Look for these characteristics when adopting a chinchilla and on a daily basis to make sure your chinchilla is healthy!
- Eats and Drinks
- Teeth Are Not Overgrown (Natural for Teeth to be Whitish or Yellowish)
- Healthy Fur
- Clear Eyes
- Easy and Clear Breathing
- Walks Normally
Signs of a Health Problem
- Weight Loss
- Distressed or Difficult Breathing
- Skin Lesions
- Overgrown Teeth
- Hair Loss
- Diarrhea or a Dirty Bottom
- Eye or Nasal Discharge
Common Chinchilla Health Problems
May result from dust or bedding irritating the eyes, or your chinchilla may have an eye infection.
Chinchilla’s are very sensitive to temperature changes and do not tolerate heat or humidity well. Symptoms of heat stroke include heavy panting, seizures, or unconsciousness. Your chinchilla’s environment should never rise above 80 degrees F. Ideal temperature for your chinchilla is between 60-70 degrees F.
This is when your chinchilla’s teeth become overgrown. Chinchilla’s are part of the rodent family and their teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. Chinchilla’s must be provided with wood blocks or sticks to chew on so they can wear down their teeth. Chewing wood is absolutely essential for chinchillas.
External parasites that can cause patchy fur and skin irritation.
This is a fungal infection which can be spread between different species of animals and also humans. Ringworm causes a red ring shaped lesion on the skin, which can result in skin irritation, itching, and fur loss.
When you adopt your chinchilla take her to the veterinarian to make sure she is in good health. If your chinchilla exhibits any of the signs mentioned above, or any other signs that seem unusual, take her to the vet!
Jennifer Kean is a writer and pet-lover who owns two rescue kittens (lifetime cat owner too!) and has a 40 gallon fish tank!