A healthy pet chipmunk will be energetic but not frantic. Its coat will be shiny, and its eyes will be bright. To get a pet with the least likelihood of sickness, look for one that has been raised in captivity. If you see the following signs of illness in your pet chipmunk, ask your veterinarian for advice.
- Skill level:
Look for symptoms of stress in your pet chipmunk's behavior. Hyperactivity or low activity is common after too much handling or in too small a cage. Allow the chipmunk to rest a day and make sure its environment is safe.
Watch for continual scratching. This can mean fleas. You should bring your pet to the veterinarian to obtain a flea powder especially for your chipmunk.
Reduce the amount of corn in the chipmunk's diet and make sure you are providing fresh water, fruit, nuts and vegetables if your pet continues to scratch without sign of fleas.
Examine the chipmunk's nose. A discharge could point to a respiratory infection. If the discharge is accompanied by wetness of the mouth, face rubbing or pawing at the mouth, your chipmunk's teeth may be overgrown. Both conditions require veterinarian treatment.
View your pet chipmunk's posture and activity level. If it is hunched over or not moving at all, this may be a sign of serious illness that requires a veterinarian's attention.
Tips and warnings
- To avoid physical illnesses, make sure chipmunks have plenty of fresh water, a varied diet including nuts in the shell and a large, clean cage.
- To avoid stress problems, keep chipmunks in as large a cage as possible with one nest box per chipmunk, move them away from television and other pets, and give them plenty of branches and even dog biscuits to gnaw on.