Chinchillas are tiny and frail.
So it’s only natural to worry, if you notice your chinchilla not moving, but breathing nonetheless.
Especially if this is not common.
The good news is that these rodents are generally very healthy and this is probably nothing to worry about.
That said, there is a small chance it could be something serious.
So you need to know how to tell the difference.
Keep reading to learn just that. We’ll help you figure out if your chinchilla is fine, or if there could be something serious gong on and you need to contact your vet.
- 1 Chinchilla Not Moving But Breathing
- 2 Chinchilla Laying On Side And Not Moving
- 3 Chinchilla Not Moving: Final Thoughts
Chinchilla Not Moving But Breathing
If your chinchilla is not moving, it is likely for one of these reasons: it is feeling lethargic, it is sleeping, or it is just be relaxing. In other words, it is usually nothing to worry about.
But it can be, so you do want to make sure.
There can be a number of reasons your chinchilla is not moving, but still breathing.
If you’ve had your pet for a while, then you know that chinchillas spend a good amount of their lives just sleeping. But if it looks like yours is awake and still not moving, it needs your immediate attention, in order to rule out anything serious.
Let’s take a look at the main reasons your pet chinchilla might not be moving.
Why Is My Chinchilla Not Moving?
Usually, when your pet chinchilla isn’t moving, it is due to one of the following three reasons. The last one can be a symptom of something serious.
It May Just Be Relaxing
A lot of times when your chinchilla isn’t moving, it is simply relaxing. You might be worried that your pet hasn’t moved in a bit, but chinchillas are known to spend a lot of time resting.
It’s not like they have a job to go to, so they spend most of their time sleeping, relaxing, or playing about. Sometimes your little furry friend may also get exhausted from playing around, so it could be relaxing for a bit to catch its breath. It is normal behavior.
It May Just Be Sleeping
Chinchillas sleep a lot throughout the day. Most chinchillas can sleep for 11 to 15 hours a day.
If you’re worried that your pet isn’t showing any movement, it could just be that it’s sleeping. To make sure that your chinchilla is actually sleeping, try to check if its eyes are closed.
That said, it is important to note that sometimes chinchillas sleep with their eyes wide open. This is usually when they’re in a new environment. As prey animals, they need to always be on the lookout. Once they get comfortable and feel safe in their surroundings, they will close their eyes.
If your pet chinchilla is sleeping, it is best not to make any sudden noises. They’re light sleepers and might wake up. That’s not a terrible thing, but why bother the poor little guy or girl?
It May Be Feeling Lethargic
If your chinchilla isn’t moving due to one of the previous reasons, you have nothing to worry about. However, if your pet isn’t moving because it’s showing symptoms of lethargy, then it needs immediate medical attention.
You shouldn’t waste any time and should promptly take it to a veterinarian.
The medical definition of lethargy specifies a pathological state of sleepiness, or unresponsiveness, and inactivity. The term pathological refers to inactivity because of illness.
A chinchilla showing any signs of lethargy may be suffering from a serious health issue. And with an animal this small, even the common cold can quickly become serious. If you take it lightly and ignore it, your chinchilla could pass away, depending on the severity of the underlying problem.
If, for example, your pet is moving its head but isn’t moving the rest of its body, that shouldn’t be concerning because it’s probably just relaxing.
However, if you notice that your pet isn’t moving at all, you should be seriously concerned. You need to contact a vet immediately.
How do you know when your chinchilla is feeling lethargic, and not just relaxing or sleeping? Let’s find out.
Difference Between Lethargy And Sleeping
Learning the difference between whether your chinchilla is sleeping or lethargic could be the difference between life and death for your little furry friend.
It is, therefore, critical to know the difference between the two.
If your chinchilla is just lying there, not moving but breathing, it’s probably asleep. To make sure, try poking or picking it up. If your pet gets annoyed or struggles to run away, you don’t have to worry too much.
If, however, you’re poking it and it’s not showing sudden movements or is showing indifference to external stimulus, it’s a sign of lethargy. Here are some other common indicators of lethargy.
- It is not eating anything that you’re feeding it. This is a definite sign that your pet is feeling lethargic.
- It is barely showing any signs of movement.
- It is not showing any movement in response to a heavy stimulus, like sudden movements or food
- It is not moving, or barely moving, in response to danger.
Chinchilla Laying On Side And Not Moving
You normally wouldn’t expect your chinchilla to be lying on its side when sleeping, because they usually don’t sleep like that. However, there are instances when chinchillas do lie on their sides when they’re taking a nap.
If you see this as a pet owner, you probably going to be worried, because this is something unusual for your chin. But you shouldn’t worry about it, unless your pet showing other signs of health issues.
If you see that your chinchilla is sleeping on its side, the first thing you should do is check if it is breathing okay. When checking its breathing, try to see if there are any signs of shortness of breath. That could definitely be a problem and should be given immediate attention.
We highly recommend that you take your pet chinchilla for regular visits to the veterinarian, because they may be able to analyze any unusual sleeping patterns. And if there is something wrong, you want to do what you can to help your chin feel better.
What Helps A Sick Chinchilla
Chinchillas don’t generally get sick nearly as much as most other rodents. In fact, you could get by making almost no vet visits. But if they do get sick, it can get worse very fast. That’s why you should always contact a vet quickly, whenever you notice anything wrong.
More than that, in order to make sure your chinchilla is healthy, it is a good idea to frequently take it to the vet to check for any health concerns and treat them accordingly. It’s not necessary, but it never hurts.
If you have the time and money, don’t just wait for your chinchilla to get sick before taking it to the vet, but take it for regular visits when it’s healthy and in great condition. As the saying goes, “Prevention is always better than cure.”
As mentioned, if your chinchilla does get sick, call the vet immediately. In the meantime, here are a few things you can do to make your pet as comfortable as possible and to try and prevent its condition from worsening.
Keep It In A Dark Environment
In the event that your chinchilla feels sick or shows symptoms of illness, try to keep the room where you have its cage dark and peaceful. You want to keep its environment free of any external stimulus that might trigger an unwanted response.
Refrain From Dust Baths
In the case of an eye infection, we strongly recommend suspending any dust baths until it recovers. The dust can further irritate the eyes.
Chinchilla Not Moving: Final Thoughts
If your chinchilla is not moving, but breathing, you need to pay attention. Most likely, it is just sleeping or relaxing, but it could also be feeling lethargic. And that can indicate a serious health issue.
Follow out tips above to determine why your chinchilla is motionless. Hopefully (and probably) it is nothing serious. But if there is a chance that it might be a health problem (or even if you can’t determine 100% that it is not), you should contact your vet right away. Better to be safe than sorry.