I know your first thought.
If you see your chinchilla’s nose twitching, you can’t help but think how cute it looks.
But it could also indicate a serious problem.
There is one big issue that causes a chinchilla’s nose to twitch: seizures.
Those, however, can have several causes.
Keep reading to learn the primary causes your chinchilla might suffer a seizure that leads to a twitching nose. We’ll also cover what to do if you ever see this happening to your chin.
- 1 Why Is My Chinchilla’s Nose Twitching?
- 2 Why Chinchilla Noses Twitch: Final Thoughts
Why Is My Chinchilla’s Nose Twitching?
The main reason a chinchilla’s nose twitches is that it is having a seizure. If you notice a twitching nose along with other bodily spasms, that’s a sure sign of a seizure. Contact a vet immediately.
There are many possible causes of seizures in chinchillas, with the most common being heat stroke, head trauma, an inadequate diet, or sometimes even a genetic disorder.
Let’s take a closer look at the main issues that can lead to seizures, which result in a twitching nose. Knowing why this happens will help us understand how to prevent it.
Nose Twitching Usually Indicates A Seizure
Spasms and twitches are common symptoms of a chinchilla seizure. The best thing you can do for your chinchilla while it is in this state is to move it to ground level and remove any objects out of its way that can hurt it. Then wait for the seizure to finish.
A chinchilla seizure can last anything from a few seconds to a few minutes. They can sometimes be quite subtle and not always easy to spot. But once you have noticed a seizure, and especially if it becomes a common occurrence, it’s best to get your chinchilla to the vet to have it checked out.
The three main causes of a chinchilla seizure are the temperature of your chinchilla, its diet, or head trauma. If you have discovered that none of these are the reason for your chinchilla’s nose twitching, then it could be a genetic condition.
Genetic factors can include epilepsy. It’s always best to check with your local breeder if any health conditions run in your chinchilla’s family, particularly with the parents.
Let’s take a look at each common cause of seizures that can lead to a twitching nose in turn.
The most common cause of seizures is an overheating chinchilla. Luckily, this is also the easiest one to fix.
If your chinchilla becomes too hot, it can suffer a heatstroke. They can happen fast. Perhaps you put the heat on too high in your chin’s room, or it is just extremely hot outside and you haven’t turned on the air-conditioning high enough.
You need to always make sure the temperature in your chinchilla’s room is between 60° to 74° F (16° to 23° C), with low humidity levels. If you do not have a thermostat (or you don’t trust yours) it might be a good idea to buy a thermometer to hang by the side of your chinchilla’s cage.
If you notice your pet’s eye twitching and the temperature and/or humidity in the room are too high, you have your likely cause. Turn down the temperature immediately and take steps to cool your chinchilla.
Your chinchilla’s diet can also cause seizures that lead to a twitching nose. It is usually the result of nutritional deficiencies in your pet’s diet. One deficiency that can cause seizures is a calcium deficiency.
If you notice your chin’s nose is twitching, it may be a good idea to check its teeth. But wait until the twitching stops to do so. If the teeth look yellow, that could indicate calcium deficiency.
Hypoglycemia can also cause a twitching nose seizure. This is a condition in which a chinchilla’s blood pressure suddenly drops. It is also due to an inadequate diet.
If your chinchilla is suffering from nutritional problems, you should change the pellets you feed it. Make sure you give your pet pellets made specifically for chinchillas, not rabbit pellets or guinea pig pellets.
If you are not sure what pellets are best, read our article on the top pellets for chinchillas. You could also ask your vet about the ideal diet for your pet.
Another reason your chinchilla’s nose may be twitching is due to head trauma. If your chinchilla falls, it could potentially fall on its head. Chinchillas are well known for jumping around, so sometimes they may just miss their footing!
Or something could fall onto your chinchilla. Another cause of head trauma could be if you have two chinchillas and they have been fighting while you weren’t around. One of them may have seriously hurt the other.
If this is the case, treat the wound and wait to see if your chinchilla’s seizures come to a natural end. You should also take it to the vet. And, this should go without saying, keep the two separate in the future.
What Does A Sick Chinchilla Look Like?
It is very hard to notice if your chinchilla is sick, until it becomes seriously ill. At that point, you will easily notice physical symptoms, but you also won’t have much time left to step in and save your pet before it is too late.
Some common less-obvious symptoms to look out for in order to catch problems early are a lack of appetite, extreme sleepiness, or depression and a disinterest in playing.
Basically, if your chinchilla is suddenly acting differently than normal, it is a good idea to take it to the vet for a check-up.
Chinchillas can also contract the common cold. Can chinchillas catch human colds from us? Not exactly. They can’t contract the virus, but they can contract bacteria that cause secondary infections. Nasal discharge is a common symptom that indicates your chinchilla is suffering from a cold.
If you suspect that your chinchilla does have a cold, the best thing you can do for it is to keep it warm (but not too warm!) and hydrated and take it to see a vet as soon as you can.
The vet may choose to put it on some antibiotics or another medicine, depending on the severity of the cold. They may even diagnose it as another similar, but more serious, illness. This could be a respiratory disease, like the coronavirus or pneumonia.
How Do I Know If My Chinchilla Is Healthy?
There are many signs you can look out for to make sure you have a healthy chinchilla. Healthy chin’s have bright eyes and clean ears, clean eyes, and a clean nose.
They show an interest in what’s going on around them. They always want to know what you’re getting up to around the home and want to play with you. They show an interest in their food and have a healthy appetite.
How Can You Tell If A Chinchilla Is In Pain?
One way to check if your chinchilla is in pain is by giving it a quick physical check over to see if there is any visible injury. A common cause of pan is physical trauma.
But pain does not always come from physical injuries and sometimes there is no obvious indication that your pet is in pain. But you can still see that something is wrong.
A chin in pain will act differently from normal. It might stop eating or be quieter than usual. Again, if you notice anything that is out of the ordinary, it is best to get your chinchilla to a vet for a checkup. Better to be safe than sorry.
Why Chinchilla Noses Twitch: Final Thoughts
If you notice your chinchilla’s nose twitching, it is almost always the result of a seizure. And seizures can happen for a number of reasons. The most common are overheating, a nutritional deficiency, or head trauma. A pre existing genetic condition, like epilepsy, can also cause seizures that lead to nose twitching.
If you see your chinchilla’s nose twitching, wait until it stops, before doing anything. If you can determine the cause, take steps to fix it. Even if you know what caused the issue, it is still best to see a vet, just to be safe. If you can not determine the cause, definitely take your pet to the veterinarian.