Chinchilla husbandry: an overview of correct care
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Chinchillas are increasingly being kept as pets in the UK and are occasionally being seen in veterinary practices. They are small, long-lived rodents that are generally most active during the night. They have soft dense fur which may become detached if handled roughly. They are social animals and benefit from being kept in pairs or small groups. Chinchillas require large multi-level cages as they are active animals and like to jump.Diet should consist of hay, chinchilla nuggets and occasional high fibre treats. Many of the conditions encountered in veterinary practice are as a result of inadequate husbandry or diet; dental disease, digestive disorders, diabetes mellitus and heatstroke may all be seen. Their active nature means chinchillas are also prone to traumatic injury.Veterinary nurses can play an important role in educating owners (and prospective owners) about the needs of their pets.
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