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  #1  
Old 02-28-2019, 03:02 PM United States
josephomega josephomega is offline
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Default Chinchilla Mother hair loss

My grey mother Chinchilla, Nebula, gave birth to two babies a little over a month ago. Everything was fine up to today. I noticed the mother had lost a good amount of hair towards her lower back above her tail. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe the babies chewed it, or she did, or even the father. I do put the mother and babies with the dad for a few minutes to an hour depending on if the male can control himself. I don't want to take her to the vet unless necessary. It feels like a buzz cut on a dog if that makes sense. Anyone help please? She is about 4-5 years old and there is no blood at all, just hair loss.
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:01 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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It sounds like possibly fur chewing, nothing serious or life threatening the fur will grow back eventually once the fur chewing stops. In case you are wondering if it was a fur slip (like from a fight) the fur completely falls out at the root not just cut. Without actually seeing who did it it's hard to say, it could be her, the kits, or the father.

I would not be putting the father back with them at all unless he has been neutered or you are planning to breed them again already (neither is advised). Not giving her time to recover between litters is cruel and could kill her. Breeding can literally take a second, hop on hop off the deed is done, unless you are hovering over them the whole time they are together it's too quick to stop. So it's very likely the female is pregnant again, especially if they have been unsupervised long enough for you to not know if he is chewing on the female's fur. Also keep in mind that if the babies are female the male can and will mate with them as well, possibly as young as 8 weeks. Same with if the babies are male they can possibly mate with mom as young as 8 weeks. Chinchillas don't care that it's their daughter/father, son/mother, or brother/sister, to them it's just a female or male.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:58 PM United States
josephomega josephomega is offline
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I'm glad to hear it is not life threatening. I think it may be the kits. I think they are still chewing on her because I've been monitoring her for the past few days and I did not see it directly but either I missed it the first time I saw her like that or the kits are still chewing on her or maybe she is herself. Because its now on her side and I saw a few furs sticking out, nothing huge or patchy, just a few hairs here and there. The kits are 5 weeks old now. I know I can start to separate them at 8 weeks. So basically its possible she is pregnant again and that's why she's been chewing her fur? How long will it take to grow back and how can I prevent the babies or her from chewing at it? Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:59 PM Canada
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Fur chewing can be for any number of reasons, most commonly stress or boredom. It could be stress from being pregnant again or just having kits in general is stressing her out. She could also be bored if there isn't much to chew on or play with in the cage or if she hasn't been getting playtime. At 5 weeks they don't need the mother all the time anymore so you can take her out for short play times to get away from the kits. If it's the kits chewing her fur, they could be bored or they could simply be bugging their mother, wanting to nurse or something when she doesn't want to.

The only way to stop it is to take away to cause, so in the case of the kits, once they are weaned. In the case of the female you need to figure out what is causing it, boredom or stress. If its the kits stressing her then once they are weaned she should hopefully stop. If it goes on too long though it can become habit, meaning even taking away the cause isn't going to help. It may not look pretty, but so long as she isn't chewing into the skin it's not really hurting her.

It can take about 3-6 months to grow back once the chewing stops. Basically the chewed fur needs to shed out and new fur grow in (new fur growing in pushes the old fur out). So it depends on where in her shedding cycle she is and if she is pregnant again or not.
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