Q: My chinchilla has been making very odd noises, and it sounds like he is throwing up. What do I do? Is he sick?
A: Do you see any material come out of the mouth as your chinchilla is making this noise? Do you see any movement of the muscles along the belly when it happens? I ask these questions because if your chinchilla was “throwing up,” you would see very active movement of muscles along the belly and likely you would see material that was brought up and spit out.
Likely this is not the case, because chinchillas cannot vomit due to their stomach anatomy. But this does not mean your chinchilla is normal.
It could be that your chinchilla is not “throwing up” or vomiting, but rather it might be regurgitating food that is in the esophagus. Or it may be that your chinchilla has dental problems and the noises you hear are due to this.
Visit your veterinarian and let him or her hear and see this behavior. If your chinchilla does not do this all the time, videotape your chinchilla doing this behavior, even if you have to do this on your phone. It will be very helpful to your veterinarian in making a diagnosis to see this behavior.