Fur problem

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New member
Sep 6, 2015
Hello everyone, I'm having a problem with one of my chinchillas (the girl, Sentenza). It's been a while since I noticed that her fur is longer in some areas of her back (picture related). They eat pellets and hay, we also feed them with some vegetables once every day or two, we change their water daily. They still live in a quite small cage (I had a ferret years ago, the cage is the one we used for her -even though after the first months she lived freely in our house-) but we ordered a bigger one (79 x 52 x 140 cm, that is 31 x 20 x 55 inches more or less) and it should arrive on Wednesday. We let them free for 7/8 hours every day. Despite this problem of her fur they seem pretty happy and playful, they keep running and jumping (and chewing almost everything they can) when we let them free.
Now I have some questions: first of all, what could it be? May it be a matter of stress (the whole in-and-out of the cage)? How many hours should we let them free? Is their diet good or shall we correct it somehow?

Additional informations: they are 5 months old; they bath daily in their sand; when I pinch those fur locks to see if she's losing her fur I only detatch literally 5 or 6 hairs, is that a symptom of hair loss?

Thanks in advance for the help!


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It looks like fur slips, are the two chins housed together? Do you notice clumps of fur around the cage? One of the first signs of a fight can be pulling fur, and the way chins are designed their fur is loosely attached so if it's pulled it comes out easily. If they are fighting you may need to separate them or you could end up with hurt or dead chins.

Chinchillas should not have vegetables, they can't properly digest them and they tend to be way too high in sugar. All a chin really needs is a good quality pellet (no extra junk in it), hay, and water. A chin only needs about an hour or less of play a day (but really if the cage is large enough a chin doesn't really even need out everyday), however kits younger then 6 months shouldn't be getting playtime at all. When they are young they should be using their energy to grow, and over exercise can cause seizures and death due to low blood sugar. However at this point they are 5 months, I would just cut the play time down since they haven't had issues yet.
Unless you live in a very very humid place then your chins don't need a daily bath, a couple times a week is better to help avoid dry skin issues.
I've noticed that when mine fur slip, I can usually pull out the very small clump of hair and it almost looks like the clump was cut off with scissors. Do you think this could maybe be fur chewing? I'm not at all saying I know for sure, I've just been reading about it today so it's kind of on my brain. :)
Probably fur slips. I like to check personally, by blowing into the area to see if I can see bare skin with NO flaking. If there is a bare patch that's not flaking and not scabby, then its just fur slips and not injuries or fungus. If it was a fur slip, when you blow into the fur you could also see shorter fur where the new fur is growing in and the bars wont match up. Most likely it will look good again in the winter.
I don't know how to properly quote, so I'm just going with @ and then your nicknames:

@Amethyst yes they live together, but no, there is no fur around the cage (or inside or anywhere else). BTW when I pull her fur it doesn't really come out so easily, it doesn't almost come out at all actually! Also they seem to get along quite well, even though it happens to occasionally hear some weird noises (Tuco -the other chin- is sometimes a little bossy), but I've never found them really fighting. Anyways I'm definetely going to reduce their bath time (may it be just dry skin?).

@CalicoPrairie I wouldn't call "clump" the hair I pull ouf of her fur, it's just like 5 or 6 hairs, I can count them on the fingers of my hand. Regarding fur chewing I really don't know, are you saying Tuco chews Sentenza's fur?

@seachin I also tried to blow on her fur, but I can't see her skin at all, all I see it's just fur. I didn't notice any trace of shorter hair though, but I simply didn't thought of this possibility so next time she's awake I'm going to pay attention to it.

For the moment thank you all for your help :)
She might just be shedding? ZZ and Marble are both shedding right now. I'll see if I can get a picture.

ETA: Okay, not the best pictures, but these are all I have at the moment. This is Marble. In the picture of her on her pillow, you can kind-of see how she looks a little "shaggy" on her rear end? She is shedding, aka "priming". Those little tufts of hair pull out and do not leave exposed skin underneath, it's just old hair falling out and new hair growing in.


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if you aren't seeing bare fur or shorter/chewed fur, it probably is just pushing fur and should look nice again in a few months when it is cooler!
Apparently Chinmama and seachin last message were right, the fur looks better now, I guess she's just shedding. It looks like those spots with longer hair kept growing in width until they covered all her back, and now it seems that her fur it's kinda uniform once again (even though it's still a little messy). But I'm quite tranquil since she doesn't seem to suffer at all from this "problem".

Anyways, now they bath once every two/three days as it was suggested me, and finally they live in a much bigger cage.