Complimentary Treatment For Colds/respiratory Problems

The word "cold" is a bit of an erroneous term TBH - my experience is that chins tend to suffer from respiratory infections - rather than a chinchilla equivalent of a human cold.

"Colds" can kill a chinchilla if left untreated - so veterinary attention is always recommended first and formost. However, there is supportive treatment that you can give - to compliment veterinary treatment.

There are a few things to note first of all - you can get both upper (affecting the nares/sinuses) and lower (affecting the trachea and/or lungs) respiratory infections .... Lower respiratory infections tend to be more serious - but both need prompt treatment.

Symptoms of Upper Infection

Temperature (signs - hot, flushed ears)

Nasal discharge

Excessive sneezing

Poor appetite

Snuffling/noisy breathing

In advanced cases the chinchilla may start to "mouth-breathe"

Symptoms of a Lower Infection


Laboured breathing (in serious cases they may even start coughing)

Rattling/wheezing noises in chest

Poor/no appetite

Generally off-colour and lethargic

A vet will more than likely prescribe antibiotics and possibly an anti-mucosal drug - such as Bisolvon - but in advanced cases oral medication may be hard to administer so it is preferred for the medication to be administered by injection.

The owner of the chinchilla can support veterinary care - by doing the following ....

  • Keep the chinchilla warm and out of any drafts - a heatpad is ideal.
  • Withold sandbaths - as they will irritate the nasal passages.
  • Ensure the chinchilla is drinking enough fluids and keep tempting the appetite if the chinchilla is not eating normally.
  • You can put a few drops of Karvol infant descongestant on a tissue near or under the cage - where the chin cannot reach it.
  • In cases of emergency (and only if the vet has NOT given an antimucosal) you can give a little Sudafed Liquid - but please use caution. Correct dosages are as follows: 0.2ml per adult chin - twice a day

Chinchillas usually respond well to treatment provided it is started as soon as possible - do not delay in taking the chin to the vets if abnormal breathing is noticed.

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