Chinchillas are normally very healthy animals. All they ask is good quality food, regular dust baths, clean cages and enough living space. We will limit the information in this chapter to what we personally experienced and some helpful hints.Common ailments will be mentioned so that you can recognize them but it is always better to take your chinchilla to a veterinarian that has knowledge of chinchillas or at least rodents like guinea pigs. We are fortunate to have the Bird and Exotic Animal Hospital at Onderstepoort close to us. Dr’s Elliot and Odendaal know Chinchillas and have saved a few lives. They also respond to emergencies without a problem. Dr Elliot normally rocks up in her nightgown but we’ll forgive her because of the excellent work she does and she also have a few pet chinchillas at home. When we asked her to read this piece she said that if saving ten minutes can save a life, so be it. The link to their website is www.birdandexotic.co.za.The most important factor in preventing and identifying illness or injury is to know your chinchilla. Apart from the time we spend with our chinchillas anyway we do inspections of all the cages early every morning and after sunset every evening. The reason for the morning check is that chinchillas normally give birth in the morning and injuries are most likely to take place during the night. It is also good to check on how much they ate during the night. A sick chinchilla will hide the symptoms very well, sometimes until it is too late but if it doesn’t eat there is a reason for it. The evening check is to see that they all get busy. They must become active and start playing around.Often the first sign that something is wrong is in a chinchilla’s droppings. Another sign is a listless chinchilla with drooping ears. This must not be mistaken with a chinchilla that is irritated or just resting. That is why it is good to check in the evening when they should be active.