Providing your pet chinchilla with the most basic needs and ensuring it a good environment is important to ensure a healthy chinchilla lifespan. However, sometimes this may not be enough and unfortunately your pet can fall ill without any obvious cause.
A sick chinchilla needs immediate attention
With chinchillas, it is usually very sudden, their health deteriorates rapidly and by the time you notice that something is wrong, your pet might not have a fighting chance anymore.
This is due to their evolutionary survival strategy, because chinchillas are prey to a vast number of animals that prey on the weakest member of the herd, so they had to develop a tactic where even when they are sick or wounded they would not appear as easy prey but rather healthy and agile.
5 things to do when you have a Sick Chinchilla
You do not have to feel guilty or angry at yourself if your chinchilla falls sick, the reason could be hereditary or an accident that you were not aware of. You can provide your pet with these 4 “tools” that can help it fight off the illness.
1. Take note of Recent Changes
Did you move house recently? Changed his cage? Fed her with a kind of hay?
Chinchillas are very susceptible to changes in their surroundings. Many things can influence your chinchilla’s sudden “lack of health”.
When you notice your chinchilla is not doing well your first instinct should be to question everything your chinchilla has recently come in contact with.
Maybe you have changed the bedding in the cage, introduced new chew toys or cage equipment, a different type of food, treat or hay, even fluctuating room temperature or humidity could be a reason, also your chinchilla could have accidentally chewed up something during playtime.
Be aware of all the changes that have happened to your chinchilla, which could have influenced its health. By having these changes noted down, you will be able to provide the vet with useful information to help diagnose your pet’s condition.
You can find more helpful tips but checking our post about how to extend chinchilla’s lifespan.
2. Visit a vet
It is normal to have a “moody” chinchilla where their moody periods last for just a day or two.
If your chinchilla is lethargic, has irregular droppings or it is not eating or drinking enough water, you should immediately take your pet to a vet specialized for exotic animals who will understand the sensitive nature of your chinchilla, it’s needs and course of treatment.
Since chinchillas are mostly asymptomatic to the illness they have, your vet will rely on you to provide as much information as you can about your chinchilla’s recent behavior so that he can provide the right treatment for your pet.
3. Oxbow Critical Care
In order for your pet to have the energy to fight for its health, it should be well fed and hydrated.
In some cases, you will have to give your pet water one drop at a time with the help of a syringe or feed it with mushy food using a small spoon (this can happen with dental issues where your pet will not be able to chew the food on its own).
The Oxbow Critical Care would be a great option to have in hand because it comes packed with the most essential nutrients and vitamins even when given in small doses, which can be helpful in cases when your pet is not eating properly.
4. Observation and weighing
A key thing in every recovery is monitoring the progress.
Keep your pet under watch and monitor the changes in its behavior, providing your pet with a peaceful and quiet environment can help it recover and heal quicker.
When chinchillas fall sick they rapidly lose their weight and become extremely malnourished, so you will have to have a small scale ready and monitor your pet’s weight.
A healthy chinchilla should weigh anywhere between 1-2 pounds. If your pet is losing weight, it is a red flag. Keep a record of the weighing and bring it to your vet on checkups.
5. Lots of Love!
Finally and more importantly, show more care and concern to your chinchilla because this is the time your little friend needs it the most.
Although it may not be a good idea for out-of-cage playtime when your chinchilla is sick, you can try to stick around the cage and keep your pet company.
A chinchilla with strong support from you will come out of the discomfort quicker. Take this as an opportunity to build stronger bonds with your pet!
Better to be safe
Since chinchillas are masters at hiding illnesses, if you are ever in doubt that your pet is not doing well, take it to the vet.
You will have an ease of mind knowing that your chinchilla is safe or could catch the illness at an early stage and start the treatment, giving your pet the best fighting chance.