Species-appropriate husbandry and healthy nutrition are the best prerequisites for a happy and healthy chinchilla life. However, there is never a guarantee against diseases. Here you will find an overview of which symptoms indicate which diseases.
With species-appropriate husbandry and regular checks, many diseases can be prevented in chinchillas. However, if you notice any symptoms of illness in your animals or if you notice anything unusual, you must contact the veterinarian immediately. Even if you are familiar with the disease and its symptoms, or perhaps even know in theory how to treat it, you must under no circumstances treat your animals yourself! This would usually drastically worsen the situation for your sick chinchilla. In any case, go to an expert who can treat your animal professionally.
Abscesses in chinchillas
Abscesses are inflamed – often purulent – swellings that are caused, for example, by foreign bodies, operations, or allergic reactions. In chinchillas, abscesses can appear on a wide variety of parts of the body. Abscesses can occur on the paw or on the jaw. Contact a veterinarian immediately if you notice an abscess. He will either cut it open or surgically remove it.
Inflammation of the eye in the chinchilla
Especially with the daily sand bath, something can easily get into the eye. Small foreign objects or injuries can quickly lead to conjunctivitis. The first signs are a milky-watery eye discharge and a swollen eye.
Gassing in the chinchilla
Chinchillas are very sensitive to changes in diet. If they suddenly get large amounts of fresh food, fermentation processes can cause gas build-up in the intestines and stomach. The first symptom is rapid, shallow breathing. If you then gently tap the animal on the stomach, it sounds hollow. Gassing can be fatal, so prompt treatment is essential.
Movement stereotypes in the chinchilla
Movement stereotypes are not diseases, but rather pathological habits. A chinchilla with this habit will always pace back and forth on a perch, hinting at jumping off, but after these small pauses, will continue walking from one end of the board to the other.
This behavior is usually caused by a cage that is too small and does not offer the animals enough exercise and variety. Immediately move your animals to a larger enclosure. If the condition of the animals still does not improve, consult a veterinarian.
Intestinal prolapse in the chinchilla
In extreme cases, constipation can lead to an intestinal prolapse. The animals press so hard that they push out a piece of the intestine. If the intestinal prolapse is noticed in time, it can usually be treated well by the veterinarian. However, often the animals hide this incident in such a way that it is difficult for owners to notice. If the chinchilla is not treated in time, it will die.
Diabetes in the chinchilla
Chinchillas rarely develop diabetes. Signs are, for example, that your animal drinks an unnatural amount, becomes emaciated, and appears apathetic.
Diarrhea can have many causes. Moldy hay can cause it, as can dirty water, too much green fodder, poisoning, or a sudden change in feed. The chinchilla droppings are then soft, stick to the seat boards, and leave a greenish or brownish smear film. Try to find and eliminate the cause immediately. If diarrhea doesn’t improve within a few days, see a veterinarian. Diarrhea can also be the first sign of a serious illness.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection in the chinchilla
A certain number of E.coli bacteria are present in every healthy intestine of humans and animals and are not threatening, but necessary. However, a change in feed or stress can lead to an increased number of E. coli bacteria. Weight loss is a sign of illness. Since the sick animal shows no other abnormalities, the disease is usually noticed late.
Watery or purulent nasal discharge and difficulty breathing are symptoms that indicate a cold. Chinchillas do not tolerate drafts and moisture. Both can cause a cold. The animals often react to stress with these symptoms. Eliminate the cause by rearranging the cage if necessary.