Chinchillas, which people keep in their homes as pets, can boast relatively good and lasting health. Subject to proper care, the animal will not hurt and will be able to live about 15-20 years. But nevertheless, it is impossible to completely exclude possible diseases, especially in the presence of factors that pose a great threat to the pet – hypothermia and improperly selected feeding ration.
To notice the first manifestations of health problems in a chinchilla is quite simple, you should pay attention to the following symptoms: a rodent loses its appetite, behaves very unusual, diarrhea appears, body weight decreases, a large amount of mucus is released from the nose, skin hyperemia, the coat streaks, color changes and the shape of the teeth. All of the above symptoms signal different pathologies, but in most cases the chinchilla suffers from the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and cardiovascular system. Also, the animal often suffers from pathologies of the teeth, eyes and ears.
Although the rodent has a very dense and warm fur, it is very susceptible to colds. The main cause of the disease is wet wool. Due to the fact that the chinchilla does not have sweat and sebaceous glands in the skin, even a small amount of water soaks the wool to the very bottom. Add to this even a slight draft, and the animal will immediately begin to show all the symptoms of a cold.
Symptoms it all starts with the appearance of a general malaise, in which the animal looks depressed. A strong cough and discharge from the nasal cavity appear. In severe forms of a cold, eyes begin to watery. Suspensions should be caused by wet smudges that start from the eyes of a small pet. In the presence of such a symptom, you need to listen to the chinchilla breathing, since a simple cold can develop into a more serious illness – bronchopneumonia. The development of pneumonia is manifested by the presence of signs in the form of strong wheezing during breathing, which can be heard even from a distance.
Treatment: for a successful cure for the common cold and its complications, it is recommended to call the doctor of a ratologist (rodent specialist), or just a veterinarian. Only a specialist will be able to prescribe the necessary drugs and give practical advice on care.
The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent shell of the eyeball that passes to the inner parts of the eyelids. Inflammation of this lining of the eyes is called conjunctivitis (photo with a sick chinchilla), which can occur in two forms:
- Primary conjunctivitis – appears due to various injuries of the eye, after getting on the conjunctiva of foreign bodies, when irritated by fumes of harmful substances, smoke or dust.
- Secondary conjunctivitis – appears as a complication in various diseases of an infectious or non-infectious nature.
Injury to the eyes can occur as a result of mechanical damage that the animal can get when sitting down. Until the full clarification of all relations between animals in a common cage, chinchillas are able to exhibit aggressive behavior among themselves, which is fraught with bites, scratches and other injuries. If the eyelid is scratched, chinchillas show up with wet hair around the eyes, and conjunctivitis may develop over time.
Irritation of the eyes with harmful substances in most cases affects both eyes at once. Such irritation can provoke human smoking in the room where the cage with chinchillas is installed. An untidy cell can also lead to conjunctivitis, especially with abundant accumulation of dirt and urine, which emit ammonia, which also negatively affects the membranes of the eyes.
Treatment: first, their eyes should be cleaned using a soft cotton swab dipped in warm water. Remove all dried parts of the excreted exudate from the eyes, which are collected in large quantities in the corners. At home, the eyes can be treated with ordinary decoctions of chamomile or tea, which are filtered through gauze. In each eye, you need to drip 1-2 drops of anti-inflammatory drops regularly.
Over the years, home chinchillas begin to have problems with their teeth. Due to the fact that their front teeth are constantly growing, and there are no devices for grinding them in the cage (the owner did not put a chalk stone in it), the gum is injured in the animal, which causes the normal nutrition process. To prevent problems with teeth, the cell must have a stone for grinding teeth. As necessary, the owner can independently carry out the correction of teeth at home using forceps and a nail file.
A very common problem of many rodents, in which the deformation of the normal arrangement of teeth occurs. A similar defect can be inherited, because of which, all chinchillas with hooks are rejected, and are not used for breeding.
Symptoms You can suspect bite problems by the behavior of a beast that loses its appetite, and fussing with food for a very long time. From the diet, he prefers soft foods, fresh fruits (especially apples without a peel). If the malocclusion reaches severe forms, the rodent loses body weight, defecates with small droppings, or with liquid diarrhea. Very often it scratches its face and yawns. Due to insufficient jaw closure, excessive salivation occurs. Such chinchillas have a constantly wet chin.
When an abnormal placement of molars is present in an animal, this means that the teeth cannot grind as they should. The working surfaces should be in contact horizontally, but if the teeth do not grow correctly, they will touch at a large angle, which is constantly increasing to the outside or inside. Such features provoke the appearance of hooks that grow inside the mouth and injure the tongue of the animal. When making a swallowing movement, the tongue of the chinchillas moves back, but if hooks are present in the oral cavity, they stick into the tongue, and it is not able to go to the desired position. Ultimately, from the oral cavity of the chinchilla begins the constant secretion of saliva.
Photo with the image of tooth pathology "hooks"
Treatment: even if the owner found information on how to remove the hooks at home, this should not be done, it is better to trust a specialist and call a veterinarian. Better yet, take the rodent to a veterinary clinic, where all the conditions for emergency and qualified assistance to pets are created.
Due to severe contamination, chinchillas can begin an inflammatory process in the external auditory canals. Sick animals begin to scratch their ears, and rub their heads against the corners of the cage. In advanced forms of inflammation, they constantly keep their head tilted to one side. Visually, you can notice the leakage of a large amount of brown pus from their ears, which in turn can provoke inflammation of the skin around the affected ear.
Treatment: for the treatment of ear infections, antibacterial drops should be dripped into the ear canals.
The development of urolithiasis is fraught with inflammation of the bladder in a small chinchilla. This disease is characteristic of adult males.
Symptoms: the rodent begins to behave inappropriately, problems begin with normal urination. For the timely detection of pathology, it is advisable to take the pet to the veterinarian, who will do a urinalysis and, if necessary, conduct an ultrasound examination of the bladder and kidneys.
Treatment: if sand is present in the organs, specific therapy is prescribed, but if stones are present in the genitourinary system, they will need to be removed quickly.
This disease is characteristic of young individuals, males or pregnant females. In many cases, it ends in death or rupture of the intestinal wall. Chinchilla can be constipated by infection, a large amount of concentrated feed in the diet, a lack of drinking water, stress, and a lack of space for movement.
Signs: if the rodent has not emptied for several days, constantly sits in a corner, hunched over, or climbs onto the walls, this means that it has constipation, and in most cases in the cecum. If you hold a light palpation of the abdomen, you can feel the place in which the feces have accumulated.
Treatment: with timely diagnosis, constipation can be cured by introducing juicy green foods, juices and fruits that contain a lot of fluids into the diet. If constipation is more serious, then you can try to inject paraffin oil into the rectum and into the oral cavity. This oil will contribute to a better bowel movement.
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