If you provide your chinchilla with a good home, plenty of exercise time, and the correct diet, he should live a healthy, happy life.
A lack of the correct food can result in dental or gut disease. Check that your chinchilla is eating everyday and passing dry droppings on a regular basis. If the amount that he eats or drinks changes from his usual pattern, or his droppings become less frequent, then this could be sign of a health problem.
A stressed chinchilla is more likely to become ill, so ensuring that he lives in a calm, quiet environment will mean he feels safe. If any fur falls off your chinchilla when you handle him, this could be a sign that he is stressed. If your chinchilla is in pain, his behaviour may change and he may start to hide, be reluctant to move or become more aggressive if you try to touch him.
Always do a general daily health check, looking at your chinchilla's eyes, feet, mouth, and fur. Check for any wetness around his eyes and nose, look at his mouth and teeth, check for soreness on his feet and any loss of fur. If you do spot anything unusual then consult your vet immediately. Always be careful when handling your chinchilla as they are very fragile and any tight or rough handling could hurt them.
Provide your chinchilla with plenty of chew toys and a gnawing block so that he can chew away and keep his teeth trim — you do not want his teeth to become overgrown as this is very painful and can affect his eating.
Before buying your chinchilla, make sure you know how he or she has been bred, what they've been fed on and how they've been cared for. Check for any current health problems and consult a vet if you are not sure about what to look for before you buy.
Signs of an unhealthy chinchilla:
- Loss of appetite
- Overgrown teeth
- Wetness around the eyes and nose
- Swellings on the skin
- Lack of energy
- Drinking more or less than usual
- Reluctance to move
- Significant weight change
- Skin conditions / loss of fur
Get in touch with a vet immediately if you notice any changes to your chinchillas health.