Digestive Problems

Chinchillas have delicate digestive systems. It is therefore important to be vigilant about changes in behavior that can indicate digestive issues.


One of the most common chinchilla ailments is constipation. Usually, constipation is caused by insufficient fiber. Constipation can also be caused by stress from new surroundings, a change in food, and lack of fresh water.

Constipation symptoms include smaller, drier, and thinner droppings. If you suspect your chinchilla is suffering from constipation make sure there are sufficient hay cubes in the cage. Also, offer the chinchilla a raisin or two. If they've been cooped up in the cage for the last few days, make sure to let them out so they can get some exercise. If the situation doesn't improve within a few days you should consult a vet.


Another common chinchilla ailment is diarrhea. Diarrhea is fairly simple to detect as the chinchilla's stool will be soft, sticky, and easy to flatten when stepped on. Too many treats or a change in food can result in this ailment. The first thing to do when detected is to stop providing treats. If the problem persists and there's no reason to suspect that the pellets or hay are bad, consult a veterinarian.


If the diarrhea persists for a long time, it could be a sign that your chinchilla's intestine is irritated or inflamed. These things can be caused by infection or the extended use of antibiotics. Along with the continued diarrhea, a chinchilla with enteritis will often lose interest in food and treats. If you think that your chinchilla may have enteritis you should take it to the vet.

Bettina Hansen's (website no longer live)
A New Owner's Guide to Chinchillas by Audrey Pavia

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  1. I have had my chinchilla for almost a month. I didn’t transition his food because I didn’t know I had to (that’s a huge mistake in my part) My chinchilla’s poop has been green and kind of soft for about 2 weeks. I took him to the vet and they found no parasites. They recommended I give him a little romaine lettuce, change from orchard to Timothy hay and change his pelletes. I am freaking out! He seems ok. Nothing has changed in his activity, or eating habits but I am scared. Could it be he is still scared and adjusting or the fact that I didn’t transition him slowly? Or could I have bought a toxic wood on accident and that’s what’s affecting him? Someone help

  2. Question for you guys. My chinchilla seems really lethargic lately and has lost some weight. She still poops but it's much as smaller stool than normal. Is she ok? I have not been able to let her out enough lately. Could that have affected this?

  3. My chinchilla is 2 1/2 years old. About a week ago, unnoticed her itching more, figured it was the dust. I didn't give her a dust bath for 2 weeks, still itching. Woke up she has a small matted spot on her right side, by her leg.. it looked like the hair is being chewed... I am completely freaking out being that she has never done this, her coat is always so beautiful..

  4. my one 4 month old chinchilla has a parasite in his stomach i have to give him 2 medications, one for 5 day and one for 7. syringe feeding him the the most stressful thing and he gets so scared, he doesn't like being held or wrapped in a blanket can anyone give me advise to make it an easier process? PLEASE HELP

    • Not sure how old this comment is, but when my chinchilla needs medicine she is the same way. I just use a syringe to measure it, then I put it on a spoon and she happily licks it up! I guess she likes the flavor lol.. If that doesn't work try asking the vet if their medication is available in a different flavor.

  5. Last night my chins poop was kinda slimy and smushy with a hole or 2 in each one..I took away pellets and gave a bit of blackened toast as well as hay..it seemed to help with the holes but it's still smushy what should I do

  6. I had three chinchillas one died earlier today she was fine before and we had not noticed anything. Then when we removed the other from the cage and he pooped I noticed it was hard and green. Could this have been the cause of the other ones death what should I do ? Should I worry?!?!?

    • I got two chinchillas a week and a half ago. Both babies, one born in January and one born in April. Both poop a lot and their poops have the same kind of texture. However, one is green (the older one). I haven't noticed anything weird in their behavior - they're both really active. No plastic in their cage. All wood safe toys. Treats sometimes (with no nuts but do have an allergy warning on them). They have a wheel and I take them out every night but they're never out of my site. Any idea why his poop would be green?

      I've been reading a lot but can't find anything on green poop dropelts. Everything I see is about green and runny poop. Could this just be because of his change in diet and surroundings? The other one is completely fine.

      • Slight poop discolouration can sometimes be caused by dyes used in certain foodstuff or even toys,however if you have any reason for concern (no matter how small as Chins are notorious for hiding ailments) please please consult with your vet as it's really not worth taking any risks hun

  7. We have two Chinchillas that are mother and daughter. Lately their coats have become matted and the little ones coat is stiff. We are not able to hold them because they bite. We give them dust baths everyday and change their cage every week. They are eating and drinking ok and seem fine otherwise just look bad. Any help?

