How To Tell If Your Chinchilla Is Dying [5 Signs]

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  • To tell if your chinchilla is dying, you’re going to see some dental issues, respiratory infections, lack of appetite, consuming less water than usual, skin and fur problems, heat stroke symptoms, lack of feces production
  • If you’re worried, take your chin to the vet- if you see any one sign it’s not a death sentence!
  • You can also perform a health check:

Chinchillas are exceptional pets that can provide companionship for more than a decade. However, how to tell if your chinchilla is dying is hard since we will never know when it will precisely die.

Their dying is sometimes beyond our control. They may die a premature death or succumb to illness. Soon before their death, some owners have reported that their chinchillas lost their appetite, exhibited lethargic behavior or just died unexpectedly.

These little furry pets can have a life expectancy of up to 15 years in a perfect setting. Taking proper care of a chinchilla is the only sure way to keep them alive for longer. Like other pets, death may occur due to illnesses or being in bad shape.

It is good to consult with a vet once you find that you cannot control the situation as soon as possible.

Symptoms that Your Chinchilla Might be Dying

As we brainstorm about these signs in this article, you should know that they are not necessarily sure signs that your chinchilla will die. In most cases, the symptoms on how to tell your chinchilla is dying are often illnesses that, if not spotted early, may lead to death.

Spotting any of these issues we will discuss early, and visiting the vet or giving them the care they need may save their lives. Sometimes accepting can be hard, but some are dying signs.

We will help you recognize such illnesses faster so that you can nurse your chinchilla in good time before it gets worse.

Common Signs of Illnesses in a Chinchilla

Once you notice any of these signs, we highly advise that you consult or visit the vet’s clinic with your chinchilla for the best medical advice or treatment.

In most cases, when you visit the vet, chinchillas are given antibiotics to control infections, which negatively affect their digestion system. The medication may limit digestion, and all you can do is wait to see if they recover, but at the same time, the chances of dying might be high.

Lack of appetite and consuming less water than usual

A few underlying illnesses can lead to your chinchilla’s lack of appetite. The most common cause is a tooth issue, but it could be more serious. If your chinchilla has lost appetite, it is a sure sign they are suffering from an illness.

Freshwater is a vital necessity for any chinchilla. If you notice that they are less interested in consuming fluids or you are refilling the water bottle attached to the cage less often, this is a case of a serious underlying issue.

These little pets are fast feeders, and when they slow down, it means something is wrong. Lack of proper nutrition for too long will ultimately cause a chinchilla’s death.

Minimal or no feces production

If you own a chinchilla, you are bound to notice how much they poop nonstop. If their feces production goes down, you will know. This could mean that the chinchilla is suffering from an illness.

They may be suffering from intestinal blockage or are not eating as they usually do, which could mean a potential illness.

Infections in their respiratory system

Infections in their respiratory system

Respiratory infections are common with chinchillas. They are caused by a few reasons, including the environment you keep your chinchilla or the temperature. Common signs include intense breathing or discharge from the nose.

If this infection is left untreated, your chinchilla will lose appetite leading to anorexia and ultimately death. Weigh your chinchilla from time to time to know if they are losing weight from not feeding properly

Dental problems

Chinchillas are prone to dental issues more often than not. This issue may lead to death if left untreated. Like any other rodent, their teeth grow rapidly throughout their lives. An overgrown tooth can easily become infected.

Always check for chips or curls or if their teeth have changed color from their normal healthy yellow/orange color. Dental issues may lead to loss of appetite, drooling or bald patches around their eyes or mouth.

Fur and skin problems

Chinchillas have soft and beautiful fur, but some illnesses may dramatically change their appearance. Fungal and bacterial infections and ringworms can affect your chinchilla.

Luckily these infections present themselves as bald patches or irritated skin. Ensure your chinchilla’s cage is placed in an area with proper temperatures and always clean and the cage is set up correctly. This will help keep these infections at bay. Also, checking their skin more often helps- learn about chinchilla shaving here.



A chinchilla’s perfect environment must be cool with low humidity. They hardly survive hot temperatures, and they may get heat exhaustion, a heat stroke or other complicated health issues.

Their dense fur and inability to sweat make it difficult for them to cool down. These two reasons are why your chinchilla must remain inside. These pretty furry pets deserve a chilled spot in your home.


Chinchillas are social beings, and giving them a little love and attention goes a long way. Loneliness is not an illness, nor can it be treated with medication. It will not kill a chinchilla but may alter its normal behavior regarding feeding or socialization.

Final Thoughts

Bonding with a chinchilla may take up to several months, but once it happens, you realize you love that pet and don’t want to lose it. Having to look up how to tell your chinchilla is dying is heartbreaking.

Adopting a healthy diet, keeping their cage clean and cool, taking them out of the cage to inspect their bodies once in a while and annual vet visits are some of the ways you can be sure to keep your chinchilla healthy.

elena coolidge picture

Hi, my name’s Elena Coolidge, and this is my site. Chinchillas are so cute and such intelligent animals that make great pets. They’ve become the subject of fascination for many animal lovers who enjoy their antics. I blog about their care, where to buy them, breeders, and more. Shoot me an email if you have a question!

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