Chinchilla, one of the most popular small pet animal on earth. Due their small bodies many people raised and keep as pet hamster (although they were totally different animals). There many cute facts about chinchilla that is the reasons why they were loved so much. Furthermore, chinchilla was herbivorous animals; in the wildlife chinchilla’ main dietary was variety of plant. So, for you who thought that chinchilla can eat all kinds of foods, I’m sorry dear, that’s not true at all.
Chinchilla’ size body was spread in many ranges; some of them even reach the size of rabbit. No wonder why many people – a lot of times – debating which one is easier to to care, chinchilla or rabbit. Well, every creature has their own unique specification which we can’t compare one to each other. Some people prefer rabbit as pet and some of them prefer chinchilla; so, nothing should be debated here, right? One common thing for both of owners (chinchilla and rabbit owners), you bear the responsibility of your pet’ health.
Health is the most important task for the ownership – even chinchilla potentially effected to pneumonia! What human can effected so does with animals. Based on that little fact, physical condition is not the only subject of attention. For human, there are two matters that influenced our health condition: first of course the physical state and the second was our psychic state. We already knew much physical problems occurred to human and animal, but what about the psychic problems?
Don’t you know that animal could strike by this condition, also? The fact is psychic problem in animals are dangerous than you ever thought. Varieties of problems such disorders, anxiety, depress, and stress able to influence animals too – even our dear chinchilla. Many reasons could trigger this mental problems of chinchilla, one of the most common problem was come from heat stress. What is heat stress? How come chinchilla influenced by it? How to overcome the heat stress in chinchilla?
Heat Stress in Animals
People, you need to understand that chinchilla was a thick-fur animal. This feature exposes this animal to heat stroke more than other animal. Just imagine you wear a fur-coat in the middle of summer; well, that would be an effective way for diet, I imagine. Believed me, no one could handle that! That is why chinchilla easier to stroke by the heat more than other animal – but, do not mistaken my words that other animals couldn’t get this issue. Before we learn how to overcome the heat stress in chinchilla, let’s us get deeper insight about the heat stress first.
The official name of heat stress was EHL (Excessive Heat Load), the situation where animals face the inevitable body heat due the increment of body temperature than normal. This condition often happened to cattle and other livestock animals – but, it’s not close the possibility that other animal expose to same situation. So, how come EHL occurred to animal? Apparently, there are many factors contributed for EHL to strike animals, this included: animal characteristics and environmental condition.
Therefore, we would share characteristics of these two factors, so that we could learn together what might be the causes of EHL and in the end we could try to control the situation:
There are several animal characteristics potentially influenced the frequency of heat stress attack the animals:
- Breed: which mean the ratio of heat stress attacked was also influenced by genetic of the animals itself.
- Coat Color and Type: this was general knowledge must know for anyone, that darker color was easier to absorb the heat than the light ones. Therefore, darker coat animals are prone to get heat stress than lighten-coated animals. The thickness of the coats was also the main factor of heat stress.
- Health: it is obvious, if the animals aren’t in their maximum state of health, they exposed to any kind of issues, not only the heat stress.
There are several environmental conditions potentially influenced the frequency of heat stress attack the animals:
- Sudden changes of climate conditions.
- High ongoing relative humidity and the minimum or maximum ambient temperatures.
- Minimum air movement within several days.
Heat Stress in Chinchilla
Chinchilla exposed to heat stress due their thick fur and some chinchillas are darker than others. People, you need to pay much attention to your pet chinchilla because in many scenarios, heat stress able to leads animals to their death. A quick help must be done immediately if the symptoms of heat stress occur to your beloved one. These are heat stress symptoms occurred to chinchilla and need to handle as fast as you could:
- Respiratory problems such as difficulty of breathing.
- Excessive water consumption.
- The animal often drooling.
- Vomiting and diarrhea.
- The animal might begin to exhibit anxious behavior which often formed as excess bark (in dogs) and agitation.
- Dazed expression, incoherent behavior and weaknesses.
- Bright red gums,
- And the last and dangerous ones are seizure and collapse.
Treatment of Heat Stress
If chinchilla positively stroke by heat stress, you need to execute the cooling treatment slowly. For the example: bath the chinchilla with cold water; for your note, this cold water treatment would be the first aid done by the vet as well to help to cool down pet animals. After the bath, you must monitor chinchilla temperatures regularly to ensure that the chinchilla would back to her normal temperature again.
Beside the bath, the vet would also prescripts general supportive care of minerals and vitamins supplements, corticosteroids, and IV (Intravenous) fluids that help to stabilize chinchilla from shock state.
Overcome the Heat Stress Situation
The only way to overcome the heat stress situation is controlling environment temperatures. How to execute it? First, do not ever put the cage where the sun directly sting your pet chinchilla. Always put the chinchilla in well-ventilated places but at the same time it provided shelter for the chinchilla. Even more, you could put a little fan near the chinchilla cage. Do not forget to provide you little one with enough fresh water.
If you ask what is the proper temperature that needed by chinchilla, then the answer is about 80° of Fahrenheit or about 27° of Celsius.