Bacteria in the Blood of Chinchillas

By PetMD Editorial on Jul. 7, 2010

Septicemia in Chinchillas

Septicemia is a suppurative disease causing bacteria and toxins in the blood of chinchillas. Infections across multiple portions of your chinchilla's body may follow untreated bacterial gastroenteritis, although other bacteria may also cause it. Because chinchillas may quickly succumb to the toxins and die suddenly, it is always best to consult a veterinarian when signs of general bacterial infection are noticed. Propmt treatment is the best way to avoid the development of septicemia.

The best way to treat septicemia is to first diagnose the specific organism that has caused the toxin to spread in the blood stream of the chinchilla. This is done through blood tests and culture and sensitivity tests. Antibiotics are given orally or through injections. If the chinchilla is dehydrated, the antibiotics may be given along with the intravenous saline treatment.


  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Rough coat
  • Death


The most common cause of septicemia is bacterial toxins in the blood. This can happen when bacterial infections, like bacterial gastroenteritis, are not treated.


Observing the various non-specific signs exhibited by the chinchilla would make your veterinarian suspect a possible bacterial cause. The exact nature of the organisms, which are responsible for the condition, can be assessed only by performing blood tests.


Administering oral or injectable antibiotics are the best method for treating this condition. Supportive care in the form of fluid and electrolyte therapy may also be needed to help overcome dehydration and other associated disorders.

Living and Management

While recovering from a bacterial infection such as septicemia, your pet chinchilla must be placed in a sterile environment. Follow the supportive care as advised by your veterinarian and do not allow the recovering chinchilla to come in contact with other chinchillas.


To prevent infection, improved husbandry and sanitation techniques are required. Promptly treating any bacterial diseases in chinchillas before the infections progress further can also prevent the development of septicemia in chinchillas.

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