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Health care and problems for ferrets

Health care and problems for ferrets
Par Stéphanie Brunelle, le November 9, 2015



For ferrets, every year of life is approximately eight human years, which is why vets recommend an annual exam until the age of 4-5 years, then two exam per year. Here are some precautions to take to avoid more visits than this.


  • Wash your hands before handling your ferret because you could transmit it your flu.

  • They are also subject to catch the same fleas, ear mites and intestinal worms than your cat or your dog. These worms cause him diarrhea, sometimes bloody, or even an externalization of the rectum. Therefore, a stool analysis is recommended annually.

  • As the dog, if your ferret has access to the outside, it could also contract viruses such as rabies and distemper. Fortunately, you can vaccinate against these diseases. Heart worm is also a possible risk. Check with your veterinarian to know the number of doses and reminders of his vaccines and the necessary deworming.

    You will find below the most commonly encountered medical problems in ferrets.


Observed signs

Prevention / Treatment

Intestinal foreign bodies

The animal swallows an object (rubber, plastic, leather or son) which gets stuck in his digestive system and causes damage.


  • Lethargy

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Face rubbing

  • Excessive salivation

  • Teeth Grinding

  • Anorexia


Follow the recommendations on the cage to prevent escapes.

Do not let your ferret roam alone in the house.

Remove objects that your ferret could destroy.


Tumor of the pancreas

  • Weakness (especially on hind legs)

  • Excessive salivation

  • Tremors

  • Lethargy

  • Weightloss

  • Rubing its mouth


This can evolve into an acute stage that will lead to hypoglycemia, unconsciousness and convulsions: quickly consult your vet.


Adrenal disease

The body of the ferret produced excessively in sex hormones and therfore its adrenal glands are working excessively.

  • Difficulty urinating (male)

  • Vulva enlarged and vaginal secretion (female)

  • Skin rash

  • Hair loss at the tail and the back


The ferret hair can grow back and fall again. This cycle can last 2 to 3 years before the hair permanently stops growing back.


*** Even in the presence of all these clinical signs, the animal may have energy and eat well. ***

Medical or surgical treatment.

Ibuprofen poisoning
(or other medications and drugs)

  • Neurological disorder

  • Digestive disorder

  • Renal failure

  • May cause death

Never give human medication without consulting your veterinarian.

Infection caused by the Corona Virus

  • Greenish diarrhea

  • Anorexia

  • Vomiting

  • Weakening

Medical treatment and support


Also, ferrets are sensitive to heat and moisture, tend to develop tumors and can catch our flu or we can catch theirs.

If you observe one or more of these signs, please contact the Veterinary St. Rose Hospital or emergency center.

Stephanie Brunelle, Veterinary technician



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