    • What type of dust do you use. Avoid hamster dust and do not wash them with water. I also recommend you try tame them use gloves and reward good behavior with greets such as raisins carrots and oats

    • I agree with the earlier comment Hun,the best bathing dust is sepiolite/sepiolita I get mine at £20 for 25kg which works out very cheap and my god can you see the difference in their fur,I clean my cages daily and during this time is when I put them in the bath cage which manages their fur quite well as you can over-bathe them and cause dryness on their skin etc,one of mine was tame but quickly turned kinda vicious turning on my husband and I and her mother who she shared a cage with,we fixed this by wearing thick thermal woolly gloves and long sleeved clothing to protect us from biting then caught and held her daily just for a little while building up gradually,persevere as they will come around eventually hun,I felt cruel forcing her to let me handle her but i had to as the vet gave her some antibiotics in case she had an infection,but I quickly got my little girl back,if you treat them with respect and be as gentle but firm as you can they learn you're only trying to help and don't want to harm them,mine react great to being spoken to very softly and quietly calming almost like talking to a baby,it sounds silly but my herd have proven it time and time again,it's reassuring for them,I also can't stress enough though that any chin who changes personality like this should always be checked by a chin competent vet as it can be a sign of ailment,also you can get specialist grooming combs specifically for Chins fur too but I'd advise consulting chinformation (who are available on Facebook so you can send pictures to get a more personalised reply for your Chins specific problems) or let's love chinchillas are great for advice regarding grooming probs etc,I hope this helps hun

  8. My chinchilla will not eat or drink anything. He will maybe take a treat but not like normal, We just got him back from the vet and we think he has a blockage in his stomach, The vet wants us to use a syringe to feed him and he will not take it, any suggestions?

  9. My chinchilla escaped from her cage a couple days ago and was roaming the house when she was found the next morning. Don't know how long she was out. She seemed ok when we put her back. Just tired. But since then she stays at the bottom of her cage and is lethargic. We have 2 cats and a dog but don't think they hurt her. If she ate cat food could she be sick from that? She ate pellet food from my hand and drank some water from my hand but she's definitely not herself. Any ideas?

    • the cat food could definitely cause digestive problems that would make her feel ill.
      do you clean your floors with any chemicals? if she walked through something and licked her paws it's time to see a vet

  10. My chinchilla lays in her cage alot a nd sometimes i notice diarhhea plus she doesnt eat a lot what should i do?

    • My chinchilla did that I scedualed an appointment at the vet. They could take me the earliest in 5 days.
      My chinchilla stopped eating and drinking it lost weight VERY FAST. And died the day before the appointment.
      I was EXTREMELY sad. Please do not let this happen to u. Take her to the vet ASAP.
      I hope ur chinchilla survives.
      RIP Chinchi 7.1.08

    • First let me apologise that no one has commented with advice for you sooner as this situation is an emergency and I pray it's not too late for your little one.
      If at ANY time a chinchilla stops eating or drinking you must take it to a chinchilla competent vet urgently Hun as this situation can easily become fatal within 24-48hrs,chinnies digestive systems are not meant to cease working (whether it's caused by blockage or illness) which happens very quickly if the chin isn't eating or drinking,I'm also sorry for jenns comment,a chinchilla competent vet would not make you wait 5days Hun that's disgusting and you were let down badly by your vet,if you consider getting another chin at any point I'd advise finding a vet that is chinchilla competent Hun as all vets will agree to see your chin but only certain vets are actually competent with chinchillas,I know as I learnt the hard way too at the too high a cost of my chinnies life so I really do sympathise and send my condolences:(

  11. i found out that one of my chinchillas has soft poo but he is still active...any ideas on what i can do?

    Another of my chinchilla is a boy and has a bloated stomach. He still accepts raisins, which i give once a month but doesnt want to eat any hay.

    Is it normal for the chinchillas to bite the cage at night? Is there any way to stop it because it is very annoying.


    • Does your Chinch (the one biting on the cage) have access to a running wheal? That can make ALL the difference at NIGHT!

  12. my chinchilla just ate about 1/4th of a styrophome plate! is this harm full? it just happened last night, he is acting fine now, but shout i take him to the vet or wait and see if he has any sympyoms? please help!

