Inflammation of the Mammary Gland in Chinchillas

By PetMD Editorial on Jul. 7, 2010

Mastitis in Chinchillas

Mastitis happens in female chinchillas when there is inflammation (swelling) in the mammary tissues. It can be due to any cause, the most common being infectious causes. When the kit feeds from its mother, the sharp teeth of the kit might cause injuries in the mammary gland, allowing for the potential entry of infectious agents, which may cause mastitis. This condition needs to be treated by a veterinarian promptly as it might cause permanent damage to the mammary tissue in prolonged cases.

You will know your female chinchilla is suffering from mastitis when the milk production is reduced along with changes in the consistency of the milk, which becomes thick and bloody. The female chinchilla will also have difficulty and pain in nursing the kits and also when not nursing. Antibiotics will be necessary to treat the condition of mastitis, along with medication to relieve the inflammation. It is advisable to stop the female chinchilla from further nursing.


  • Warm mammary glands
  • Enlarged mammary glands
  • Secretion of thick milk possibly containing blood


Mastitis in chinchillas occurs as a result of injuries caused by the sharp teeth of nursing kits. Minor cuts do not get infected but more serious wounds can lead to secondary bacterial infection, which can lead to inflammation of the mammary glands.


The mammary glands of nursing females should be observed frequently for injuries caused by the sharp teeth of nursing kits. Diagnosis is made by a combination of the history provided by the owner and the symptoms observed. Blood tests may be necessary to find out the exact nature of the infectious agent causing the condition so that appropriate treatment could be provided.


The veterinarian will treat mastitis with antibiotics to clear the infection. Anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic agents would also be administered to help reduce the inflammation. If the cut or wound is deep, regular dressing and topical antibiotic or antiseptic ointments will be applied.

Living and Management

The kits should not be allowed to feed from the mother suffering from mastitis. Kits may need to be nursed by other nursing females or hand fed. Routinely administer the necessary antibiotics as directed by your veterinarian and follow the regular dressing of the wound until it heals.


The mammary glands of nursing females should be observed frequently for injuries caused by the sharp teeth of nursing kits. Any such injury should be immediately attended to by proper dressing and antibiotic treatment to heal so that secondary bacterial infection leading to mastitis does not occur.

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