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HEAT STROKE--A SERIOUS DANGER TO YOUR CHINCHILLA!!

 

Heat Stroke  should be a primary concern to all chinchilla owners when the weather begins getting warmer.  CHINCHILLAS CAN DIE FROM HEAT STROKE VERY EASILY.  An attentive and careful chinchilla owner can usually prevent this. If you live in an area where temperatures can reach 80+ degrees Fahrenheit, you should consider acquiring an air conditioning unit if you have chinchillas in your home (and perhaps a back-up unit if you have many chinchillas). We repeatedly warn people of the heat dangers to chinchillas since chinchillas cannot perspire like we do.  We are adamant about instructing people not to put their chinchillas outside during the summer months because of the risk of heat stroke.  If you leave your chinchilla outside in the sun, on a porch or even under a tree during very hot weather, you will be killing your pet.  So many chinchillas die from heatstroke every year and it doesn't have to happen! 

In the book, JOY OF CHINCHILLAS,  there is a section that talks about heat stroke.  The following is a quote from that section:

 

"Chinchillas can die from heat stroke, and it is preventable!  If temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity add up to 150 (e.g. temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity is 60%, the sum equals 150) then that is dangerous to the chinchillas.  The chinchilla comfort zone is 65 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit tops.  They can tolerate cold far easier than heat (of course, they have a nice fur coat).  Humidity should be around 30% to 40%.  Below 25% humidity even humans develop dry cracked skin - so, decrease bathing which causes dry skin if done excessively.  Remember, if you are uncomfortable from either heat or humidity, your chinchilla will also be uncomfortable.  The rule of 150 goes for humans too, and if the temperature plus humidity is 150 or above you also are in danger of heat problems.  If you are in danger, how much more your chinchilla, who cannot sweat nor take off its nice fur coat!!!"

"Air movement by fans cools just by circulating the air, so use fans to blow air around your chinchilla.  Don't blow air directly on your chinchilla, but cool the environment instead.  Having access to an air conditioner can save your animal's life.  Filling your chinchilla's cage with jars of ice, or dishes of ice cubes, so they can lay next to the ice to cool off also helps.  (Chinchillas sometimes chew on ice cubes, and though this is thought to crack teeth, it is not as yet been proven.)  Other ideas are:  soaking them in cool (not cold) water, turning the water sprinklers or misters onto the cage or spraying the cages with water, or putting wet sheets over cages and using a fan to speed evaporation can also cool off your chinchilla.  Anything to cool them off will make a difference and can save a life. Heatstroke is fatal..."