed as usual, with a ventral median approach. The subcutaneous tissue in chinchillas is very thin, the white line is usually wide and easy to identify. Two uterine horns individually open into the cervix. After removing the newborn babies, the usual closure is with 3-0 or 4-0 absorbable suture material.

Lichen (fungus)

Chinchillas are deprived against the background of stress, decreased immunity, high humidity, lack of vitamins, unsanitary conditions or contact with infected individuals. How to recognize a fungus:

  1. Focal skin lesions.
  2. Breakage or complete hair loss in the affected areas.
  3. Dry skin, peeling.
  4. A dense crust forms in the lesions.
  5. Purulent discharge may appear.

You can diagnose lichen in veterinary clinics using a Voodoo lamp (but not all types of lichen are detected, ignore trichophytosis fungus), or after passing tests (a piece of scales).

Drug therapy

Chinchillas are contraindicated in antibiotics acting on gram-positive bacteria (macrolides and beta-lactam antibiotics), because they can cause the growth of gram-negative bacteria and the development of endotoxemia. Oral administration of Lactobacillusspp. To restore intestinal microflora after antibiotic use is controversial.

These drugs were not used to treat chinchillas, but they were found to be safe for other rodents. It is suggested that you give a small amount of yogurt with live cultures or ProbiosRuminantGel (MicobialGenetics, WestDesMoines, IA) lactobacilli p / o 2 hours before antibiotic administration and continue 5-7 days after antibiotic withdrawal. Table 4 shows the doses of anti-bacterial and antifungal drugs for chinchillas. Table 5 shows the doses of antiparasitic drugs.

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