Calcium-Phosphorus Imbalance in Chinchillas

PetMD Editorial
Jun 19, 2010
2 min read
Image: Photo Grapher / via Image Bank

Calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals for chinchillas. An imbalance in the calcium to phosphorus ratio can lead to nutritional disorders in chinchillas, which affect mainly the muscles and development of the bones. Moreover, any calcium-phosphorus imbalance in young and pregnant chinchillas may have serious consequences on the future growth and development of the newborn(s).

Noticeable and severe muscle spasms in the chinchilla’s face and limbs are the first signs of a calcium-phosphorus imbalance nutritional disorder. Broken bones become common due to bones becoming brittle. Upon testing, the blood levels of calcium and phosphorus will be abnormal. Treatment of calcium-phosphorus imbalance usually involves giving supplements of the mineral that are depleted in the body of the chinchilla. Giving calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D3 supplements in the diet is a necessary precaution that can maintain the good health of your pet chinchilla.

Symptoms

  • Severe muscle spasms in the hind limbs, forelimbs, and face
  • Brittle bones leading to fractures

Causes

A dietary imbalance in the ratio of calcium to phosphorous or phosphorus deficiency may result in the development of calcium-phosphorus imbalance in chinchillas.

Diagnosis

A diagnosis is made by the clinical signs observed. Give a complete account of your pet chinchilla’s diet history to your veterinarian. He or she will then confirm the diagnosis of calcium-phosphorus imbalance by testing the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.

Treatment

Your veterinarian might treat the chinchilla by administering calcium gluconate. Oral calcium and phosphorus supplements may also be recommended by your veterinarian to help your chinchilla overcome this condition.

Living and Management

Chinchillas that are being treated to overcome calcium phosphorus imbalance should be fed a nutritionally well-balanced diet. Consult your veterinarian and formulate a diet suited to meet the mineral needs of your pet chinchilla. Routinely administer any oral supplements as suggested by your veterinarian to help your pet recover from this nutritional disorder.

Prevention

You may prevent a calcium-phosphorus imbalance in your pet chinchilla by feeding it a well-balanced, nutritionally complete diet formulated for chinchillas with the appropriate amount of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D3.

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