When an owner is looking for the right veterinarian for their exotic pet, they want someone who can relate to their pet's special needs. They must also have the available resources to take care of their pet on an ongoing basis.
Just because they may like exotic animals doesn't mean that they're qualified to take care of them. They must have special training to medically care and treat them. You will probably have to do a "Sherlock Holmes" number in searching for the right one to treat your chinchilla. It's best to search for a veterinarian that specializes in exotics and exotic animal medicine or one who is board certified in it). You can ask veterinarians what kind of training they've had.
You can also check through certain organizations, such as the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) and the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV). If you still need assistance, try a regular veterinarian with an interest in exotic animals that can consult with an exotic animal specialist. It's better if they're experienced, but if not, this would be the route to go.
You can also try finding one through recommendations. You can ask people that you know or search out some breeders. You can also try other organizations that are into exotic animals. Search for forums online that discuss chinchillas and exotic animals. Try the yellow pages, your state veterinary directory or on the web to look for local veterinarians that specialize in exotic animals.
You should try to find one as soon as you can. It's not best to wait until your chinchilla has an emergency where you'll need someone right away. Then you'll be taking more time away trying to find someone. It could be a matter of life and death for your pet.
When you do find one that specializes in chinchillas and other exotic animals, set up an appointment. Check to see how the veterinarian handles your pet and see if your pet takes to the veterinarian. That's very important in establishing a relationship. If there's not bonding between the two and yourself, then that's probably not a good match and may not result in a quality relationship.
A good veterinarian will sit down and talk with you about your chinchilla's care, health and diet. This is also important because they should be comfortable in talking with you as well. Besides, it's your pet and you are the owner.
During the visit, you should evaluate the facilities to see if they are up to standards for taking care of exotic animals. Find out how frequent do they have exotic animals for patients. Do they have special equipment or facility to accommodate them? Have they had much experience with exotic pets?
What kind of training was involved? If your veterinarian can answer these questions, then you may have yourself a winner. It's not easy to find the right person to fit the bill. Even though looking for one may be a challenge, when you find the right person, it will be worth it for you and your chinchilla.