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Typical Diseases in Chipmunks

A sick chipmunk needs to be treated quickly to prevent serious consequences. Therefore, daily health checks are essential.

The causes of diseases are as diverse as the diseases themselves. Deficiency symptoms, bad food or draughts, insufficient hygiene and the like can lead to a chipmunk becoming ill. Stress is also a major cause, as it ensures that the immune system is weakened, making it easier for germs to cause damage.

Cold

A wet or crusted nose is an important indicator of a cold. The reason may include being that the chipmunk has caught a draft. In this case, it is important to check the location of the cage and possibly move it. Frequent sneezing can also indicate a cold, but it can also be due to an allergy to certain types of hay or bedding. Precise clarification of the cause is required here. This also applies to watery or sticky eyes, which can also be caused by a cold or an allergy.

Diarrhea

The causes of diarrhea are often stress, infections, or disturbances in the intestinal flora, which are usually caused by a change in feed.

You can recognize diarrhea by a sticky fur on the anus, weakness, or a bloated stomach. An important preventive measure is not to simply change the feed from one day to the next.

Worm infestation

A Burunduk can become infected with worm eggs via hay, inferior feed, or the substrate, which then develop into adult parasites in the intestine. As long as your chipmunk is healthy, you will hardly notice a worm infestation. But if there is stress or if the immune system is weakened, the worms will get the upper hand and your chipmunk will suddenly lose weight. The hibernation of the squirrel is also dangerous in this context. If you suspect worm infestation, you should definitely take a stool sample and have it checked for parasites.

Ectoparasites

In addition to parasites living in the squirrel’s intestines, ectoparasites such as mites, fleas or lice also pose a problem from time to time. Possible indications of these tormentors are bald patches or constant scratching. As with the endoparasites, the source is usually contaminated bedding, contaminated feed, or hay.

If you suspect that your Burunduk has been infested with ectoparasites, you should examine it closely! If it can be touched, you can stroke its fur against the grain, and you can often already discover the parasites, their eggs, or excrement. If this method is not possible, you can also place a white cloth over the enclosure overnight. If you hold it up to the light the next morning, any parasites that may be present on the cloth will be visible.

Misaligned teeth

The causes of misaligned teeth are mostly hereditary. However, injuries in the jaw area and the wrong (too soft) food can also lead to incorrect tooth growth. Since the teeth of rodents grow constantly, they must be constantly worn down in order to avoid such misalignments, which can even lead to ingrowth of the teeth.

Classic symptoms of misaligned teeth are difficult to feed intake, exhaustion, emaciation of the squirrel, and ultimately food refusal. In this case, the teeth must be trimmed by the vet, which must then be repeated regularly in the case of hereditary causes. Animals with such deformations in the mouth area must not be used for breeding under any circumstances, as they can pass this on to their offspring.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy also occurs in some chipmunks. In an acute attack, the animals roll convulsively and writhe on the ground. A seizure can last from several seconds to minutes. If such seizures occur in your chipmunk, you should consult a doctor immediately! The danger of the seizures is that the squirrel can fall from a great height and sustain injuries. Falls are also a common cause of the development of epilepsy, but there is also a hereditary component. Therefore, such animals should never breed. Triggers for cramps are stress, lack of food, and light stimuli, e.g. B. by the flickering of a fluorescent tube.

Stereotypes

Stereotypes are behaviors that are repeated over and over without meaning, e.g. B. somersaults in chipmunks. This is not cute, it is a sign of a serious behavioral disorder.

Chipmunks that are or have been kept in cages that are too small often suffer from this. In addition to somersaults, the Burunduk can also run back and forth in the same place over and over again.

Such behavior is difficult to break. In some cases, it helps to block the way the squirrel is taking. This can be done with board branches or cardboard. It is important to avoid such stereotypes by providing sufficient climbing and employment opportunities.

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