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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11507
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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can rabbits and chinchillas be housed in the same room I

Resolved Question:

can rabbits and chinchillas be housed in the same room? I know a girl who has been getting some rabbits from me and is having health issues with her rabbits. She also raises Chinchillas and keeps them in the same room. I raise angora rabbits and have not the health problems with mine nor has anyone else had problems that have bought babies from me. My first thought was maybe having something to do with the chinchilla dust?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Joan replied 6 years ago.


Do you know what type of bedding she is using?

What type of health problems are the Rabbits having?

Is she following the diet that you use for your Rabbits?

How is she housing the rabbits?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The rabbits are not in bedding..they are in cages with the 1/2 x 1 inch wire floors...

1 rabbit is getting some sort of wartie sores on face the other is have eye discharge sways back and fourth with her head, like a neralogical problem...I have litter mates to these rabbits and do not have these probblems.

The chins and rabbits are in the same room.

Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.

Joan is not online right now. There is one more piece of information that will help her to answer your question when she comes online. What color is the rabbit that sways back and forth?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
sable...I do know R-E-W's have a tendency to do that as babies than out grow it...this doe is almost a year old now.
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to us. Joan has asked me to help you. I'm a biologist who has been been breeding and showing rabbits for over 30 years. The head swaying is most likely related to eyesight. In reality, red-eyed-whites with this problem do not actually outgrow it. It is believed that these rabbits have eyesight that isn't as good, and moving the head back and forth helps them focus on what they are trying to see. Some are able to adjust to the condition as they get older, but others continue throughout life. REW's are not the only ones affected. any rabbit that has a red tint to its eyes can be. It's especially common in any color that has REW in its background. I've never raised Angoras, but the same problem appears in Holland lops and Netherland dwarfs. I've seen it in REW's, sables, and Siamese sables. In most cases, it is not considered a health problem, and is simply ignored. Rarely, head swaying can be caused by a neurological disorder, and is a type of seizure. Rabbits with that form may go on to have severe seizures. The eye discharge could be related to any kind of dust in the room. If the chinchillas are constantly stirring up their dust baths, that could be linked.If the eye irritation is bad enough, it could even interfere with seeing, and lead tot he head swaying. The rabbit's owner should flush the eyes several times a day with preservative-free saline solution (the kind made for contact lenses). If the chinchillas do stir up dust, something should be done to protect the rabbits from it - perhaps move them to a different room. If these measures don't help within a day or two, the rabbit may have contracted an eye infection, and veterinary help will be needed.

As for the wart-like growths on the other rabbit, the most likely cause is a papilloma virus. These viruses can produce a variety of growths and sores. however, if the warts are oozing or appear to be causing pain, a vet should examine the rabbit. There is no treatment for the papilloma virus, but if infection is present, antibiotics may be needed.

The rabbits' litter mates being fine doesn't tell us anything about their health conditions. These conditions don't reflect badly on your breeding program in any way. The chinchilla's don't carry diseases that are transmitted easily to rabbits, but dust of any kind is an irritation, so they may be related in that way. Chinchillas are also very prone to getting sick from the pasteurella virus that many rabbits carry, so it's not a good idea to house them in the same room. That being said, many people do keep the two species in the same room without problems. I personally wouldn't house them together.

In summary, the head swaying is probably related to eyesight, either because of the red eyed gene in the background or because of eye irritation. The wart-like growths are likely caused by a papilloma virus. Chinchilla dust could be a factor with the eye problem. The rabbit's breeding is not a cause.If simple measures don't help, the rabbits should be seen by a vet. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY.


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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11507
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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