One of the most common afflictions of the chinchilla is usually referred to as "fungus." The skin fungus that usually afflicts the chinchilla is a strain of ringworm, also found on dogs and cats, and many other animals including humans. Avoid buying animals which are showing outward signs of fungus. It is very contagious and hard to get rid of completely. Keep in mind, however, that if you have chinchillas long enough, or have enough of them, you will eventually encounter fungus. The best thing breeders can do is to catch it early and treat it immediately. Fungus usually first appears as a bald spot around the nose or eyes, then commonly spreads to the front feet or genitals next, or to the body. Fungus causes uncomfortable red itchy spots, and a loss of fur in the afflicted area. If a chinchilla gets fungus, take its dust away until the fungus is cleared up, or the spores will spread to other animals through the dust. Don't reuse the old dust. Betadine solution is an effective anti-fungal that can be applied topically. Make sure to treat at least 1/2 an inch of skin around the afflicted area. You can also ask your vet for a ringworm cream that is safe for small animals. Treat the infected area every day. Use caution when treating the animal not touch the infected spot directly, as it is contagious to humans too. Cut and recently shaved skin is infected easily. The cage must be sterilized thoroughly. This is a situation where wood cages might have to go altogether. Ringworm spores are hard to kill and can live for a long time in the environment. Sunlight and high heat can destroy fungus and spores. A dilution of Clorox or Novasan can be used to rinse down the cage (use gloves and use these products in a well ventilated area). Let the cage sit (in the sunlight if possible) for an hour or so before rinsing thoroughly with water. Fungus tends to appear most often when the humidity level rises above 50%, when there is little sunlight, and when the animal is stressed, like after shipping or weaning. Some animals seem to be more susceptible to fungus than others. Baby animals of all species tend to be vulnerable, especially at the time of weaning. Also, some chinchillas can have the fungus systemically, in which case a topical medication is not effective. In systemic cases, an internal medication like Fulvacin or Griseofulvin can effectively treat the fungus, but these medications can do permanent liver damage and should be used sparingly. Good ventilation and a high volume of air exchange is one of the best preventive measures! Home E-store Chinchilla Products and Supplies Live Online Chinchilla Auction Chinchilla Sales Gallery Chinchilla Resources Contact Information Worldwide Home Page E-store Chinchilla Products and Supplies Live Online Auction Chinchilla Sales Gallery Chinchilla Resources Contact Information Resorces Home Page About Chinchilla Nutrition Chinchilla Breeding Herd Foundation Guidelines Recognized Color Mutations Chinchilla Color Mutation Hybrids Chinchilla Color Mutation Percentage Charts Chinchilla Handling and Temperament Chinchilla Malocclusion Information Fur Chewing Fungus Information New Arrivals Chinchilla Ear Tag Information Chinchilla Feed, Treats, Supplements, and Water Chinchilla Dust Hobbyist Caging Breeding Runs and Colony Caging Defining Show Quality / Grading Chinchilla Photos Shipping Chinchilla Availability Newsletters and Other Information