Chinchilla Eye Problems [Infections, Diseases + Solutions]

Owning a chinchilla typically doesn’t come with too many stresses. However, from time to time, you will encounter an issue or two that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

One of the common problem areas with chinchillas impacts those dark, beady, and piercing eyes chinchillas possess. It’s what makes them as adorable as they are but also can be the location of some common eye problems, diseases, and conditions with your pet chinchilla.

Understanding how to provide the best care possible when eye problems and eye conditions do arise with your chinchilla is imperative so that the situation does not worsen.

Some of these eye problems, infections, and conditions are worse than others. Some are a simple fix, and some may require a bit more attention.

That’s what this post is designed to break down for you in-depth. I’ve owned a chinchilla for several years now and wanted to create an easy to read and helpful resource for all chinchilla owners to reference when eye problems and infections do arise.

To make your life especially easy today, I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to navigate to any specific section, condition or eye problem you may be encountering with your chinchilla that you need or desire to learn more about.


Here are the topics, conditions, and concerns that I intend to break down for you today:

As stated previously, if you are in a rush or need limited information, feel free to use the links above to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.

Also, if you are a newer chinchilla owner, always feel free to use the links you find throughout my post as additional resources that will take you to other blog posts I’ve put together to help you further your knowledge and provide better care to your new furry friend.

Otherwise, if you have about 4-5 minutes to spare, settle in, and let’s break down common eye infection and problems with chinchillas, how to recognize them and what to do about them.

Here is what you need to know.

Common Eye Infections and Problems with Chinchillas

As mentioned previously in the intro of this post, eye problems aren’t necessarily a prevalent illness with chinchillas, but they do arise from time to time.

It’s essential to know how to recognize and handle them.

Let’s start with 3 of the most common you may run into.


Tumors are typically going to be the least likely eye problem you encounter with a chinchilla, but nonetheless, it’s still a possibility.

Most commonly, the tumor will form behind those big black beautiful eyes and cause your chinchilla to be uncomfortable.

Another downside is that this eye condition with your chinchilla is going to require x-rays to confirm, which then can also lead to needing a second MRI for further investigation.

If you notice anything such as an eye bulge or any of the other symptoms that we will continue to discuss in this post, be sure to consult a vet as soon as possible and follow their recommendations.

Eye Infections

This, compared to tumors, is much more common. It will begin with your chinchilla’s becoming exposed to either bacteria or fungal spores.

One of the most common ways to help prevent eye infections from occurring is to make sure you are always keeping your chinchillas clean and disinfected.

This included cleaning items such as the water bottle and even food dishes to prevent bacteria build-up.

Eye infections with chinchillas can impact one or both of their eyes and will be treated with antibacterial or antifungal medication in most circumstances.

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers occur most frequently when irritation occurs from timothy hay, fur slips, or their dust baths.

The most straightforward way to explain a corneal ulcer is a scratch or irritation to the surface of the eye, which is referred to as the cornea.

This is typically the one eye condition that’s going to cause your chinchilla’s eye to look cloudy, red, or slightly swollen and watery.

In most circumstances, time will take care of this issue for you, although you may notice that your chinchilla is severely irritated, itching, or even attempting to rub their own eyes.

In the grand scheme of eye conditions with chinchilla’s, don’t let this condition worry you too much or cause a significant amount of anxiety.

Overgrown Teeth

Chinchilla’s teeth fall into a category of their own when it comes to potential issues that you may run into when owning one of these loveable furry pets.

Nonetheless, overgrown teeth can be an issue for your chinchillas’ eye if you run into the teeth growing into the nasal duct, which is below the eye.

This will 100% cause your chinchilla to present with watery eyes and can cause excessive drainage if not handled with some speed.

Ensure that your chinchilla can always file and grind down their teeth by providing plenty of safe chew items inside of their cage and even while they are out for playtime.

Items like chew sticks and other safe hanging chew items, in addition to timothy hay, will help naturally keep your chinchilla’s teeth at the correct size.

Recognizing Eye Problems and Infections

To acknowledge and recognize an eye problem or condition with your chinchilla, you likely won’t need to do much.

In most situations, it’s going to stand out to you in some of the manners we have discussed already in this post.

Watery eyes, swollen eyes, or irritation will be noticeable when you get your chinchilla out of the cage for playtime or even just through interaction with your chinchilla while they remain in the cage.

When you notice an issue, double-check for other signs of illness or injury.

