Is my chinchilla going to be okay?

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New member
Jan 26, 2022
I have 3 rescue chinnies, all girls that room together. My gray girl, Aloe, is the one I'm worried about. I will say, the woman I got them from thinks that she's older than the other two (Possibly even the other girls mother). Overall, I'm not sure about their ages.

So, the issue is that I noticed how she was acting. She was doing fine yesterday, and then today when I went to check on them and feed them, she was falling over on her side and not coming up to the top platform to get any food. I got her out, and she was limp in my hands. I quickly gave her some slow dripping water through a straw, and then watched her as she ate some alfalfa and mixed treats. She seemed to perk up a little, but she's still a bit lethargic. I don't know why...

What do I do???


Well-known member
Nov 3, 2021
I'd get her to a vet ASAP. It sounds like it could be a neurological issue, or perhaps even something like an ear infection....? When one of my rats had an ear infection, she exhibited symptoms similar to what you're describing, though I have no idea if chins would react the same way. Did it seem like she couldn't keep her balance, or just that she was very weak and couldn't hold herself upright? I guess dehydration could be another potential cause, or could have exacerbated her symptoms (especially since drinking water seemed to help a little).

Take my hypotheses with a grain of salt, as I'm neither a vet nor especially experienced with chins. Maybe some more experienced folks here might have a better idea of what's going on with her. But it definitely sounds like she needs to be checked out by a professional.

I hope you're able to figure it out and get her on the road to recovery!


Staff member
May 7, 2012
Has she seen a vet since you rescued them? Sounds like something is wrong with her and needs to see the vet, they are good at hiding illness so once they are lethargic it's an emergency.

Aside from that things to look at would be what are you feeding? the food should be a pellet only (no treats mixed in) alfalfa based food and unlimited timothy (or other grass) hay. Alfalfa is ok as a treat for chins over 6 months, but should be limited since too much can cause health issues for some chins. Also what are you giving for treats? Chins should not have any fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, animal products (hide, meat, bone, milk, eggs, etc), or sugars of any kind. Specifically things like the fruits and other sugary things can cause issues, like seizures.