My chin, Damien, appeared to have had a seizure last night.

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Apollo and Damien

New member
Jul 14, 2020
Greeting everyone and good morning. Last night was absolutely awful. While out of the cage for play time, my chinchilla Damien, had what appeared to be a seizure. I have two males, each have a separate cage and they share a room with me. The temperature was not ideal, 69 degrees and 57% humidity ( we live in southern Ontario, Canada, very humid and HOT climate in the summer ) When it happened he jumped out of his cage and that's when I noticed his very odd physical behaviour. He was completely disoriented and couldn't seem to get stabilised. His left ear was completely laying flat against the side of his body, the right standing straight up. It felt like it lasted forever, but in reality, less than a few minute. About a half hour later, he was active and wanting to come back out for playtime. I moved all his essentials to the bottom of his cage and isolated him until this morning. Today, he seems better, like nothing happened. No playtime yet today but planning on calling the vet once it's open ( only one exotic vet where I live ) He's been eating and drinking, poop look normal, and he seems to back to himself.
As anyone can imagine, it was devastating to see my little man go through that and it scared the hell out of me. I LOVE my boys Just want to know if anyone else has gone through the same thing or had a similar experience with their chins. My Apollo, hasn't shown any distress or strange behavior, thank goodness.
Thank you in advance for any constructive comments or replies to this message, it is very appreciated.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 7, 2012
The temp and humidity are ok, so neither would likely cause any health issues, over 70F and humidity over 60% is when you need to start to really worry and best not to let them out for play, about 75F and you start to run the risk of heatstroke and death even if just left in the cage. However some chins can over do it if allowed to run around for too long, how long was he out for?
Another thing I would look at is food, are you just feeding a good quality pellet only food and hay? Or are you giving treats as well, and if so what? Anything sugary like fruits can cause sugar spikes and drops which can cause seizures, same thing with those honey treats and "edible" hideouts stores market for chins and other rodents. Any salt licks in the cage? Too much salt can also cause seizures.

If there is no obvious reason, wasn't out for very long, no sugary or salty foods in his diet, or anything like that I would just keep a close eye on him. If it happens again try to get it on camera, seizures can be hard for vets to pin down and actually being able to see what is happening can really help. If you are lucky whatever caused it has passed or it was something simple like giving a sugary treat and it wont happen again.


Apr 2, 2015
One of my boys suffers from hypoglycemia. Before he was diagnosed we had a few weeks of quite distressing episodes of watching him twitch on the floor helpless, sometime picking him up to try to stop him harming himself. The vet suggested giving him a small ammount of carb and time to digest it before he came out for excercise. That was about 8 years ago and we've not had a repeat episode since. We provide him with 1/4 of a mini shredded wheat and 20-30 minutes to let the sugar hit his bloodstream before he roams around the house for the evening. This might be completely not what your boy has, but I thought I'd mention it in case it helped.
We also stopped using pine shavings at the same time to ellminate the possibility of Phenol poisoning which very visibly improved the health of both our boys.

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