Last Modified

June 24, 2022 by Umair Shahid

Seizures are a very frightening medical condition that involves both the mental and physical capacities of the patient. Seizures are a petrifying condition. The seizures occur because of sudden changes in the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain. This change causes uncontrolled movement of the body, known as seizures. Seizures in chinchillas are not a very common condition. However, several diseases can cause seizures in chinchillas. I will tell you about the causes and treatment of seizures in chinchillas.

What causes seizures in Chinchillas?

There are several reasons chinchillas have seizures. If your pet chinchillas experience such problems, you must take them to a vet immediately. According to veterinarian experience, the convulsions show some underlying medical conditions. Some of these conditions causing seizures in chinchillas are as follows.

LISTERIOSIS:

It is a bacterial infection that can invade the brain as well. Usually, the listeriosis cause symptoms like diarrhea and rectal prolapse. However, if bacteria enter the brain through the bloodstream, it causes nervous signs. The common nervous signs in chinchillas suffering from listeriosis are tile, blindness, and seizures.  

CALCIUM OR THIAMINE DEFICIENCY:

The nerve impulse transmission from the body to the brain and vice versa requires many positive and negative ions. These ions are necessary to transmit electrical impulses. If you feed your chinchilla a diet deficient in these ions, it leads to seizures and other nervous problems because of the underdevelopment of brain cells.

HEAD TRAUMA:

A head injury or falling from height can also cause damage to the nervous system. It can disrupt the signal transmission in the brain and spinal cord. This disruption causes seizures of fainting in chinchillas. Make sure the enrichments for climbing are not too high in the cage.

POISONING:

There are many poisonous agents in the feed that can cause slow poisoning in chinchillas. Therefore, try to purchase chinchilla feed from reliable sources. If you take your pet outdoors, there is a chance he might engulf some poisonous plant or fruits. The plant seeds and some fruits can also cause seizures if chinchillas intake them in high amounts.

HEATSTROKE:

The chinchillas have a natural habitat in cold climates. They live on hills in Andes and Chile. The chinchillas are very sensitive to high temperatures. They cannot survive in warm climates. If your chinchilla is suffering from heatstroke, it might faint or show nervous signs like seizures and convulsions.

HYPOGLYCEMIA:

The brain needs the energy to carry out its functions. If the chinchilla is not being fed enough, its brain will not function properly. In addition to deteriorating health, the lack of necessary ions, minerals, and vitamins will lead to seizures and disruption of nerve impulses in your chinchillas.

GENETIC DISEASES:

The seizures can also occur because of genetic disabilities in animals like epilepsy. These genetic diseases arise because of epilepsy. However, these diseases are very rare in chinchillas.

Symptoms Of Seizures:

To identify the seizures in chinchillas, you might need to know how does a seizure look like. When experiencing a seizure or spasm, the chinchilla will lie on the side of the body. They usually lie up flat or curl up during the spasm. Their body becomes stiff and twitches uncontrollably. If your chinchilla is having a seizure, make sure not to feed anything at this moment. Take your pet to an exotic veterinarian.

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Treatment Of Seizures:

The first thing you must do to manage a chinchilla suffering from a seizure is to let the seizure complete its course. Do not wake or feed your chinchilla during the convulsion. Treating seizures needs to remove the underlying cause. Take your pet to a veterinarian to get a diagnosis. The treatment depends on the cause of seizures.

In an emergency condition, you can use sedatives to reduce convulsions. During the spasms, animals can injure themselves or bite their tongue. Avoid feeding them through the oral route because it can cause choking or aspiration during convulsions. Each condition leading to seizures has its treatment protocol.   

In the case of genetic defects, usually, there is no available treatment. If your chinchilla is having seizures because of heatstroke, it is an emergency. In this condition, take your chinchilla to the vet as soon as possible. The veterinarians use medication to lower the body temperature immediately. I will recommend getting the seizure treated by a veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How can I know if my chinchilla is having seizures?

During seizures, the chinchillas show uncontrolled body movements or spasms. The chinchilla lies on the sides of its body, and you would see the whole body shaking. The seizures in chinchillas are like seizures in humans, so you can easily identify them.

  • How can I help my chinchilla during seizures?

The only thing you can do during a seizure in your chinchilla is to let it complete the course. Do not interrupt the convulsions. Feed nothing to your pet because it can cause aspiration or choking. Take your pet to an exotic pet for diagnosis and treatment. Never try to self-diagnose the seizures.  

  • Can my chinchilla die of seizures?

Seizures can be life-threatening if we combine them with other factors. However, it is uncommon to die of seizures. It is an underlying condition that can be life-threatening. If your chinchillas are having seizures because of bacterial, fungal, or viral infection, it can be life-threatening if you do not treat them on time. However, if the seizures are because of genetic disorders, it is unlikely that your chinchilla will die from it.    

Conclusion:

The chinchillas are lovely little rodents that people love to keep as pets. It is easy to understand when you see seizures in chinchillas. You will see the spasm in the whole body. This spasm can last for a few seconds to several minutes. However, it is best to take your chinchillas to a vet for diagnosis and treatment.

The convulsions or spasms are an indicator of underlying nerve damage. It can lead to many other severe problems like blindness, head pressing, and loss of consciousness. Therefore, treat the chinchillas as the priority. Provide them a feed free of toxins and harmful chemicals. You can give them phenobarbital during seizures to sedate them.

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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