Chewing off whiskers

Asha

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Hello everyone! I have three females that I have been housing together for nearly 5 months. Its a mom and her two babies. In the last few weeks, I've noticed that both mom and babies' whiskers have been slowly getting shorter. I haven't caught them doing it, but I'm pretty sure they are chewing each others whiskers off. Its such a shame because they all had such beautiful whiskers before and now they look like an old grandpa's mustache! Short and stubble-y!

Now I've read about people trimming a chin's whiskers on purpose during introductions to minimize dominance issues, but could not really find any info about chins chewing each others' whiskers off. Reasons why, what do to about it, etc. Anyone else seen their chins do this? Did they ever stop? Anything I can do?
 

qtpie61282

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I had a pair that did this. Only the one chin chewed the other chin's whiskers. It is a dominance behavior. Its a way for the one chin to show it's dominance to the other chin.
It could cause stress to the one chin that is being dominated so keep an eye on them and make sure they are all behaving normally, and eating and drinking without any problems.

I have heard of people trimming their whiskers but I have never done it.
 

mistywaterwoman

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I have whisker trimmed before, with mixed results.

I will say, though, that I have a pair that has been together for almost 7 years now, (females) and one is passive, and the other is dominant. The dominant one will go through bullying phases, and just when I am thinking I might need to seperate them, the passive one will chew her whiskers down and then she behaves again.
So, I think it's Sally's (passive) way of saying "I have had enough!" and putting Amy (dominant) in her place. It works out really well for them, BUT I still keep a close eye on them just in case.
 

Asha

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So its nothing to worry about for the most part right? From what I can tell, both girls and momma all have whiskers about the same length now which is about 1/2 inch long on both sides. I have no idea who started the whisker chewing or who is doing it, but they all look the same. At least they all snuggle when they sleep so I guess they don't mind each other too much, but I'll definitely keep an eye out for any trouble.
 

mistywaterwoman

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It's probably that the babies are getting old enough to fight for dominance in their "herd". Around 6-9 months old?
Just keep an eye out for pulled fur, bitten ears, etc.
 

Asha

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Yes, they will be 6 months old next month.....so, I guess you could say they are teenager chinchillas! hehe. Will definitely keep an eye out for bitten ears. Does pulled fur look the same as a fur slip?
 

Just_found

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I'm going through this right now. I just put them in the same cage yesterday for the first time after the initial introduction stages. They were fine, humping, normal stuff. They were snuggled up and I went to bed. I was gone a little bit today, a few hours. Came home they were still cuddling. They seem happy. But when they got up and walked around and I let them out I noticed Aura's cheek is pink so I looked at her and she's got a few whiskers cut down to the quick so to speak. They are due to go to the vet next week so I will ask what they think and if they have any suggestions. A lot of stuff that I read say that if one is doing this, it's bullying and it's not okay and they must be separated and cannot live together. So I'm looking for any insight on possibly steering Nova away from eating her sister. They don't seem to fight or hate each other or see scared or scary. They eat together and are sleeping in the same house and bed. Doesn't sound like someone who is scared to me. It's only the first day of this so if I can do anything to help it stop early on it would be great.
 

Amethyst

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I'm going through this right now. I just put them in the same cage yesterday for the first time after the initial introduction stages. They were fine, humping, normal stuff. They were snuggled up and I went to bed. I was gone a little bit today, a few hours. Came home they were still cuddling. They seem happy. But when they got up and walked around and I let them out I noticed Aura's cheek is pink so I looked at her and she's got a few whiskers cut down to the quick so to speak. They are due to go to the vet next week so I will ask what they think and if they have any suggestions. A lot of stuff that I read say that if one is doing this, it's bullying and it's not okay and they must be separated and cannot live together. So I'm looking for any insight on possibly steering Nova away from eating her sister. They don't seem to fight or hate each other or see scared or scary. They eat together and are sleeping in the same house and bed. Doesn't sound like someone who is scared to me. It's only the first day of this so if I can do anything to help it stop early on it would be great.
Chewing whiskers off is a dominance thing, it doesn't mean they can't live together, so long a that is as far as it goes. They chew them down short, like to an inch or so, not all the way to the skin. I wonder, when you say the cheek was pink, do you mean the fur was gone too? If so it might not be whisker chewing it could be ringworm infection. I remember from your other posts the chin came from a filthy living situation on a farm? So ringworm is very likely, it's also very contagious (even to humans), which is why it's normally advised to quarantine new chins for 30 days before exposing them to your current chin. Illnesses like ringworm, URI, and giardia are the most common issues that can happen and they aren't always noticeable right away.
 

Just_found

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Chewing whiskers off is a dominance thing, it doesn't mean they can't live together, so long a that is as far as it goes. They chew them down short, like to an inch or so, not all the way to the skin. I wonder, when you say the cheek was pink, do you mean the fur was gone too? If so it might not be whisker chewing it could be ringworm infection. I remember from your other posts the chin came from a filthy living situation on a farm? So ringworm is very likely, it's also very contagious (even to humans).
I haven't got any symptoms and my other one doesn't either. I did call the emergency hotline since wet appts are made 2-4 weeks out. So I made the soonest app to the vet recommended to me. They were the soonest, most of the vets I called were booked until December into next year. But anyway, the emergency vet, I said I know it's not an emergency but at the same time it's something that I might not be able to wait on if she's not comfortable. I told them she has a little pink and dry areas but they weren't concerned. I had considered ring worm but she didn't really fit any of the symptoms to me. I kept them apart for awhile but she didn't seem to be better any worse and I hadn't noticed the spot until today which is right when I had combined them. It could be perhaps it's in the early stages of ringworm? I haven't gone through it before. But we are going to see a vet. It's about a third of an inch maybe from the skin? Like you can see a small part of the whiskers still as of they were bit down. But I noticed it because the cheek is pink/red.
 

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