What is Miscarriage?
The vet will want to examine your pet to ensure that she has aborted every baby she was carrying. This is important, because your vet doesn’t want your chinchilla to develop a potentially dangerous uterine infection from a retained fetus.
Some chinchillas will miscarry their kits for one of several reasons, including having a deformed kit. Once a miscarriage has begun, the process cannot be stopped. Monitor the situation and get your chinchilla to the vet as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Miscarriage in Chinchillas
Sometimes, miscarriage symptoms in a chinchilla are hard to spot. As long as you are observant all throughout her pregnancy, you may be able to spot the following signs:
- Wet fur around chinchilla’s mouth and on front paws
- Blood in the cage
- Blood around her mouth and vaginal opening
- Dead kits in the cage
- Remnants of dead kits in cage
- Bits of placenta not eaten
- Swollen vulva
- Dilated vaginal opening
- Empty-feeling abdomen on palpation
- Noticeable weight loss and change in chinchilla’s body shape
- Bad-smelling discharge from vagina, indicating possible infection
Causes of Miscarriage in Chinchillas
Several factors may cause your chinchilla to miscarry her kits:
- Malformed kits
- Poor health and unfit chinchilla
- Improper diet that doesn’t provide all the nutrients needed
- Seizures (caused by calcium deficiency)
- Awkward fall
- Improper handling
- Stress or fear
- Relocation of cage
- Uterine infection
- Incorrect palpation of her abdomen
- Strenuous or violent fight
- Harassment from another chinchilla
Diagnosis of Miscarriage in Chinchillas
As soon as you realize something is wrong, get your pregnant chinchilla to your vet as quickly as you can. When you tell the vet that your chinchilla is pregnant, she will look for other symptoms indicating that a miscarriage has taken place or is in progress.
She will examine your chinchilla, using her fingers and hands to palpate your pet’s abdomen. She may also X-ray your chinchilla to see if she has any kits remaining inside her. If your pet’s contractions have stopped and one kit or more still remain in her uterus, emergency veterinary treatment is necessary.
Treatment of Miscarriage in Chinchillas
If the chinchilla has a deceased kit inside her uterus that she hasn’t been able to deliver, the vet will have to remove it surgically or administer a hormone that will stimulate new uterine contractions. Once the contractions have resumed, she will give birth to a stillborn kit.
After the miscarriage is over, you’ll need to provide lots of supervision for your chinchilla. Remove all male chinchillas who may want to mate with her so she can rest and recover.
Give your chinchilla only the highest-quality feed. Hay, especially timothy hay, has all of the nutrients she needs. Keep pellets to a minimum (about one-eighth of a cup per day) and avoid giving her any sweet treats at all, as they don’t provide the nutrients she needs to recover.
Calcium is vital for your chinchillas, especially if you know your female chinchilla will be breeding again in the future. Check the color of her tooth enamel. If it isn’t dark-orange, she isn’t getting enough of this mineral. While you’re trying to ensure that she gets enough calcium, don’t give her so much that she doesn’t benefit from phosphorus. A deficiency of phosphorus can lead to additional health problems.
Recovery of Miscarriage in Chinchillas
Your chinchilla should recover from her miscarriage as long as you give her the time she needs to rest and get better. You need to help her to avoid a subsequent pregnancy too soon after the first. Her body needs to recharge so that, when she does become pregnant, she will be strong enough to give birth to her kits.
Only if a kit died before birth will she be at risk of serious illness or death. She may not have been able to expel this fetus, which then mummifies inside her. The presence of a mummified fetus in your chinchilla’s uterus means she can develop a uterine infection. If you miss this, she will develop blood poisoning (septicemia) and could die if she isn’t treated for both conditions.