Do chinchillas get sick a lot?

Chinchillas are adorable little creatures that make for great pets, but like any animal, chinchillas get sick. As a loving owner, it’s essential to take care of your furry friend and ensure they stay healthy and happy. 

But how often do chinchillas get sick? In this post, we’ll explore the common illnesses that affect these precious furballs so you can be better prepared as a pet parent!

Do chinchillas get sick often?

No, chinchillas do not get sick often. In fact, they are relatively healthy animals and can live for up to 20 years with proper care. However, like all animals, they can sometimes fall ill. The most common health problems seen in chinchillas are dental issues, respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal issues.

chinchillas get sick

Common Health Issues in Chinchillas

Dental Issues

Chinchillas have continuously growing teeth, and if not worn down properly, they can develop dental problems such as overgrown teeth, tooth root abscesses, and malocclusion. These issues can cause pain, difficulty eating, and even death.

Respiratory Issues

Chinchillas are susceptible to respiratory infections, which can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungal infections. Symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. If left untreated, respiratory infections can lead to pneumonia and death.

Digestive Issues

Chinchillas require a high-fiber diet, and if they are not provided with enough fiber, they can develop gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Overfeeding can also lead to these problems.

Skin Issues

Chinchillas are prone to skin conditions such as fungal infections and mites. These issues can cause hair loss, scabbing, and itching. If left untreated, they can lead to more severe skin problems.

Preventative Measures

Proper Diet

To prevent dental and digestive issues, it is crucial to provide chinchillas with a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat. Hay should be available at all times, and pellets should be given in moderation.

Clean Environment

Chinchillas are sensitive to heat and humidity, and they require a clean and dry environment. Regular cage cleaning is essential to prevent respiratory infections and skin issues.

Regular Vet Visits

Annual check-ups with a veterinarian that specializes in exotic pets are recommended to detect any health issues early on.

What diseases do chinchillas commonly get?

Chinchillas are susceptible to a variety of diseases, including pneumonia, eye infections, diarrhea, and ear mites. Pneumonia is the most serious of these diseases and can be fatal if not treated promptly. Chinchillas can also get colds and flu, just like humans. However, they are less likely to suffer from these illnesses if they are kept in a clean and spacious environment with plenty of ventilation.

How can you take care of your chinchilla from getting sick?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent your chinchilla from getting sick:

1. Keep their cage clean and free of debris.

2. Provide them with a diet of fresh vegetables and hay, and avoid processed foods.

3. Give them plenty of opportunities to exercise and play.

4. Keep their environment stress-free – avoid loud noises or sudden changes in temperature or light.

5. Have them checked by a veterinarian regularly, and take them for regular checkups even if they seem healthy.


In conclusion, chinchillas are incredibly hardy animals and can stay healthy with proper care. While they do get sick occasionally, it is mostly preventable as long as you provide them with the proper diet, housing, and veterinary care. So if you want to keep your chinchilla happy and healthy for many years to come, be sure to give them the best care possible!


  • What are some common illnesses that chinchillas can get?

Chinchillas can be susceptible to respiratory infections, dental problems, digestive issues, and fur or skin problems such as fur rings or mites.

  • Can chinchillas catch colds from humans?

Chinchillas can get sick from humans, especially if the human has a cold or other respiratory illness. It’s important to always wash your hands before handling your chinchilla to prevent the spread of germs.

  • What can I do to keep my chinchilla healthy?

To keep your chinchilla healthy, provide them with a clean and spacious living environment, a balanced diet of hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables, plenty of fresh water, and regular veterinary checkups. Also, ensure they have proper exercise and mental stimulation.