Choosing a Vet



The best advice I can give is to find a veterinarian BEFORE you have an emergency! Preferably before you purchase your chinchilla.

Also, be sure you have a carrier suitable for taking the chinchilla to and from the vetís office.

Any vet can say they are an exotic vet. Just because a vet either treats exotics, or is interested in chinchillas, does not mean they will be knowledgeable enough to treat them.

It is up to us, as pet owners, to interview and make certain that the person treating our beloved pets really does know what they are doing.

The best way to find a good vet is by word of mouth. Talk to other people in your area who have chins. Or call a local chinchilla rescue group or a breeder in your area. If you can find neither of these, call a local guinea pig rescue and ask them. If the vet is at least knowledgeable about larger rodents, you are part way there. Get a recommendation from your ďnormalĒ pet vet. Go to an exotic pet show and see what vets are there.

Once youíve found a vet that you want to talk to, schedule an appointment and ask lots of questions! Discuss what your expectations are. Look at the clinic. Is it clean? How does the staff handle the other animals that are there? How many chins do they currently have as patients? Ask about different chin issues that you know about, such as malocclusions? Youíve read about this, is the treatment they are describing appropriate?

Find out if you are allowed to stay with your pet during most procedures. Find out what happens after hours? Do they answer their own emergency calls or are they turned over to an emergency clinic? If they are turned over, how much experience does the emergency clinic have with chins?

A good veterinarian will take the time to answer your questions and put your mind at ease. They will also offer up helpful suggestions to first time owners. And a good vet is always open to learning new things and welcomes it when you bring in the latest article youíve read. They donít always have to agree with what they hear, but they should be open to hearing new things.

Always remember, this is your pet, you are responsible for getting the best care possible. A vet should work with you, and be sympathetic and understanding. If you donít get a good feeling from the vet or any of the staff, leave and move on to the next vet.

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