Q: My pet chinchilla’s ears are very dry and cracked around the edges. He doesn’t appear to be in pain and doesn’t mess with them. Is this a cause for concern? Does this require treatment?
A: Have a veterinarian examine the ears to be sure that nothing unusual is happening to your chinchilla. Cracked, dry and dead tissue on the edges of a chinchilla’s ears could be the result of a couple of things. In areas where chinchillas are left outside during cold periods, this can be a result of frostbite. If this is frostbite, take measures so that no other tissue on the ear dies, and you might need to give pain medications and antibiotics. There are other disease processes that could cause what you describe, but they also cause severe systemic disease, and it sounds like your chinchilla is in good health except for its ears.