Hair Rings in Chinchillas

PetMD Editorial
Jun 30, 2010
2 min read
Image: Photo Grapher / via Image Bank

Rings of Hair on the Penis of Chinchillas

If your male chinchilla is experiencing difficulty mating, it may be on account of hair rings. Hair rings are a condition that develops in male chinchillas following sexual intercourse in which a ring of hair may surround the penis within the foreskin and cause serious complications, including inability to mate with the female. Male chinchillas, especially those used for breeding, should be routinely checked for the presence of hair rings to prevent other complications from developing.

You should check for hair rings if your male chinchilla grooms itself more than necessary, has difficulty urinating and/or licks its penis excessively. The veterinarian will treat male chinchillas with hair rings by giving them a mild sedative while removing the hair ring. He or she may even teach you the proper technique for removing hair rings so that you can do it at home.

It is important to provide your chinchilla a quiet area to rest and recover after the treatment for hair rings. In addition, keep the recovering male chinchilla separate from a female chinchilla to prevent any attempt at breeding till full recovery.

Symptoms

  • Excessive grooming
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Inability to mate

Causes

Hair rings often develop following sexual intercourse. A ring of hair may surround the penis within the foreskin and cause a painful condition that may keep the male chinchilla from mating with the female.

Diagnosis

A diagnosis can be made by examining the penis of the male chinchilla. Observing the clinical signs exhibited by the male can help you suspect a case of hair ring.

Treatment

Treatment includes lubricating the penis or mild sedation to help with gentle removal of the hair ring. Your veterinarian can demonstrate the best technique for hair ring removal.

Living and Management

Males that have been treated for a condition of hair ring should be given rest and not used for breeding until the condition heals.

Prevention

Routinely checking male chinchillas for hair rings, especially any males that are used for breeding, will help to identify and treat this condition at the initial stages and thus prevent serious complications from developing. Managing the condition in the early stages is the only prevention as hair rings can affect any male chinchilla.

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