Chinchilla & Hedgehog Pet Forum

Help Support Chinchilla & Hedgehog Pet Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Not open for further replies.


Staff member
Jan 28, 2009
South Dakota
Webster’s Dictionary Definition: Any various contagious skin diseases caused by related varieties of fungus and characterized by itching and the formation of ring-shaped, discolored patches covered with scales or vesicles.


The ringworm or skin fungus is an ailment that can affect chins and may be accompanied by watery eyes and most often appears during hot, muggy, humid weather; yet it can also show up at any time. The ringworm in highly contagious fungal but it is not fatal, only annoying and difficult to get rid of, and can be spread from animal to animal and to humans and has about a 3 week incubation period. This is why it is so important to know your chins have a fungus, so that you can be very strict with the routine of washing all equipment, and washing and rewashing your hands over and over. The ringworm is not a worm or a parasite it is a skin fungus, it gets its name from the ring shape it makes on the skin. Ringworm can also be airborne, and we know about the dust flying with chinchillas, which makes it extremely important to identify which chin has the fungus and move them to another room away from the other chins.

SYMPTONS: The ringworm fungus causes the fur to fall out in patches, exposing irritated skin that is either pink or red in color, scaly, crusty skin, scabs, and can be itchy and usually happens or starts around the eyes, mouth, ears, genitals areas.

POSSIBLE CAUSES: The skin fungus can spread from one animal to another and from humans to animals and animals to humans. So, purchasing animals from unknown stock can increase the chances of infection. Sometimes fungus develops in damp hay or on an injured area of the animals skin.

TREATMENT: Change the dust in the chins bath and add a heaping teaspoon of foot powder for athlete’s foot (Tinactin) per cup of dust and mix really well. DO NOT SHARE THE BATH with anyone else that may not have the fungus. If you are certain that more than one has the fungus then you can let them use the same bath. And do this for 6 –7 weeks to be certain all fungus is gone, and make sure to change the dust regularly. Also you can use the Lamisil AT cream for up to 20 days just by rubbing a small amount on the infected areas. Blu Kote (which can be purchased at feed stores) is also another option. If only available in spray cans, spray some into a small container and apply with a cotton ball or Q-tip or even spray into a envelope dobber and apply to the areas for 4 to 7 days depending on how the fungus reacts. The only bad thing with Blu Kote is that it is really blue, very BLUE, so if used the chins will be a blue-violet for a while. Also, it is hard to get off of clothing and skin and makes it hard to see the status of the infected area. Fungus related skin irritations should begin to clear within a few days and new fur will return to the area in about a week to 10 days. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, MAKE SURE TO WASH YOUR HANDS, especially before moving on to another animal!!!! Also, be careful not to transfer the fungus from animals to your clothes and then handle animals without the fungus, which can spread the fungus as well. Remember to clean all equipment with a water/bleach solution and throw away any wood that could have been exposed to the infected chins. If you feel the chins are so infected with the fungus that these treatments will not work, PLEASE take the chins to the vet and get medical treatment that way!!

PREVENTION: Keep chinchillas in a clean and hygienic surrounding, and purchase chins from reputable breeders.
Not open for further replies.