General Information

Chinchillas have several unique problems; understanding these problems will allow you to better care for your pet and minimize future health care problems.

Fur Slip

Chinchillas have the ability to release or "slip" patches of fur when handled roughly, when stressed, or when fighting. No permanent damage is usually done to the chinchilla. The fur usually re-grows, although the new growth takes several months.


Antibiotic Sensitivity

Rodents are very susceptible to antibiotic toxicity. Many antibiotics, including penicillin and erythromycin, can be fatal to pet chinchillas. For this reason, owners should NEVER give their pet chinchilla medications without checking with their veterinarians first. Also, because of antibiotic sensitivity and other unique problems of pet chinchillas, make sure the veterinarian you choose knows how to properly treat chinchillas.


Dust Bathing

Chinchillas have a unique grooming habit. It is important for them to have access to a "dust bath". Each day, they should be provided with a bath, which is a mixture of 9 parts of silver sand and 1 part of Fuller's earth; these ingredients are available at most pet stores. Enough dust should be provided so that the chinchilla can roll around in the dust. Be sure to remove the dust bath after use and keep if clean and free of feces and urine.




This client information sheet is based on material written by Shawn Messonnier, DVM.

© Copyright 2002 Lifelearn Inc. Used with permission under license. April 26, 2018.