Ringworm in Chinchillas: Symptoms and Treatment

Ringworm in Chinchillas: Symptoms and Treatment

Nowadays the world of pets is very diverse, and increasing numbers of people are deciding to adopt animals that only decades before wouldn't have been seen as normal pets, like iguanas, snakes, ferrets or different rodents, including chinchillas.

Domestic chinchillas are rodents and, as can often happen with these animals, the adaptation period can be difficult. Once they have become accustomed to their new environment, however, chinchillas are very affectionate and sociable pets that require daily attention from their owners.

Obviously, a chinchilla's organism is delicate and susceptible to a variety of diseases. It is very important to recognize certain signs and symptoms in order to treat the condition as early as possible. Stay with us at AnimalWised to learn all about ringworm in chinchillas, including its symptoms and treatment.

Fungal infections in chinchillas

The presence of fungi in a chinchilla is also known as ringworm, or dermatophytosis. In hot and humid conditions fungal infections can be a common problem for your chinchilla, especially if it isn't fully healthy or if it has an immune system deficiency.

Chinchillas are especially sensitive to the Trichophyton mentagrophytes fungus and species belonging to the Microsporum genus. Once infected, a chinchilla with ringworm is difficult to cure, but with proper treatment your pet can regain its health and return to showing off its healthy coat.

Here you can learn more about common diseases of chinchillas.

Symptoms of fungus in chinchillas

To find out if your chinchilla is suffering from a fungal infection it is important to observe the symptoms that indicate this type of disease, such as:

  • Hairless areas on the body
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Circular welts
  • Shiny, reddish skin
  • Signs of irritation and itching

The most affected areas are usually the nose, legs and areas surrounding the eyes and ears. However, if the infection isn't controlled it can spread to other areas, causing severe lesions.

If you spot some of the above symptoms in your chinchilla, it is important to go to the vet straight away to get an official diagnosis and decide on a treatment.

Diagnosis and treatment of ringworm in chinchillas

The vet will take a sample of the chinchilla's hair or even use a special type of light to verify the presence of fungi and identify the species causing the infection. If the diagnosis of ringworm is confirmed, a treatment will be prescribed.

The treatment of ringworm in chinchillas is usually long, since it is necessary to eradicate the infection completely. The vet may recommend one or more of the following therapeutic measures:

  • Dust baths with medication
  • Topical antifungal medication
  • Oral antifungal medication

The main active ingredients of commonly used antifungals are clotrimazole and miconazole nitrate, although only the vet is able to recommend a particular treatment.

Prevent ringworm from spreading

Chinchillas affected by ringworm can spread the disease to other animals and humans. It is very important to prevent any transmission, which is easy to do if the following tips are followed:

  • The chinchilla shouldn't be in contact with healthy animals.
  • The dust should be removed after each bath.
  • No healthy animal can come into contact with the dust of the infected chinchilla.
  • The cage should be thoroughly disinfected, as well as the feeder, water dispenser and any accessories the animal comes into contact with.
  • It is recommended to use gloves to handle the chinchilla, and to wash your hands after handling.

Preventing ringworm in chinchillas

There is no completely effective measure to prevent ringworm in chinchillas, but the following recommendations will allow you to keep your pet healthy and minimize the risks of possible infection:

  • Don't bathe your chinchilla with water.
  • Don't place your chinchilla's cage in humid places.
  • Maintain optimum hygiene in your chinchilla's space.
  • Give your chinchilla regular dust baths to remove moisture from its fur.
  • Remove any factors that it may find stressful from its environment.
  • Ensure it has a balanced diet tailored to its needs.

Here you can learn more about caring for chinchillas.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Ringworm in Chinchillas: Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Parasitic diseases category.