TEN THINGS FERRET OWNERS SHOULD KNOW
#3: OTHER TIMES TO TAKE YOUR
FERRET TO THE VET
following list is not a comprehensive list; any time your ferret
is behaving or appearing abnormally, go to the vet. Ferrets are
small animals and sickness can overcome them and even kill them
very quickly. The dollar you save by waiting a day to go to the
vet may cost you your ferret's life. But we've compiled this list
as a guideline of some of the more common symptoms ferrets present
that require a vet visit.
- If your ferret stops eating or drinking for more than a day.
- If your ferret's stools are small, oddly-shaped, or have an
unusual appearance. If your ferret has completely stopped passing
stools (14-20 hours since last movement), or seems to be straining
and unable to pass stools, see a vet immediately as this is a
sign of an intestinal blockage.
- If your ferret is lethargic, seems depressed, doesn't seem to
be as active/playful as usual.
- Hair loss should always be checked, but if your ferret is losing
his or her hair in a pattern beginning from the base of the tail
up over the hind end, or on the top of the head, or seems to be
balding anywhere other than the tip of the tail, this is a very
serious sign of adrenal disease. In female ferrets this may be
accompanied by a swollen vulva, in which case surgery should be
- Weakness in the hind legs, difficulty walking, or if your ferret
is staring off into space frequently.
- Any rapid weight loss or weight gain should be checked by a
- Vomiting that has been ongoing for more than a few hours, or
any vomiting that seems to cause your ferret pain or discomfort.
- If your ferret has diarrhea you should closely monitor his/her
behavior for a day and check for improvement; during this time
you must keep your ferret hydrated with lots of water and Pedialyte
(the kind for children). If the diarrhea persists for more than
a day or so it must be checked.
- Dehydration is very serious in ferrets. If you suspect any kind
of illness in your ferret, check for dehydration. Do so by pulling
the skin on the back of the neck up, and then letting it go. If
the skin quickly returns to its normal position, your ferret is
not dehydrated. The longer it takes for your ferret's skin to
return to place, the more dehydrated he is. Skin that stands taut
and does not go down is extremely serious and must be addressed
- Again, ANY other behavior that is uncommon or unusual for your
ferret should be checked by your veterinarian. Period.
For more detailed medical information, please see the
Ferret Health Care website.
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