What It IsCausesSymptomsWhat To Do

What It Is

Pododermatitis, more commonly referred to as bumblefoot, is usually a bacterial infection of the foot. Image 1: an advanced case of bumblefoot that has progressed to a large bloody wound.


The most common cause is bacteria that has entered the foot through small scrapes or cuts. These can be caused by a variety of things but the list includes:

♥ Uncovered Wire Floors
♥ Excessive Pressure on the Feet
♥ Obesity
♥ Injury
♥ Poor Sanitation
♥ Humid Environment

Image 2 shows a case of bumblefoot, while image 3 is 1 week later with treatment consisting of antibiotics, pain meds and a bootie.


♥ Cracks in the callouses of the feet
♥ Reluctance to move or the inability to walk normally
♥ Loss of appetite due to pain
Image 4 show a mild case of bumblefoot. See What To Do for how to make changes to prevent your chinchillas feet from getting worse.

What To Do

If the skin has broken open and is actively bleeding, you will need to see a vet in order to get on the right treatment which may include antibiotics, pain medications and other supporting medications; topical antibiotic and/or dressing of the feet. If, on the other hand, you catch it early, proactive changes can help tremendously - covering any wire flooring, improving sanitation, improving diet, using a moisturizing cream such as Bag Balm to prevent breaks in the skin. Please note: It is normal for a chinchilla's feet to be calloused, but it should be a healthy colored callous without breaks. What you need to watch for is callouses becoming red and irritated or breaks in the skin that would let bacteria in.


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