Many of us that have had chinchillas for years or you might have taken in older chins under your care. Most people can identify a senior chin as one that is 8 years or older in Singapore. While chinchillas have live till the age of average 15-18 in the humid Singapore and much more common age of 20 in countries with four seasons.
When a chinchilla reaches the age of 8-10 there are several things that can happen.
1.Weak Immune System
Facing their natural aging process, their immune systems are not as strong as they were when young.
2. Fur and Body Tone
Their fur and body tone will change and not as firm.
3. Cataracts and Eyesights Problems
They may develop cataracts or other eyesight problems.
4. Teeth Problems
The risk of age related teeth problems increase too.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There are a few simple things that will help them during their old age. Start early!!!
At this stage I would highly recommended a good variety of hay (eg. Timothy and oxbow organic meadow hay). Timothy hay is always an important part but adding some alfalfa will encourage them to eat more. I have include once or twice weekly, beneficial organic dandelion and nettle herb for their aging years. The calcium in Alfafa will help with aging bones too.
I have also include probiotics in our chinchilla diet a few times a week. It promotes intestinal health and nutrient absorption. Keep them occupied with some chew twig daily.
Exercise is good but keep to a minimum. The most important things is to be watchful for weight loss and also their poop size. Weight loss and hunch back can be signs of liver or kidney issues. Best if is to weight them weekly and have them checked by a vet if any changes occur.