Unlike humans, chinchillas don't have clear signs of pregnancy. Therefore it can be difficult to determine if a chinchilla is pregnant, which often leads to surprise births. Recognising the signs of late pregnancy can help you determine if your chinchilla may give birth soon. If you suspect your chinchilla may be pregnant, monitor her closely and provide her with a calm and quiet place to deliver the baby.
Physical Signs of Pregnancy
Chinchillas don't normally show signs of pregnancy until they are almost ready to give birth. At about 90 days gestation, you may notice that your chinchilla's nipples are redder and more prominent. While chinchillas do gain some weight during pregnancy, this weight can be difficult to notice under their fur. Weigh your chinchilla regularly to monitor changes in weight.
Behavioural Signs of Pregnancy and Birth
Late in pregnancy, your chinchilla may begin to behave differently. It's important to know your chinchilla's personality so you can watch for behavioural changes, which are typically the first sign that your chinchilla will soon give birth. Hours before the birth, your chinchilla may begin digging or appear nervous. Avoid disturbing her, which can cause stress and make delivery more dangerous.
Signs of Early Labor
In the early stages of labour, your chinchilla will find a comfortable place and stay there. Chinchillas are typically skittish animals who move a lot, so if your chinchilla has stayed in one position for more than a few minutes, it's a sure sign birth is imminent. You may notice that she is crouched in an odd position. She may make barking or chirping sounds, but it's important not to disturb her. If she goes into obvious distress, begins bleeding profusely, or has trouble breathing, take her to the vet immediately.
Signs of Late Labor
Late in labour, it will be obvious that your chinchilla is giving birth. You will be able to see the baby's head and there will be discharge from your chinchilla's vagina. She will likely bend down frequently to check the progress of labour. This is normal; do not interfere. After giving birth, your chinchilla will deliver an afterbirth and will probably eat it.
- "A New Owner's Guide to Chinchillas" ; Audrey Pavia; 2003
- "Ultimate Chinchilla Health and Care Guide" ; Pester Jack; 2010
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