  13. My daughter has a chinchilla and I just noticed that his stool is soft and flattens as well. He seems to be in good spirits and not making any unusual noises. Some of his drops are little clumps too. Should I take him to the vet soon? We had a rabbit with diarreha and she didn't make it and I don't want to take any chances. Let me know what I should do. Thanks

    • I seems like your chinchilla definitely has diarrhea but it doesn't seem to serious. Wait and don't give him any treats and make sure his hay and pellets are fresh... if nothing helps and he still is having issues i would greatly suggest taking him to the vet.

  14. My chinchilla started having diarrhoea when I brought him back from house sitting. I put it down to a change of food. now he's back on his old food it seems to be getting better but sometmes he doesnt want me to pick him up (he will squeek) i thought he had hurt his leg but now im not sure if it his stomach or not. does this mean there's something wrong in his digestive tract? when should I seek veterinary advice?

  15. my chinchilla has beeen acting normal but just yesterday she started having diarreha and today she still does when you go to pick her up and you put her down you find it all over the bed how long until i should call the vet please tell me
    posted 6-2-09

    • Rhiana, Get her there RIGHT AWAY! my chinchilla had the same problem and her intestine prolapsed and by the time we knew it was too late and we couldn't get her put to sleep. I just read this comment but get her there ASAP if this still happens!

  16. Hi, my baby chinchilla had diarrhea the last few days and I'm going to take him to the vet tomorrow. However today I went and there was a red curly thing coming out of his rectum. I will ask the vet tomorrow, but I don't know what it could be and I'm scared. Please help!

  17. Hi After my Chinchilla was playing in his ball I saw a yellowish white waxy substance between his penis and rectum. I pulled it out and it was about a half inch long. It didn't seem to hurt him at all. does anyone know what this is?

  18. hiya i have two chinchillas and one of them doesnt seem to be well she has lost alot of weight and has lost her appetite also her genital area is dirty and she sits there making a strange sound and struggles to breath sounds like a blocked nose. i have been taking her to the vets and she has been on antibotics for two weeks now and i dont see any improvement. what could this mean?? could u tell me whats wrong with her?

  19. my chinchilla has gotten very lethargic in the last day.... i live in wisconsin and so it's been warm the last couple of days... bt I have no other issues with my other chins... this chinchilla seems cold to the touch, weak, no ambition to move or even eat....but her stool seems fine... any suggestions????

  20. Give it a few days to clear. A change in food or a new treat could be causing the diarrhea.

  21. If diarrhea is common, how long do i wait until I take him to the vet?

  22. KATIE

  23. Our Chincilla lost it's appetite 2 days ago. The 1st day, he would eat raisins. Yesterday, he would not eat anything. This morning, it looks like a 2 inch portion of
    his bowel is sticking out of his rear-end (telescoping?) Last nite when we put him in
    his exercise ball, he passed what looked to be "Pet Fresh" bedding with blood on it.
    I'm worried he is dying. I'm trying to get him to the vet, but being memorial weekend, it seems no one is available. He has had an unending supply of hay daily, fresh water daily, and good mineralized and vitamin rich chinchilla food.
    Any hope?

  24. Avatar photo


    The best advice we can give is that if you're not sure if the treat is safe then throw it out. We can't know if treats from pet stores are safe and even if they generally are, who's to say that you didn't get a bad batch? It's better to stick to the natural treats in. Check out this article and this other one for ideas.

  25. hi i just have a quick question...today i went to the pet store and bought mineral treats in the shape of ice cream cones and they said they were full of calcium. they are from the company "super pets" and they are called "kritter kones". After i gave one to my chinchillas i came back after a few hours and some of the droppings were not brown but instead a shade of green.but they still look regular. please tell me if this is ok or if i should through the treats out.Thanks

    • If your chins teeth are a dark orange he/she is getting plenty of calcium and shouldn't need a supplement. Adding vitamins and other supplements to an already healthy diet can cause problems.

  26. Avatar photo


    We've seen that with our chinchillas. It seems to pass on its own.
    If you notice other issues or it continues for a long time, your chinchilla may have a bladder infection requiring the attention of a vet.

  27. Just a quick question I don't know if anyone can help me. My one chinchilla has had a really dark colored urine the last couple of days, almost a reddish color. Does anyone know what might be causing that? Or have had the same problem before?

    Thanks for the help.

    • Healthy chins have very dark urine that can range in color from dark red to brownish.

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