Infertility in Chinchillas

By PetMD Editorial on Jul. 7, 2010

Inability to Give Birth in Chinchillas

There are many factors responsible for infertility in chinchillas. These factors can include improper nutrition, genetic predisposition, and even infections. Infertility is a problem in both male and female chinchillas. It is difficult to treat infertility once it has been diagnosed, therefore prevention is key.

When a chinchilla is infertile, it has no interest in mating. When infertility is due to overfeeding or underfeeding, the chinchilla will be either overweight or malnourished and weak. Infection of reproductive organs produces a pus-filled discharge and foul smell.


  • Lack of interest in mating
  • Lethargy
  • Ragged coat
  • Obesity
  • Fever
  • Vaginal discharge


Poor reproduction may be due to any of several possible causes: malnu­trition, abnormal sperm, hormonal imbalance, infectious disease, lack of experience, and lethal genes from inappropriate crosses. For instance, mating between or among chinchillas with matched genes for white and velvet coat color should be avoided. Infectious and dietary factors as well as poor conditioning may also cause infertility in both male and female chinchillas.



Diagnosis is made by the case history provided by the owner and also the symptoms observed. When infertility is suspected to be the underlying cause, blood tests may be necessary to ascertain the exact cause and develop an appropriate course of treatment.


If infertility is due to nutritional reasons, your veterinarian may suggest the administration of vitamin and mineral supplements. If infertility is due to overfeeding, a special diet for the chinchilla should be administered to reduce body weight. In case infertility is due to infections, then it is essential to treat the chinchilla with specific antibiotics.

Living and Management

Regarding the chinchilla's diet and at-home follow-up therapy, follow your veterinarian's advice. It is important you do not rush the chinchilla to mate again, but rather slowly introduce it to its partner gradually.



Feeding a well-balanced nutritious diet specially formulated for chinchillas can prevent infertility. Do not allow your chinchilla to get overweight; regularly allow it some playtime so as to get some exercise. Following the correct crossing procedures recommended for chinchillas can help prevent the development of infertility due to genetic reasons.

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