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Pneumonia in Chinchillas

It comes as a surprise to many people that chinchillas can contract pneumonia. The truth is that they are highly susceptible to this condition. The primary cause of pneumonia in chinchillas is a bacterial infection usually froman unkept or dirty environment. This post will guide you on how to identify clinical signs suggestive of pneumonia in your pet and what necessary actions to take.

What Causes Pneumonia in Chinchillas?

The two main causative agents of pneumonia in chinchillas are bacteria and the environment. Pneumonia-causing bacteria tend to attack chinchillas in the same way that they do humans. These bacteria are inhaled and eventually develop the condition in their lungs.

Symptoms of Pneumonia in Chinchillas

You can observe most of the symptoms of pneumonia in chinchillas even without the input of an exotic animal veterinarian. The most common symptoms that you will most probably notice are:

  • Frequent sneezing
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Wheezing sounds as the chinchilla breathes
  • Depression or lethargy

Once you suspect that your chinchilla might have developed pneumonia, it is recommended that you bring it to us immediately. Our veterinarians will then conduct further diagnosis using a sample from the nasal area and will obtain radiographs (x-rays) of your chinchilla. This is to establish the particular type of fungus or bacteria that has attacked your pet and the severity of the infection, in order to proceed with the correct treatment.

Treatment of Pneumonia in Chinchillas

The treatment of pneumonia in your chinchilla can happen in three ways, depending on the preference of the exotic animal veterinarian and/or the extent of the infection.

  • Antibiotics: These are prescribed to help control the infection by dealing directly with the bacteria.
  • Supportive therapy: Supportive therapy in the form of intravenous (IV) fluids, oxygen supplementation, immune-boosters, diuretics and nutritional support can also be prescribed alongside the antibiotics.
  • Supplements: Finally, our veterinarians may decide to prescribe mineral and vitamin supplements to stabilize your pet’s condition.

Preventing the Contraction of Pneumonia

Prevention is the best way to avoid pneumonia in chinchillas; you can prevent the contraction of this infection in the following ways:

  • Hygienic environment – It is crucial to ensure that your chinchilla’s living space is a fresh and hygienic one. Frequent cleaning is highly recommended.
  • Change bedding – Most bacteria and fungi will find a way to breed if your pet’s bedding material is not changed frequently enough.

Keeping your Chinchilla Healthy

Pneumonia can be fatal if your chinchilla contracts it and goes untreated for too long. It is therefore essential that you do all that is necessary to prevent your beloved chinchilla from developing it in the first place. If you take care to follow our advice, you have a far better chance of doing so. Additionally, call us immediately should you observe any of the symptoms of pneumonia we discussed above in your chinchilla. The Exotic Animal Hospital of Orlando is open 6 days a week for your convenience. We are here to help!



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