We all know that lizards can shed their tails as a defense mechanism.
And that they soon grow back.
Is it the same with these furry little rodents? Do chinchilla tails fall off just as easily? And do they grow back?
Right off the bat, I want to strongly warn you to never try pulling off a chinchilla’s tail.
Nor a lizard’s tail for that matter. Just because it can come off in an emergency, that doesn’t mean you should ever pull it off for fun.
And chinchillas are not lizards. Their tails are completely different.
Keep reading to learn if chinchillas’ tails come off, what other kinds of injuries the tails can suffer, and what you should do to minimize the risk of injury.
We’ll also cover what to do if your pet’s tail does ever suffer an injury.
- 1 Do Chinchillas’ Tails Fall Off?
- 2 Chinchilla Tails and Proper Handling
- 3 Chinchillas Tails Don’t Fall Off But They Can Be Injured
- 4 A Chinchilla Tail Does Not Fall Off: Final Thoughts
Do Chinchillas’ Tails Fall Off?
No, chinchillas’ tails do not fall off. But their tails can break, get sprained, or have a portion break off due to pulling or mishandling.
But a chinchilla’s tail will never just fall off like a lizard. If this does happen to your pet, you need to consult a vet immediately.
Having read that, you are most likely wondering what could cause damage or injury to your chinchilla’s tail. At least I hope you are wondering that, because it is important to know.
I also hope that you are curious about proper handling techniques to prevent any issues like these from ever happening in the first place.
We will cover both of these topics next, plus everything else you need to know about chinchilla tails.
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Chinchilla Tails and Proper Handling
Chinchillas are fragile and they need proper handling. And the tail is definitely one of the more fragile parts of a chinchilla’s body that needs special consideration.
Chinchilla tails are fragile in the sense that they can be sprained. And yes, the tip of the tail can break off under extreme duress.
That’s why you should never pull or yank a chinchilla’s tail to gain control of the animal. Luckily, there is no need to ever do that. You have other options.
You should only handle your chinchilla by the base of the tail where the tail meets the rear end. This is one of the easiest ways to gain control of your chinchilla, and it will not cause it any physical harm.
It is also important to understand how to get your chinchilla to enjoy being held. Doing so will make handling much easier.
And easier handling means the fragile tail will cease to be an issue, since you won’t have to resort to grabbing your pet quickly, if it willingly lets you handle it.
Using the method of grabbing your chinchilla by the base of the tail to pick it up is relatively easy with some practice.
After gaining control of your chinchilla in this fashion, you should bring your other hand beneath its body, supporting the legs and torso and bringing the animal in closer to your body.
Using this technique eliminates the possibility of doing any physical harm to your chinchilla’s tail.
Again, to re-emphasize, you should never be grabbing your chinchilla’s tail.
You do not want to be pulling your chinchilla’s tail or doing any other funny business with any portion of your chinchilla’s tail unless, it’s the base of the tail to pick your chinchilla up.
Once you have control of your chin, you can release your grip from the base of the tail and hold your pet in a normal fashion.
Chinchillas Tails Don’t Fall Off But They Can Be Injured
What if you grab your chinchilla’s tail in a fashion that is not advised? Will your chinchilla’s tail fall off?
Again, your chinchilla’s tail simply won’t fall off, but it can sustain injuries due to mishandling or from other secondary factors that we will discuss here shortly.
In all honesty, it is much more likely that secondary factors, like the cage, an accessory, or even a second chinchilla, cause injuries to your chinchilla’s tail than you mishandling your chinchilla.
Once you learn how to handle your chinchilla properly, get it in and out of the cage with ease, and ensure other safety recommendations are met with the cage and their accessories, you seriously do not need to worry about causing any harm to your chinchilla’s tail.
I have never had this issue myself and have been raising my chinchilla for more than 5 years now.
Other Chinchillas Could Injure A Chinchilla’s Tail
Although it’s rare for this to happen, it is possible that two chinchillas living as a pair may fight. And that could lead to a wound on the tail, or to a portion of the tail to be missing.
Fighting chinchillas is something that does happen and you need to be aware of it.
Unless you physically witness this happen, you won’t have any real proof this is the cause of the injury, but chinchillas can fight at times.
That said, it is not likely to happen.
As stated previously, chinchillas fighting is not overly common. And even when they fight, chinchillas don’t typically go after each other’s tails.
In most circumstances, two chinchillas fighting is much more likely to cause a fur slip.
Given how much these furry little rodents like to climb, jump and chew, anything is possible, but the chances of a tail coming off entirely are miniscule.
