My Chinchilla Died

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Dec 4, 2019
I have had two male chins for 1 year and 6 months and found one dead this evening. I had bought them for my daughters for Christmas and received them 2 months after birth. My family and I haven’t paid much attention to them this morning being that the children returned to school today and I was working. When my daughter went to do her daily cage cleaning is when she noticed one was not moving. It happened suddenly and we don’t know what happened. Yesterday I did cook a Sunday dinner in which the oven was on for hours before I decided to put on the AC in which I’m afraid the chinchilla may have died from a heat stroke. The other chin is fine but seems a bit sad and not his usual self. The two would normally sleep very close together in a hugging position and would play all night long. Can someone please give me some insight on what could have caused the death of one chin? How to care for the other chin being that his buddy is gone? What signs to look for or to make sure the other chin is in good health? My daughter question is how come one died and the other did not?
What was the temp in the room? If the temp got above 70F (chins have suffered from heat in temps as low as 72F) in the room the chins were in it is possible it suffered from heat stroke. Just like humans it can happen that one survives when the other doesn't for whatever reason, maybe one was just a bit stronger then the other or maybe one was running around more and overheated faster, it's hard to say. Also if the temp gets above 75 frequently the repeated overheating can also do cumulative harm each time.

Unfortunately though without having a necropsy done you may never know what caused the one to die. Even then they are often inconclusive and need to be done within a couple hours of the death. It could have been the heat if it got hot, it could have been something genetic wrong with it, could have been an accident (fell wrong in the cage). I would also look at what you are feeding as well as anything in the cage that could have caused it (anything plastic, paper, cardboard, unsafe toy material (there is a lot sold in petstores now that are unsafe)) just to make sure it's not something the could happen to the other chin.

For now you can try to give the surviving chin a lot more attention, they do grieve too. Watch for excessive sleeping or sleepiness, not wanting to move or get out and play, not wanting to eat, keep an eye on the poops for any sign of change. A vet visit isn't a bad idea if he isn't acting normal, just to rule out any health issues. Aside from that you can try giving him some new toys and maybe even rearrange the cage a bit of it doesn't stress him, just to get his mind off his lost cage mate. Some people have found that giving the chin a cuddle buddy can help, basically a fleece stuffed animal stuffed with fleece.
I have 2 chinchillas but one will repeatedly just stop moving and acts like she’s dead then 5 minutes later she’s running around the cage any advice?