Health Topics: Fur Slip

How serious is it?

Of least concern.

What is it?

Fur slip is a defense mechanism, similar to how lizards can shed their tails to escape a predator. Fur slip is not related to fur chewing.

How can I recognize it?

Tufts of loose fur in the chinchilla's environment, and in some cases, noticeable bald patches.

Fur slip will release the tufts of hair at the root, leaving bare skin beneath. If the skin appears irritated and flaky, you may have a case of fungus.

How do you treat it?

Just let the fur grow back.

How can I avoid this?

Some chinchillas tend to fur slip while handling; sweaty sticky hands can cling to the fine hair follicles. If this happens, try lightly dusting your hands with some clean bathing dust.

Cagemates might pull out one another's fur if there's tension in the group. If the fur slip appears in your chinchillas' cage, the instigator might need a time out. Watch for an escalation in aggressive behavior.