Does Your Chinchilla Need To See The Vet?

Posted on: 7 October 2020

Most people are well aware that their dogs and cats need vet care, but when you get a smaller, caged pet, their veterinary care requirements can seem a little ambiguous. But rest assured — your chinchilla can and should see the veterinarian. Their small size and the fact that they spend most of their time in the cage does not preclude them from illness or make preventative vet care any less essential. Read on to learn the basics about vet care for chinchillas.


When you first bring home your chinchilla, it is a good idea to schedule a vet appointment within a few days. This way, if your chinchilla has come home with any health issues or anomalies, you will be able to reach out to the breeder. Most breeders offer a health guarantee on their pets, and if something is wrong with your chinchilla, the breeder should cover the cost of vet care under this guarantee.

At this first checkup, your vet will look over the chinchilla for any signs of parasites, malnutrition, or infection. They may collect a stool sample and test it for parasite eggs, and they'll weigh your pet to make sure their weight is within a healthy range for their age. If you do not know the sex of your chinchilla — they are notoriously hard to sex — your vet can tell you whether it is male or female. The information gathered during this initial vet visit will give your vet some baseline parameters for comparison should your chinchilla ever come in sick.

Symptoms That Require Vet Care

It's important that you check on your chinchilla daily. If you notice any of the following issues, make an appointment with the vet.

  • Nasal and eye discharge: This is a sign of respiratory disease, which is always a major concern in chinchillas since it can progress to pneumonia.
  • Overgrown teeth: If the teeth are poking out when the mouth is closed, they are overgrown and need to be trimmed so they do not poke the chinchilla's cheeks or make it hard to eat.
  • Bloat: If the abdomen is puffy and distended, this is a sign of serious gastrointestinal illness.

You should also call the vet if your chinchilla develops diarrhea, is struggling to breathe, or seems lethargic.

Chinchillas make excellent pets, but only if they stay healthy! Take yours in for a checkup, and don't hesitate to call the vet when something goes wrong. For more information about what a veterinary clinic would recommend for your pet, reach out to a local animal hospital or veterinarian.