Metritis in Chinchillas
Metritis, otherwise known as the infection and inflammation of the uterus, typically affects female chinchillas that have recently given birth. It commonly occurs when the placenta and fetal membranes remain in the uterus leading to bacterial infection. Metritis is a serious condition in female chinchillas because the kits may get the infection from the mother and the mother itself may die if untreated from severe bacterial infection.
- Inability to walk
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Lack of milk production
- Swollen genitals
- Vaginal discharge
A retained placenta or fetus that is not delivered may undergo decomposition in the uterus and lead to metritis.
A diagnosis can be made by the clinical signs observed. The vaginal discharge may be collected and swabs can be stained and viewed under a microscope to identify the causative bacteria. Alternatively the vaginal secretions may be collected and grown in suitable culture medium for the identification of the causative bacteria so that suitable antibiotics can be administered to treat the condition effectively.
Early detection and treatment are essential because affected female chinchillas can develop a severe and fatal bacterial infection with sudden deterioration and death. A veterinarian can give medicine that causes uterine contractions and forces out the infected debris. The veterinarian will then clean and disinfect the reproductive tract and the uterus. Antibiotics and general support should also be provided.
Living and Management
The chinchilla undergoing treatment for metritis should be given proper care, including rest in a quiet and calm environment and a well-balanced diet. Your veterinarian will advise you as to the antibiotic therapy needed. In addition, he or she will recommend that you nurse the nurse the kits with another female or hand feed them until the mother chinchilla recovers so that the infection does not spread to the kits through the milk of the mother.
After giving birth, chinchillas should be monitored for the expulsion of the placenta. If it is not shed within the recommended time, contact a veterinarian. Treating the condition early can help prevent cases of metritis in female chinchillas.