Last Modified

June 24, 2022 by Umair Shahid

Chinchillas are little rodents with tons of fur around their whole body. The chinchillas live in a colder climate. They are the natives of the Aedes mountains of Chile. This cold climate needs a thick layer of fur to survive, and chinchillas have that.

To survive in a cold climate, the chinchillas have the thickest fur in the animal kingdom. But, if you keep chinchillas in temperate regions with warmer climates, heat stroke in chinchillas becomes a reality. I will tell you in detail about the heatstroke in chinchillas.

What is heatstroke:

Heatstroke is the overheating of the body. It can either be because of poor heat loss by the body or excessive heat production in the body. The normal body temperature range for chinchillas is 98.5 to 100.4 Fahrenheit. Heatstroke occurs if the temperature suddenly rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

It usually occurs when there is a high temperature in the environment. Under normal conditions, if the body temperature rises above the normal range, the cooling mechanism is initiated by sweating. However, if this cooling mechanism does not start, it leads to hyperthermia or an increase in body temperature. It differs from fever because fever is a rise in temperature because of an infection. Heatstroke is an emergency condition, and it can cause the death of your chinchilla.

Another common cause of heatstroke in chinchillas is the sunbath. New pet parents consider a sunbath is a good source of vitamin D for chinchillas. However, it is lethal for chinchillas to place under the sunlight. The chinchillas are very sensitive to heat because of their heavy fur. Sunlight can raise their body temperature to dangerous levels in a few minutes. Moreover, the chinchillas produce vitamin D inside their bodies. They do not require sunbath to get vitamin D for their bones.

Signs of heatstroke in chinchillas:

Heatstroke is a heat-related illness in chinchillas that can cause various signs in chinchillas. Some of the common symptoms that can help you identify the heatstroke in chinchillas are as follows.

  • Deep breaths and dyspnea
  • Restlessness
  • Drooling
  • Loss of appetite or complete anorexia  
  • Lungs congestion and respiratory complications
  • Comma and unconsciousness

How to treat heatstroke in chinchillas:

As a new chinchilla owner, you must be thinking of giving a shower to chinchillas to keep them cold and cozy in the warm climate. Let me tell you, it is not a good idea to give a bath to your chinchillas to reduce their body temperature. The chinchillas fear water. The water bath can give them even more stress. It also damages the fur coat of chinchillas.

For immediate treatment, take your chinchilla to a vet. The vets know how to lower the body temperature in this case. They might use methylated spirit to lower the temperature. Coldwater enema is also a good way to scale down the body temperature of sensitive animals immediately. Wrap the chinchilla in a cold towel and administer intravenous fluids to prevent shock.

How to prevent heatstroke in chinchillas:

You can always prevent heat stroke in chinchillas because prevention is better than cure. There are several ways to protect your chinchillas from the damage of the heatstroke. Some of these methods are as follows.

CAGE MANAGEMENTS:

The most crucial factor in the prevention of heatstroke in chinchillas is the management of the chinchilla cage. Try to keep the cage airy and well-ventilated. In the regions with hot temperate climates, it is necessary to provide air coolers for chinchillas. Never use water sprinklers or sprays to keep chinchillas cool.

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AVOID SUNLIGHT:

 The next critical step is the placement of the cage. The chinchillas are very sensitive, and direct sunlight or heat can be lethal for chinchillas. Avoid providing direct sunlight to the chinchillas in any case. Similarly, keep the chinchillas in a calm, relaxed environment. Never place the cage in a noisy environment because they can experience stress. The stress aggravates the health problem in chinchillas.

USE GRANITE:

This is an effective way of preventing heatstroke in chinchillas. The granite has the potential to keep the cage temperature lower. It effectively prevents heat strokes in chinchillas. You can make the cage floor of granite or use a granite slab as the base during summer.  

PROVIDE WATER:

There must be ad libitum water availability in the cage. If the environmental temperature is too high, make the water temperature lower and provide it to your chinchillas. The best way to prevent heatstroke in chinchillas is by providing them with lots of cold water.

Frequently asked questions:

  1. What happens if chinchillas get too hot?

Chinchillas are habitual to living in a cold, dry climate. They live in an area with a normal temperature range of not over 65 Fahrenheit. The slightest change in this temperature can cause severe physiological damage to chinchillas. They get heatstroke which can be very lethal for chinchillas.  

  • Can I put the fan on to cool down my chinchillas?

Yes, you can put the fan on to keep your chinchilla cool under normal circumstances. However, if your chinchilla is suffering from heatstroke, the cooling by only a fan does not help. During eating stress or heatstroke, the chinchillas might need a better cooling mechanism than a fan.

  • Do chinchillas overheat easily?

Yes, the chinchillas are prone to heatstroke. The chinchillas are the rodents having the thickest fur in the world. This heavy fur can make them experience heat retention more than any other animal species. Therefore, if you have a pet chinchilla, make sure you keep them cool all the time.

Conclusion:

The chinchillas and heatstroke is the biggest problem with keeping a chinchilla as a pet in your house. They are very sensitive to temperature. The chinchillas can never maintain their body temperature if the environmental temperature increases above the temperature range.

Heatstroke is an emergency condition and takes your pet to an exotic animal vet immediately. You can prevent heat stroke by using air coolers and avoiding direct exposure to sunlight in your pet chinchillas.   

Author 2

I am a proud veterinarian from Lahore, Pakistan. A passionate animal lover who pursued her passion for animal care as a career.
My eagerness to learn and my love for animals grew stronger even during my teenage days. Having a lovely pet, a German Shepherd, in my home allowed me to bond with animals in the best way.
This bonding with my pet provided me with a firm foundation to research and preach about the best animal care methods.

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