And things like this generally only happen when your chinchilla is bored and doing something is should not be doing.
Any trouble a chinchilla can get in when bored is something you can prevent, by ensuring your chin has a large enough cage, plenty of accessories to keep it mentally stimulated, and it gets playtime outside the cage every day.
Make Sure The Cage And Accessories Do Not Cause Injury To Your Chinchilla’s Tail
A much more likely reason your chinchilla may suffer an injury to its tail is from your chinchilla cage itself.
That’s why it is essential to keep your chinchilla in a large enough cage, that’s organized with safe shelves and kept clean.
I always recommend the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage (link to my review). It is large and when using fleece liners, it is very safe, with durable construction and no dangerous components.
But getting the right cage is not enough. You also need to keep it clean.
To understand exactly how often to clean a chinchilla cage, make sure to follow that link and read my post on the topic of cleaning.
Additionally, anything you can do to avoid a metal grate bottom, such as using fleece liners to cover the bars, can help minimize the risk of injuries to your chinchilla.
If you have concerns, you can read my discussion on if fleece is safe for chinchillas. It also details the exact fleece liners I use and why I swear by them.
Although the metal bottoms usually only cause pain over time to your chinchilla’s feet, they do present a higher risk of more serious injury.
And you just never know with these guys and what positions they find a way to get themselves into. Chinchillas are fun animals that can reach crazy places in a room when playing.
And they perform the same whacky behavior in their cage.
If their tail happens to slip between two bars, or gets caught on something, it’s possible it could break or become injured as a result.
What To Do If You Notice A Wound Or Blood On Your Chinchilla Or The Tail
Sometimes, your pet will get injured and you won’t always be around to witness what causes the injury. This is true of any pet, since we can’t always have eyes everywhere.
In most circumstances, you are likely to notice an injury or wound when you get your chinchilla out for playtime. But whenever you notice an injury, it is essential to schedule a visit to your vet as soon as possible.
Don’t just let the injury or wound heal on its own. The chances of that working successfully are just too low.
And you should know that a regular vet probably won’t be able to help either. Chinchillas are an exotic rodent and have special needs, so you’ll need an exotic veterinarian.
The good news is that it is highly likely that an injury to your chinchilla’s tail can be treated. But it is essential to take that step and seek professional help.
The worst thing you can do is allow your chinchilla’s injury to get worse or develop into an infection.
When chinchillas get sick, the illnesses tend to escalate quickly. Your pet can fall very ill in no time due to its small size and general nature.
With any type of wound, there is always a high chance of infection, which can quickly lead to death. So make sure you have a professional look at and treat the wound, and guide you on how to proceed.
Keep Tabs On Your Chinchilla To Detect Issues With The Tail Early
One of my last pieces of advice I can give you is always to keep the tabs on the situation. Especially if you have two chinchilla’s living together.
Sometimes what started as a great bonded relationship can quickly turn sour. It happens.
One thing to do is always ensure your chinchillas have plenty of space in their cage, along with all the essentials. You can read about what a chinchilla needs in its cage for more information on the topic.
Outside of this, chinchillas are just as easy as any other pet to own (easier than most, really) and they make for one of the best pets that you can choose to adopt.
Things happen. If your chin suffers an injury, don’t beat yourself up over it. Call your vet and get your chinchilla back to top-notch health.
A Chinchilla Tail Does Not Fall Off: Final Thoughts
Chinchillas’ tails do not fall off out of the blue. They can suffer injuries to their tails causing breaks, loss of some of the tail, or sprains.
But it would require serious force and mishandling to result in visible injuries, let alone the chance of all, or even just part, of the tail to come off.
With a proper cage, proper supervision, and some diligence, it’s likely you will never have any injuries like this happen to your chinchilla or its tail.
However, if your chin does suffer an injury, be sure to get it to a chinchilla-certified vet, to ensure it gets the proper care and gets back to full health as soon as possible.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and the journey you have ahead of you. I’d love to hear your stories on this topic as well.
Share your thoughts about and experience with injuries to a chinchilla’s tail.
Have you ever had or experienced your own chinchilla going through a tail injury?
What happened and how did you remedy the situation?
Be sure to share your stories and drop a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today and we will see you again next time!
My sisters friend thinks it’s ok to swing her chinchilla by the tail! It is animal abuse and she doesn’t believe us I need to scare her straight about why not to or at least give facts from a chinchilla expert. Please help I’m an animal lover and don’t want these poor animals to go through that.
I actually have a tailess Chinchilla, his names is Nubs. He lost it when he was born (we think the mom pulled on it when he was being born)