Can Chinchillas Get Ringworm? [Yes, + Solutions]

Understanding how to provide excellent care to your chinchilla is a crucial step in the adoption and ownership journey.

Chinchillas are one of the smallest but most adorable rodents you can choose to adopt.

However, chinchillas also can present with several different illnesses and infections from time to time.

I see a lot of potential new chinchilla owners or current chinchilla owners often ask if chinchillas can get ringworm.

After owning a chinchilla for several years, here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, can chinchillas get ringworm? Yes, chinchillas can get ringworm. Chinchillas who get ringworm will often present with fur loss, patchy skin in addition to red, irritated skin. Ringworm can also cause a chinchilla’s skin to become yellowish and flaky. When a chinchilla gets ringworm, it can be treated.

Now that we are aware that chinchillas can get ringworm and what it may look like, we as chinchilla owners must know what to do about it.

This includes several different steps, and luckily, it’s the topic of the day and what I intend on breaking down for you in this post today.

To make life easy and this post more streamlined, I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire or need to learn more about.

do-chinchillas-get-ringworm

Here is what I will cover during this quick ringworm tutorial today:

As stated previously, if you are in a hurry or need to skip around in this post, feel free to use the links directly above to navigate to any section quickly.

Also, I like to remind all the new chinchilla owners to take advantage of the links throughout my post that will navigate you towards related topics and information that may further your knowledge on what all is entailed to own and care for a chinchilla ethically.

Otherwise, if you have those few minutes to spare, let’s break down everything you need to know about ringworm with chinchillas.

Here are those details.

Can Chinchillas Get Ringworm?

It’s unfortunate, but it does happen to our furry friends. Yes, chinchillas can get ringworm, and it’s relatively common for a chinchilla to get ringworm at one point or another.

The key is understanding how to recognize ringworm and how to handle the situation when it does come up effectively.

Ringworm tends to spread and get worse without proper treatment so it’s imperative to act as quickly as possible and speak to a vet when you have recognized it.

Which happens to lead us into the next most common question.

How do we recognize ringworm with our chinchillas? Where should we be checking, and why?

Here is what you need to know.

How to Check for Ringworm and Common Locations on Chinchillas

For starters, it’s important to understand that ringworm is not an actual worm that will be present on your chinchilla.

Ringworm is simply a fungus or mold that most often occurs on the skin in addition to the possibility of presenting itself on nails and hair.

Ringworm contracts quickly, and it is spread through contact.

Haven’t you ever heard the bad jokes about how you can get ringworm walking barefoot in the gym locker rooms or showers?

Well, while it may be a joke, it’s a real caution, and it is indeed how ringworm is spread.

Contact with the infected source.

Due to this, you always need to be ensuring that you are washing your hands before and after handling a chinchilla that you suspect may have ringworm.

It helps provide at least a small amount of additional protection for your furry friend and yourself.

Now let’s move into some common locations to check on your chinchilla or where you can expect to spot ringworm when it does occur.

Ringworm loves moisture.

With chinchillas, around the nose and eyes are two of the typical spots that ringworm can present themselves.

However, it’s also common for the ringworm to present on the legs of a chinchilla or near the feet.

At times, you may even have a chinchilla that gets ringworm in the fur that hasn’t spread to the skin yet.

Ringworm is almost always around, but, in most situations, our immune system can fight off the issue.

However, chinchillas are different and tend to become stressed very quickly.

Stress lowers the chinchilla’s ability to fight off infections, making it easier for the ringworm to surface and become an issue.

Higher stress levels cause the immune system to weaken, which in turn, allows ringworm an easier path to begin showing its face.

Best Methods for Ringworm Treatment for Chinchillas

First, let’s put this disclaimer out in the air.

I’m not a vet, and ringworm should involve your vet to treat effectively.

It’s not something to tackle on your own.

Additionally, the actual wound or infected spot needs to be tested or swabbed to ensure you are dealing with ringworm and nothing more serious or less serious.

Once you have confirmed that ringworm is the problem is with your chinchilla, the remedy is easy and can be completed at home without much effort.

Typically, you can use a combination of Blu Kote and Tinactin Anti-Fungal Foot Powder.

The Blu Kote helps by acting as a quick-drying antiseptic to clean the area and kill off the bacteria that commonly presents with Ringworm.

On the flip side, the Tinactin helps by providing tolnaftate which is the most common treatment for ringworm.

Again, at least be sure that you are 100% confident that you are dealing with ringworm and stick to the prescribed methods to effectively deal with the issue.

In addition to what we have discussed previously, you also have a few cleanup tasks that need to be completed to ensure your chinchilla has the best chance at healing and that the ringworm won’t be worsened or returned.

Here are the details I can provide you on that topic.

Remove All Wooden Ledges Inside of The Cage

This part sucks, but it needs to be completed. Wood is considered porous, and it’s completely possible for ringworm bacteria to be present on the wood in your chinchilla’s cage.

Especially now that they have been running around inside of the cage with the infection in the first place.

You need to remove all the wooden ledge attachments inside of the cage.

I’d recommend just discarding the platforms and ordering new ones.

If you need additional help ordering new accessories due to needing to throw away the old, you can view my post here.

It will show you all the recommended chinchilla cage accessories that I recommend and allow you to view more details on each accessory.

After you completely remove all the wooden shelves in the cage (this includes the wooden nest box), if applicable, it’s time to clean the cage entirely.

I would use a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water.

Clean corners pull out trays, accessories and the bars themselves.

Remove any fleece liners that you may have inside of the cage and wash them.

Ensure to clean the food bowl, hay feeders, and even the water bottle.

Use Gloves, Wash Hands and Continue Monitoring

During the cage cleaning process, it’s essential to wear gloves and wash your hands before and after to ensure that you don’t allow the ringworm to spread to yourself or anywhere else.

After you have started your treatments recommended by the vet, continue to monitor your chinchilla to ensure the condition is improving.

Typically, the treatments discussed above should start showing signs of improvements, and your chinchilla’s irritation levels will begin to decrease.

Final Thoughts

Providing proper hygiene is one way to help your chinchilla avoid ringworm.

It’s also always important to clean your chinchilla’s cage routinely and to always keep an eye on your chinchilla in general so that you can spot any issues that may arise and seek additional help as quickly as possible.

Overall, ringworm is undoubtedly something you may come across as a chinchilla owner, but with proper treatment and a few cleaning tasks, it’s entirely possible to remedy the situation without much worry.

I wish you the best of luck with your chinchilla’s and hope for a speedy recovery for your chinchilla.

Share Your Thoughts

Has your chinchilla had ringworm in the past?

How did you treat it, and what further recommendations can you provide the readers on this topic?

Be sure to share your 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.

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Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 1 year old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know.

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