Can Chinchillas Get Lice? [Yup and How to Handle It]

Chinchillas can undoubtedly make for great, enjoyable, and enthusiastic family pets.

However, certain health conditions can cause your chinchilla to experience some skin discomfort and surely provide anxiety for you as the owner.

I want to cover a topic in today’s post that directly relates to these issues.

Can chinchillas get lice?

After being a chinchilla owner myself for 4 years now, here is what I can tell you on this subject.

So, can chinchillas get lice? Yes, chinchillas can get lice. When a chinchilla has lice, they will present with scratching, fur biting, and skin irritation. Lice are larger than mites and are recognizable by identifying white flakes in your chinchilla’s fur. You can also spot lice on chinchillas by finding the larger white flakes representing the lice eggs.

The answer above doesn’t do much to help you, concerned chinchilla owners, outside of informing you that chinchillas can, in fact, get lice and instructing you on how to recognize it.

I wanted to take it a step further in this post today.

I’ve made some links directly below that will allow you to navigate to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.


Here is what I plan on covering for you today:

As stated previously, if you need to jump around in the post, feel free to use the links directly above to do so.

Otherwise, if you have a minute or two to spare, stick around, and I’ll break down everything you need to know about lice with your chinchillas and how to handle it.

Here are the important details to understand.

Can Chinchillas Get Lice Recap

Like we stated previously, yes, chinchillas can get lice.

I know this stands against what other websites may tell you, and it is 100% true that chinchillas have incredibly dense fur, but it’s also 100% true that a chinchilla can indeed get lice.

On the bright side, it doesn’t happen very often.

I’ve had my chinchilla for 4 years now, and I haven’t had any issues with lice, mites, fleas, or any other form of a creepy crawler making it into her fur coat.

I do, however, want to the point that it’s important to understand that you do want to be paying attention and be able to effectively recognize lice in case it does happen to your chinchilla.

This will make the process of getting rid of the lice much smoother and allow you to act before you have any issues such as your chinchilla biting and scratching at their fur, causing bald spots or worse.

With that in mind, let’s dive into those details and discuss how you can recognize lice quickly and what the next steps would be to effectively get rid of the problem once and for all.

Recognizing Lice with Your Chinchillas

Now we come to the important lesson of how to spot, recognize, and understand if your chinchilla does indeed have lice.

Some of this information we have already touched on.

Typically, as the owner/parent of the chinchilla, the first sign that you have an issue will be your chinchilla itching, scratching, or biting their own fur.

You may witness this taking place, or you may notice an area of missing fur where the problem is presenting itself.

From here, your best course of action is to hold your chinchilla and move the fur out of the way so you can visually inspect your furry friend.

You’re looking for any white flakes or anything that can resemble lice eggs.

This will give you a clear indicator that your chinchilla simply has lice.

I wouldn’t be overly concerned about this either.

You can’t get lice from a chinchilla.

Lice stick with the species it infests.

Simply meaning, chinchilla lice does impact humans and vice versa.

Once we know for sure our chinchilla has lice, we need to move onto the treatment and get our chinchilla back to 100% health.

Here are the details you need to understand about this.

How to Get Rid of Lice with Chinchillas

Here’s where my advice is likely going to differ from what you read on other websites.

If you know your chinchilla has lice, or you are relatively certain, I don’t recommend using something like Frontline or other remedies.

I vote 100% to let your vet instruct you on the next steps assuming that they are certified to work with chinchillas.

Some individuals have used frontline medications and never had an issue in addition to other remedies.

However, I’m not a vet, and if it was my chinchilla, I’d think it’s totally worth the few extra bucks to ensure your chinchilla is safe, healthy and taken care of.

Other Recommendations and Tips

I have a few other recommendations while we are on this topic.

First and most importantly, I want all the new chinchilla owners to understand that a chinchilla getting mites, fleas, or lice is relatively rare.

It won’t happen often.

Also, it’s important that you keep up with regular cage cleaning for your chinchilla and avoid humid and dark areas where you keep your chinchilla to ensure that your chinchilla doesn’t get other common issues such as ringworm.

Keep up with your cleanings, ensure your chinchilla stays dry and you won’t have much to worry about.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, none of us want to worry about or deal with a chinchilla that has lice, but unfortunately, it is something that can happen.

Not often, but it’s possible.

Ensuring that you keep tabs on your chinchilla and notice the situation is all that’s needed in order to provide the best care possible for your new chinchilla.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your chinchillas.

Share Your Thoughts

Has your chinchilla ever had lice, and how did you handle the situation?

Be sure to share those thoughts, comments, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.

Thanks again, and we will see you next time.

Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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