Pet chinchillas have been known to exhibit symptoms of depression. Most pet owners have been concerned about this for a while. I believe that’s why you are here today too.
Because chinchillas are so sensitive, it’s hard not to get worried when they show weird behavior. So, does your chinchilla look emotionally unwell? What can you do?
Let’s find out. Here is a guide on what you must know about your chinchilla depression. We’ll answer the most common questions concerning chinchillas and depression.
From what we know so far, it looks like chinchillas can get depressed. This can be a sign of more fatal issues. Chinchillas get depressed from grieving, sickness, and improper care.
Chinchillas have not been domesticated for a long time, so we don’t know much about them. Keep reading to find out what we know so far.
Can Chinchillas Suffer From Depression
Now, we must clear things up. When we are talking about depression, it’s hard to compare it with the illness that we as humans suffer. So, don’t think about the symptoms people have when you are looking at your chinchilla.
Chinchillas get easily stressed. The thing is though they hardly show any early signs so we notice their state much later. Being in a stressed state for a long time causes depression-like symptoms. So, chinchillas only show depressive symptoms when they have been stressed for a while from being afraid, bored, or hurt.[ Source ]
That’s why we need to keep an eye on any signs of stressed behavior. If we treat the source of the depression, then it may not be that serious. Severe depression can be fatal for the chinchilla. In general, depressed chinchillas are more likely to get sick.
There are things you can do though. You just have to keep your eye out for any signs of stressed behavior. Do regular vet visits, and consult with an expert. That’s the way to make sure we have healthy chinchillas. [ Source ]
[Related Article: 11 Signs Your Chinchilla Likes You And How To Bond With Them]
Signs Of Stress In Chinchillas
I know you love your little chinchilla, and you know him pretty well. Chinchillas are creatures of habit, they like their daily routine. So, you have to keep an eye on any changes in their repetitive behavior. Here are the signs of stress in chinchillas.
One common condition that most pet chinchillas exhibit when in a stressed state is hiding. Healthy chinchillas exhibit daily habits, they like to exercise and play. A stressed chinchilla will usually start hiding and stop with the daily routine.
- Fur Chewing.
A distressed chinchilla will also start fur chewing. You may not notice this at first. Chances are the little one will be hiding whilst doing this. You can start noticing when it starts shedding fur. One pat over the chinchilla and you will pick up fur.
- Refusing to move.
Some upset chinchillas will not move at all or just do repetitive movements. This may be due to some injury or some internal pain. Often they will just rock forward into the cage bar. Be on the lookout for this type of behavior it may be a sign of a more serious health issue.
- Changed feeding habits.
As I said, the animal we are talking about is a creature of habit. You must have noticed that by now. You see that it expects food at a certain time or after performing a task. Stressed chinchillas will stop doing their daily feeding habits. Some pets avoid eating at all. Others will start overeating or overdrinking.
- Aggressive behavior.
It depends on how the little animal reacts in bad situations but aggressive behavior is also an option. Chinchillas exhibit this vocally by hissing or something like barking. This often happens when you check up on them to see why they aren’t playing or eating. Or, when it’s hiding and you find it it will hiss.
Keep a lookout for any of these signs. Some of these signs can be noticed early others show a bit later. Either way, if you notice any of these depressive symptoms in your chinchilla, it’s time to visit a vet.
Why Do Chinchillas Get Depressed
You should take your pet to the vet if you notice any depressive symptoms. But that alone is not enough. You have to figure out why the chinchilla was upset in the first place. Think about what has changed lately. Here are some reasons why chinchillas get depressed.
I know that most people recommend getting a chinchilla pet with a mate. That’s what most people do. The bad thing is when one of the pets dies, it’s possible for the other to get really sad. It’s not always true, some chinchillas don’t get too attached to the friend pet. Keep an eye on the chinchilla if this happens to you.
- Lack of play.
Chinchillas like doing tasks. It’s the same with most rodents. It’s a way of entertainment for them. Some owners neglect their pets. Having a chinchilla means you must have time to play with it. Bored chinchillas may get to a point of clinical depression.
Always check your pet for injuries. A chinchilla may get injured without you noticing it. If the pain persists long enough, it may affect the chinchilla’s emotional health.
These animals have quite a sensitive digestive system. They easily develop bacterial infections and dental diseases. An illness may also cause a lot of pain, making the chinchilla severely depressed.
[Related Article: Do Chinchillas Die Of Loneliness As Pets]
What To Do If My Chinchilla Is Depressed
It depends on when you notice the depressive symptoms but most of the time you can stop them before anything serious happens. It’s true that the life spans of depressed chinchillas are lower but there’s hope.
If you notice any signs of stress or depression, immediately visit a vet. Consult with an expert and see what you can do. Find out why the chinchilla was stressed out in the first place. It’s a good practice to always be on the lookout for any early signs of depression.
Make sure you are keeping healthy chinchillas. They are active animals, and you should keep them that way. Do regular vet checks, and always pay attention to your pet.
Related Questions And Other FAQs
Why Is My Chinchilla Being Mean
If a chinchilla is being aggressive towards you or cage mates, it may be because it’s in a stressful situation. Check for any injuries, get a larger cage, and take it to the vet.
How Do You Help A Grieving Chinchilla
Chinchillas grieve lost mates. To help them, let them see the dead mate, clean the cage, comfort your pet, and consider taking another mate.