  • Is your chinchilla still consuming hay and pellets at the normal amounts?
  • Are they still drinking plenty of water?
  • Do they seem active as usual or more depressed and lethargic?

These aren’t only good things to check on for your own peace of mind, but they are significant bits of information to relay to your vet when you do get the eye infection or condition checked out and treated.

And then, of course, you have the following signs you can also look for just like we discussed previously:

  • Discharge and Watery or Cloudy Eyes
  • Hair Loss and Matted Furr Around the Eye
  • Irritated Skin Around the Eye and Eye Crust

Monitor Your Chinchillas Behavior

Even before you are aware of an eye infection, you should always be monitoring your chinchilla’s behavior.

A lot of the time, your chinchilla will present signs that are relatively easy to notice when something is bothering them.

If you have already taken your chinchilla to a vet to deal with eye conditions and infections, you will still want to keep a close watch on them to ensure they are responding to whatever treatment has been instructed for them and to ensure that the eye condition is improving over time.

Follow Vet’s Directions and Administer Meds or Hot Compresses

Of course, you should be following your vet’s instructions to take care of eye conditions with your chinchilla.

However, you do also have to keep in mind that after visiting the vet, you need to be administering the meds as instructed, and you may even need to use hot compresses to help your chinchilla remove crust and ease the pain.

Avoid Dust Baths During Treatment

A lot of the time, when your chinchilla has one of these eye problems, your vet may instruct you to avoid dust baths just until the condition has improved.

This is simply to ensure that further irritation and debris do not have the opportunity to interfere with the healing process.

Preventing Eye Infections

Eye infections and eye conditions may arise even if you do everything correctly with a chinchilla and provide the best care possible.

This isn’t your fault and don’t sweat it.

However, a few things and pointers are detailed below that can help you to do your best to prevent these eye issues as much as possible.

Here’s a look at them.

Dust Baths Are Imperative

Dust baths are simply how a chinchilla maintains proper hygiene and takes care of their fur and skin.

It helps remove oil and grime, and it is imperative to offer these dust baths to your chinchilla several times per week.

Simply ensuring that you keep up with this routine can go a long way towards not only preventing eye infections and conditions from arising but can also help eliminate other skin and fur issues.

Not to mention, chinchillas just purely love these dust baths in general.

If you need further information about this topic, you can view my post here discussing the best chinchilla dust to use.

Clean Chinchilla Cages Prevent Eye Problems

Cleaning your chinchilla cage diligently is also very important when it comes to preventing illness and eye conditions from arising with chinchillas.

Ensure you are keeping up with your cleanings, discarding poop and other debris, and giving the cage a good disinfecting on a regular basis.

If you need to learn more about how to do this properly, you can read my post about how often to clean a chinchilla cage here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, we have some frequently asked questions that arise from time to time when it comes to eye problems with chinchillas.

I wanted to touch on them briefly and have you on your way.

Can Chinchillas Get Cataracts?

When it comes to discussing common eye problems with chinchillas, this question is often posed.

Can chinchillas get cataracts? Yes, chinchillas can get cataracts. Cataracts will present in chinchillas primarily due to old age and will cause the slow loss of vision, causing a chinchilla to have a challenging time navigating around their cage and habitat.

Do Chinchillas Get Eye Boogers?

This question also caught my attention not long ago in a social media group.

Does chinchilla get eye boogers? Chinchillas may present discharge from their eyes that can be frequently referred to as eye boogers. Chinchillas may present with this discharge or eye boogers if they have upper respiratory infections and teeth problems.

This discharge frequently referred to as eye boogers, can present with a yellow or green discharge.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, eye problems and conditions with chinchillas are something you may have to deal with throughout owning one of these fantastic pets.

But hey, maybe you never have to deal with it.

If you do your best to provide the best care possible in addition to maintain a clean and healthy environment for your chinchilla, the chances decrease dramatically.

Follow some of the tips in this guide and always be willing to consult a vet when necessary to handle eye conditions, infections and problems as quickly as possible with your chinchilla, and you will be in great shape.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck and hope your chin’s eyes heal quickly!

Share Your Thoughts and Concerns on Eye Problems with Chinchillas

Do you have any additional information and insight you can provide about common eye problems with chinchillas?

Would you handle any of the issues and conditions differently than how we described above?

As always, I encourage the Planet Chinchilla Community to help each other by providing the best knowledge and tips possible for raising our pet chinchillas.

Be sure to share those thoughts, comments, and concerns below.

Chili and I appreciate you stopping by.

Thanks again for reading, 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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