home attempt-writing

All prices have been updated. New prices are on the animals page.

Hair Rings

Male chinchillas will occasionally develop a hair ring around their penises. This is a major concern since the ring can become tight enough to cause pain, impede urination, and affect the circulation to the penis; therefore, it needs to be removed immediately. Although males that are breeding are more likely to get hair rings, all males can develop them. It is for this reason that all male chinchillas should be checked for hair rings at least once a month, more often if they are in breeding. Another source of rings can be fleece cage liners and cuddle buddies.

A male chinchilla with a hair ring.
Although males do clean the area themselves, hair rings can develop that require the assistance of a human to remove. To do so, hold the chinchilla with its back against you chest. The penis needs to be gently pulled out of the sheath. This is done by gently easing the sheath back until the tip of the penis is exposed. The next step is to gently grasp the tip between two fingers and gently pulling until the entire penis is visible. KY Jelly or water can be used to lubricate the area and make removing the hair easier. Once the penis and the hair ring are exposed, gently use fingers to pick at the hair ring until all hair is removed from the penis. Once that is done, carefully place the penis back in its sheath. If the penis is dry, it may need a little assistance and/or lubrication. For many people, it is easier to use two people, one to hold the chinchilla and one to do the hair ring check

Monitor the chinchilla for a while afterwards to make sure he regains full use of his penis. If redness or swelling occurs, or the penis will not fully retract into the sheath, a trip to the veterinarian is in order to treat a possible infection.

Remember, hair ring checks should be done at least once a month. They should never be skipped even if your male cleans the area himself. Any time a male chinchilla has trouble urinating (squeaking or grunting while urinating), exhibits a change in habits (urinates on the shelves when he previously did not doe so), or cleans the area excessively, he should be checked for a hair ring.

For a video of removing a hair ring on a chinchilla go to Spoiled Chins on the internet.