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Herpes Virus Infection in Chinchillas

Herpes Virus 1 in Chinchillas


Chinchillas may get the herpes virus infection through contact with humans suffering from herpes virus 1 infection. Transmitted through the air or via infected water and food, the human herpes virus mainly affects the nervous system in chinchillas, though the eyes can also be affected. The signs exhibited by the affected chinchillas are mainly those involving the nervous system. Other lesions are detected only during post-mortem examination of the dead chinchillas.


Chinchillas act as intermediary hosts of the herpes virus infection. Hence, this disease in chinchillas needs to be addressed quickly.




  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Eye discharge
  • Nasal discharge
  • Death




Herpes virus 1 infection in chinchillas is caused by the human herpes virus. Chinchillas may get the infection through contact with humans suffering from herpes virus 1 infection or via contaminated water and/or food.




The clinical signs exhibited by the chinchilla will lead your veterinarian to suspect a possible case of human herpes virus 1 infection in your pet chinchilla. Confirmation is based on the lesions observed at necropsy and also the isolation of the virus from the central nervous system of the affected chinchillas.