A sick chipmunk needs to be treated quickly to prevent serious consequences. Therefore, daily health checks are essential.
Unfortunately, chipmunks try to hide signs of illness for as long as possible, which means that many diseases are only recognized very late. Therefore, close observation and daily checks are particularly important. If you spend a lot of time with your squirrel, you will recognize immediately if the behavior changes and you can intervene if necessary. Because once symptoms of illness such as diarrhea, emaciation, or apathetic behavior are recognized, it may already be too late for treatment due to the small body size of Burundi.
An important point in daily control is feed consumption. If your squirrel eats less food than usual, this is a first warning signal. But be careful: During hibernation, it is normal for chipmunks to hardly eat anything. Control is made more difficult by the fact that chipmunks like to bunker their food, so this must always be taken into account.
The condition of the fur
The first look should be the condition of the coat. In healthy animals, it is clean and shiny with no bald spots. However, a ragged or patchy coat is an indication of a health problem, which can be caused by malnutrition or a medical condition. With the help of a veterinarian, you should eliminate the cause as soon as possible.
In addition to the daily check-up, a detailed health check-up should be carried out once a week. In order to relieve the chipmunk of the resulting stress as much as possible, you should get it used to the procedure through training. If the animal defends itself against the measures, you have to weigh up the extent to which the benefits and “damage” can be offset against each other. In any case, have gloves ready for the inspection, so that you can protect yourself from the rather violent bites of the frightened chipmunk.
The chipmunk’s health check
In addition to examining the fur, routine checks also include examining the eyes, teeth, and ears. Cloudy eyes without shine, with discharge or redness, are indications of a disease. It is also important to examine the teeth for any misalignments because in this case the chipmunk can no longer eat properly and must starve to death without treatment.
Finally, check the ears, which must be clean and without scales or crusts, otherwise, this can indicate an illness or a parasite infestation.
The excrement of the chipmunk also gives an important indication of the state of health. Runny or foul-smelling feces indicate a serious illness. However, keep in mind that sudden changes in feed or plenty of fresh feed can also lead to short-term diarrhea. A main symptom of diarrhea is a sticky anus. If you notice diarrhea in your squirrel, you need to act quickly, otherwise, the loss of liquid can quickly dehydrate the sick animal. The urine is also one of the excretions to be examined. Cloudy urine, possibly containing blood, is a serious warning signal and usually indicates a bacterial infection.