Fur ring (males)
A fur ring is a bit of hair that is twisted around the male chinchilla’s penis. This can cause serious health problems but is normally no problem with early detection. This means that the males must be regularly checked, especially when you suspect that they have mated. A fur ring will normally be removed by the male himself but it is not always possible. If it can not be removed it prevents the penis from retracting into the foreskin. This can cause infection, restrict blood circulation, allow the penis to dry out and cause much pain and discomfort.The most important treatment is regular checkups. Symptoms will be that the penis is visibly protruding, which it normally is not and the chinchilla will regularly lick himself in an effort to rectify the problem. There might also be a loss of appetite and restlessness, depending on how long the problem existed.If you are careful it is normally easy to fix. Make sure that your hands are clean. Let someone help you hold the chinchilla on its back. Apply a lubricant like KY Jelly to the penis. Gently wiggle loose the hair taking care not to pull it as you can cause a lot of pain. If all’s well the penis will retract into the foreskin by itself. If this does not happen you can apply some more lubricant and gently push it back into the foreskin.If this problem has occurred it is advisable to check on the chinchilla at least three times a day to make sure that all’s well. You can reapply lubricant and repeat the procedure as long as there are no other complications. It is also advisable to make sure that there is no discharge or foul smell. If this problem does not disappear within a day or two you must take the animal to a vet. It can be very painful and lead to much bigger problems.