Chinchillas, the small furry pets, are usually healthy and if taken proper care of, will lead a healthy life. However, to make sure that your pets remain healthy, it is important that you house them in a clean environment and are sensitive to their dietary needs.
Still, like humans, chinchillas are also susceptible to various health problems. The first symptom for any infection or disease in a chinchilla is watery eyes. Here are some of the common chinchilla health problems:
- Eye Infections: The eyes of the chinchilla are very sensitive and eye infections are one of the major chinchilla health issues. If there is an infection, the affected eye turns red and swollen, becoming watery. There may be an infection due to dust or litter in the eye. A lowered resistance due to an improper diet could also lead to an infection in the eye. If there is only some external matter in the eye, you may disinfect the eye using medication. The condition may also require antibiotics. It is best to consult a veterinary doctor and get a proper prescription.
If there isn’t an infection, weepy eyes may also be an indication of the onset of cold, flu or pneumonia. The vet may check to see for temperature. To check for temperature yourself, check the chinchilla’s ears. If the ears are red or bright pink and warm, your pet is running a temperature.
- Tooth Infections: The watery eyes of your pet may also be an indication of tooth infections. If the tooth is aching, you may see your pet pawing its mouth while eating. The pet may drool and consistently have a wet chin. An X ray of the mouth of your pet may be required to determine the problem. Sometimes the back teeth of the chinchillas may form spurs. These may damage the jaw, if downwards or the eyes, if upwards. These problems are usually caused due to two main reasons – old age or the lack of availability of things to chew.
- Fungus: Due to the thick coat of the animal, it is not prone to attacks by parasites. However, the animal may get fungal infections.
Fungal infections cause the chinchilla to shed hair in patches, exposing irritated skin. Patches of thin shaggy hair may also be seen in certain areas of the body. The fungus may also cause the whiskers to split and bend at ends. Chinchilla pet health care is very simple. Since the animal belongs to the wild, it has a lot of strength and a high immunity. However, for proper chinchilla care, it is important to give the animal the right kind of nutrition and provide a good and clean living environment.