how take care of sick chinchilla

Chinchilla at veterinary – Veterinarian holding chinchilla and examining a sick chinchilla

This article will be talking about how to take care of your sick chinchilla at home, and the signs when you must bring her to a vet.

How to treat your Sick Chinchilla

Having a chinchilla for a pet requires a lot of attention and care.

However, there are always cases when, no matter how well you took care of your pet, you’ll end up having a sick chinchilla in your care. Of course, aside from caring for your pet by keeping it in a clean cage and providing it with good food and fresh drink every day, you must also make sure that it does not have any parasites.

Signs You May Have a Sick Chinchilla

Chinchillas are quite susceptible to digestive problems because it is not easy for them to eliminate toxins from their body. Below are some of the most common health problems among chinchillas and what you can do in order to treat them:


check your pet chinchilla’s poop to see if they are dry, smelly, tiny, and shaped weirdly. If this is the case, it may be suffering from constipation so you will need to frequently check that your pet has fresh water and some hay. You would also need to give your pet chinchilla about two raisins to help their digestive system.  


if your chinchilla looks strangely bloated, especially around the stomach region, it may be due to excess mucus in its bowels. Another symptom for this would be if the poop is loose and gluey. Feed your pet chinchilla some food culture and allow it to exercise some more.  


if your pet chinchilla has sticky and gooey poop then it is most likely to have diarrhea. The main culprits that would trigger this are molds or algae in their food, water, or in some areas of their cage. It may also be due to stress if your pet was subjected to an unfamiliar environment at an uncomfortable temperature.  

Seizures and Cramping

if you have observed that your chinchilla is not moving or would immediately begin trembling, then it may be suffering from a seizure. This can be due to calcium deficiency, trauma to the head, or stress. Check your pet’s teeth and if they are white, it means it lacks calcium. This is a more common problem among females. If you notice these symptoms, you will need to bring your pet to a veterinarian without delay.  

When to Bring Your Pet to a Vet

Below are more serious symptoms that will entail you to bring your beloved pet chinchilla to a veterinarian as soon as possible. These injuries require immediate attention and an expert’s skills:

  • Any injuries, especially in the eye area or broken bones  
  • Severe constipation or loose bowel movement  
  • Fever and chills or pneumonia  
  • Drastic weight loss and loss of appetite  
  • Accidentally eating something poisonous  

Naturally, you would not want any of these to happen to your beloved pet chinchilla. That is why you should do your best to prevent it by ensuring that your pet has all the care it needs. Here are some ways for you to make sure that your chinchilla will stay happy and healthy:

  • Regularly cleaned cage  
  • Food and water changed frequently and given in small portions, with a staple diet that is rarely altered  
  • Not stressing them out by letting them move at their pace.  
  • Not moving them around frequently. 


An Experienced Vet Is Worth the Search  

Exotic pets have different needs from pets that were born and bred locally. Therefore, it follows that exotic pets also need a different type of veterinarian to help take care of their health. Finding the right veterinarian can be tricky, especially since not all vets have experience with Chinchillas and other exotic animals. Still, finding an experienced veterinarian on exotic pet care is well worth the search.

Finding an Experienced Vet

The best way to look for an exotic pet veterinarian is by word of mouth. Pet owners should consult their local vets if they know any experts nearby. Most professionals in the medical field have a tight network and they usually keep in touch. Therefore, it’s a good bet that a local vet will know some exotic pet specialists and recommend them.

If the local vets cannot recommend anyone, it’s best to consult veterinarian associations. For owners of chinchillas, a good place to start is the AEMV or Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians. The organization has a convenient website wherein owners can just input their state or country and a list of veterinarians and their addresses will appear.

The good thing about finding vets through an association is the owner can be sure the vet has the right credentials. That’s because associations are quite thorough with their member selection and they have high regard for their code of ethics. Other organizations of exotic pet veterinarians are the AAV for birds and ARAV for reptiles.

Taking Your Sick chinchilla to the Vet

Even if a veterinarian is an expert on exotic pets, his training and experience are not assurance enough for a good working relationship. Simply put, an owner may not like the vet’s personality or how he handles pets. Therefore, owners should also learn to assess their vets.

Exotic pet owners should not have to wait for their pets to get sick before visiting and getting to know a vet. In fact, the best time to assess the vet is through the first visit. The first visit can be done as soon as the exotic pet has been brought home. During the first visit, an owner should assess how comfortable the vet is in dealing with a pet. Similarly, the owner should take the visit as an opportunity to assess the vet’s history, training, and experience.

Owners should ask the vet about his preference with exotic animals. That’s because some prefer to treat reptiles, others prefer mammals, and so on. Similarly, owners should ask about the vet’s past clients, their pet’s health needs and how the vet helped them all.

Veterinarians who are confident about their skills and training will not be afraid to answer an owner’s questions. In fact, they may even share tidbits about exotic pets that owners never knew.

Although assessing a vet appears tedious, it is a necessary step to establishing a health care plan for exotic pets. Exotic pet owners should keep in mind that their pets have special needs. And an interest in learning about exotic animals is not enough to qualify a vet as an exotic pet expert.

What are your thoughts about “how to take care of a sick chinchilla?” What about the part about finding a vet for your chinchilla?  Where there helpful?

We here at SqueakyLove wishes your ill chinchilla a quick recovery!

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