Chin not quite as active as normal?

Samcp26

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Mar 9, 2021
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Hi All,

I've noticed a slight change in my Chin's behavior recently and just looking for some advice as this is my first Chinchilla I'm not sure what's 'normal'.

He's usually pretty lively when I have him out to play, jumping up the walls etc. However the past 3-4 days he hasn't been quite as active, he'll still come out to play but he'll often find somewhere to sit and chill and only occasionally run around being curious. He's eating and drinking as normal, weight hasn't changed, and overall seems healthy but I can't help but be a little concerned.

I live in the UK and it's been slightly warmer the past week, but only hitting 20-23 Celsius which I wouldn't of thought would be much of an issue. In previous years his behavior hasn't changed during the warmer seasons either.

Is this normal and am I just being paranoid?

Thanks for any advice :)
 

Amethyst

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Personally I don't let my chins out if it's much above 20C in the room, I try to keep the temp about 20 or below year round. They can handle up to about 24 but some have suffered from heat in as low as about 22. Also you want to leave some wiggle room for the increased body heat of running around. Another thing to look at is it humid out? If so that can also play a part, lower 20s and dry is not the same as when it's humid, they can overheat much faster if it's humid.

Another thing to keep in mind, he may have survived warmer temps before, but each time he is dealing with hot temps it can be doing damage to his organs. Eventually it could be one time too many.
 

Samcp26

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Mar 9, 2021
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Thanks for your reply!

Yeah I've heard how sensitive to heat they can be :(

Aside from the obvious solution of having air-con (which most people in the UK don't have), is there anything you recommend that might mitigate the affects of the warm temps?
 

Amethyst

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Unfortunately nothing really replaces an AC, the air temp needs to stay within a safe range (about 10-20C), chins don't sweat so things like fans are useless other then to pull cool air into the room or to circulate air. Think of it like how a reptile needs a heat lamp to stay at the right temp, chinchillas need an AC. If it's cool outside at night you can open the window to let cool air in, then close the window and cover it during the day so the sun isn't shining in warming up the room. Some people have had some luck with those reflective sun screens people use on cars to cover their windows. If you have a basement that isn't damp you can also move the chin into the basement, being below ground basements tend to stay fairly cool.

Aside from that, in addition to AC you can put stone tiles in the cage, and change them out as they warm up (about every half hour to an hour) for ones you keep in the fridge. Tiles are really only for additional cooling though, and only do any good if the chin actually sits on them which not all chins will do even if they are feeling hot. You can also freeze water bottles and wrap them in fleece, but still keep an eye on the chin to make sure they don't chew it, the frozen water bottles are more a temporary solution should the power go out or something.
 

Samcp26

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Mar 9, 2021
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Thanks again! I'm likely going to invest in some sort of air conditioning, it seems the best long-term strategy for keeping the little guys cool.
 

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