Chinchillas are naturally very healthy and resilient creatures that, if housed properly and taken care of, rarely suffer from illnesses and medical conditions, thus going to the vet would seem unnecessary. However, there are a couple of reasons why you should take your pet chinchilla to the vet.
First and foremost you want to go for a check-up at least once a year to make sure that your pet is healthy and well taken care of, that there are no underlying health issues. Another reason why you would take your pet to the vet is for a check-up if you notice changes in its behavior or habits, which could be an indicator for underlying illnesses.
Then there are pet chinchillas that require regular trips to the vet because they have ongoing treatment for acute or chronic conditions and illnesses.
So how often do I need to take my pet chinchilla to the vet? Depending on the health of your chinchilla, you should take it to the veterinarian at least once a year or more often if necessary.
If there are any changes to your pet’s habits and behavior, your vet will give you the information for the course of treatments and frequency of visits.
Summary of today’s article:
- How do I know if I should take my chinchilla to the vet?
- Initial vet visits
- To spay and neuter
- What kind of a veterinarian should I look up?
Chinchillas are naturally very resilient and healthy animals, they do not require constant medical care (like vaccines and shots, flea and intestinal parasite treatments), but they do require a cooler atmosphere with low humidity, proper nutrition and opportunities to exercise and wear-down their teeth in a natural way. Even though a chinchilla looks healthy, a medical professional will be able to spot anomalies that might be signs of some underlying illnesses and this is why regular check-ups should be a requirement.
If you have any doubts in your pet’s health or general well-being a quick visit to the vet will definitely put your mind at ease and help you and your chinchilla overcome any illnesses that might have occurred.
Taking A Healthy Chinchilla To The Vet
If your pet seems very active, alert, if he is taking in enough of healthy pellets, hay and water, if his droppings are evenly shaped and odorless, if his eyes are bright and his coat is fluffy and clean, then you can safely say that your chinchilla seems healthy and there are no needs for frequent visits to the vet. Although your chinchilla is healthy a visit to the vet at least once a year should be considered, so that your pet’s health can be assessed by a professional and you could rule out any uncertainties you might have regarding your pets health and wellbeing.
If you notice any concerning changes in your chinchilla’s behavior, you should not wait for the annual visit but rather take it to the vet immediately to make sure that your pet is in proper health.
Taking A “suspicious” Chinchilla To The vet
If your chinchilla is acting out-of-the-ordinary or his eating and drinking habits changed, it could be a time to check-in with your vet. Some of the most serious illnesses come with little or no warnings and symptoms, until it is too late to help your pet.
Chinchillas are wonderful masters of disguise and they will disguise their illness for a very long time. But there are signs that are a clear teller that something is wrong with your pet and it needs medical treatment: drooling, lack of appetite, uneven-sticky-runny stools, weight-loss, discharge from the eyes or nose, lack of activity (lethargy), having difficulties running or jumping, loss of fur or excessive grooming and skin lesions.
If any of these symptoms occur, you should take your pet to the vet to consult on whether there is an illness that needs to be treated or it is a condition caused by environmental or dieting factors. Either way, your vet will give the diagnosis and proper guidance to get your pet back to its healthy state.
Taking An Ill Chinchilla To The Vet
If your pet is already diagnosed by a vet and it is currently undergoing treatment you will have clear information from the vet on how often your pet will need its therapy. When chinchillas have smaller infections or illnesses that are not severe, your vet will provide you with proper counseling and medication that will usually be administered at home by you (like eye-drops or ointments, special creams for damaged skin or skin-related illnesses, powders or even syrups).
If your chinchilla has a more serious condition, you would probably need to visit the vet on a daily basis throughout the course of the treatment – whether it is getting some antibiotic shots, getting a wound dressed-up, treating oral ulcers and overgrown teeth and so forth. Some chinchillas would need regular treatments for a longer period of time, even months.
These chinchillas are most likely suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes, cataracts, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis and malocclusion (overgrown teeth).
Besides all of the above-mentioned reasons for taking your chinchilla to the vet, when you adopt your chinchilla you should definitely have that initial visit to the vet. At this point, you would like to make sure that you have adopted a healthy chinchilla, you will be certain of its gender and the vet can accurately determine the age of your chinchilla.
You will also know if your chinchilla is at its proper weight and does it show any signs of genetic illnesses that might occur (such as malocclusion, fur-chewing). So a thorough physical exam will be done on your pet, the vet might even do some bloodwork if deemed necessary and a fecal sample to check for intestinal parasites.
After the initial visit if your pet is not showing any symptoms we mentioned earlier and it seems perfectly healthy, you can take your pet for a yearly check-up.
Besides taking your pet to regular check-ups or treatments, you might want to house a pair of chinchillas that are of the opposite sex. Since breeding chinchillas is something best done by professionals, you would avoid unwanted pregnancies by having one of your chinchillas (or both) spayed or neutered.
We recommend you to find a very experienced exotic pet vet to do the surgery or just not house chinchillas of the opposite sex in the same cage. Surgery on small animals always comes with a risk and if it is not necessary, we suggest you opt out of having your chinchilla’s private parts operated on.
Neutering is a procedure done on males and it is less stressful with an easier recovery compared to having females spayed. Before deciding to have your pet spayed or neutered you should consult the vet and see if your chinchillas are ready for the operation, if there are certain risks that are involved regarding one of your pets or if this is a necessary procedure to have.
Chinchillas are exotic pets, which means that they have specific needs that set them apart from other rodents. Chinchillas should be taken to an exotic pet veterinarian, since these vets have more experience in dealing with complicated health issues that can be associated with exotic pets.
This veterinarian will be able to give you proper guidance and assess your chinchilla’s health correctly. Keep in mind that taking your pet to an exotic vet will come with a slightly higher cost than taking it to an ordinary vet, since you are in fact visiting a professional.
Do not be afraid to ask your vet to clarify any doubts you might have regarding your pet’s housing conditions, feeding schedules and diet plan, proper handling tips and grooming advice. Your pet’s veterinarian will always be the right person to help you by guiding you to the best way of taking care of your chinchilla.
Having a pet chinchilla is a wonderful experience and we wish your pet is healthy and happy for a very long time. When you adopt your chinchilla make sure that you visit an exotic pet vet within the first 48 hours of adoption so that the vet can properly assess your pet’s condition.
After the first successful visit, we recommend taking your chinchilla on annual visits to the vet or more often if necessary. If your chinchilla’s behavior or habits change, you will know it is time to go see the vet again.
In order to minimize the chances of needing veterinary care make sure that your pet is in a proper chinchilla cage at an optimal temperature and humidity level. Your pet needs to have a lot of exercise, chew toys, an abundance of fresh hay and water and some quality pellets to supplement its diet.
Take every precaution to ensure that your pet is leading a healthy lifestyle and the veterinary visits should be at the minimum.