What Should I Do About a Bloody Tail?

We received this note from Trisha about her chinchilla having a bloody tail:

I know this doesn't have anything to do with a chinchilla's eyes, ears, nose and mouth. But one of my chinchilla's tail is bleeding and it looks like he might have lost the tip of his tail. I have another chinchilla with him but they are always nice. After I tried blotting the blood off I put them back together and they went to sleep cuddled up. I can't find any evidence of what happened. I have looked around the cage but all i can find are tail hairs and blood. Please respond quickly.

Our response to Trisha:

Hi Trisha,

Sorry, but there's no way for us to know what happened. If we had to guess, we'd say the tail got caught in something. Any fighting we've seen between chins hasn't involved tails so you're probably right in guessing that it wasn't from a fight.

It seems like we missed one of Trisha's question so she returned to ask again:

What should I do about the bloody tail? I am not sure how to treat it or what to do with it.

And our follow-up to her second question:

Trisha,

The safest thing is to go to a vet to check the tail and see if there's other damage that you can't see. Other than that, since the bleeding has stopped, you'll just have to wait and see how things go. Keep an eye out for any change in behavior or eating habits. And check on the wound to see if it's healing nicely.

A fellow reader. Rose, had this to add:

With ANY fresh wound on a chinchilla, first try to establish the cause if possible (to prevent it happening again). Then stop the bleeding if hasn't already stopped. A veterinary dry wound powder is the best thing to sprinkle over the wound. With a wound that has stopped bleeding, try to see if it is wet and oozing, or looks dry and scabbed. A wet oozing or bleeding wound should be seen by a vet as soon as possible. So should a wound that has pus or dirt in it. A huge wound will need stitches or skin glue applied by a vet, where as a small dry wound can be monitored at home by you. Any change in behavior or loss of appetite in a chinchilla can be a warning sign that a wound is infected. Urgent treatment with antibiotics may be needed in such cases. If in doubt, CALL A VET!!

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3 Comments

  1. Chris Celnar

    Bryan, We have a category on the right that covers some issues with pregnant chinchillas. Unfortunately, we don't know the answer to your specific question. Sorry!

  2. My chinchilla is pregnant. I read that when they give girth that they will get blood on them. How should I go about cleaning it since they can't get wet?

    • She will take care of cleaning herself, the afterbirth and the babies like all animals do. Most animals are self cleaning unless we have bred them to be much different from their wild predecessors which has not happened to that extent with chins. If she continues to have some dried blood on her a fine comb used very very gently will be all that is needed once the blood has dried but I wouldn't ever try it as she needs to be let alone to prevent infection and stress. If you do decide to attempt combing it out and it is too difficult don't hurt her in the attempt. Better to let it be than cause further problems and she along with natural shedding will eventually take care of it. The worry would be if she continued to bleed then she would need to get to a vet immediately. Then of course the blood would continue to look wet. You would be doing better by your chinchilla if you did not breed her anymore but at least take the male out of her cage immediately after the birth and keep him nearby so he can stay familiar with his babies but not be able to imediately rebreed with the female putting her under extreme stress physically.

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