Caring for a sick Ferret

Sick Ferret

Caring for a sick ferret can be a scary, challenging, and rewarding experience. Whether it is a cold or a life
threatening illness, ferrets really benefit from constant attention and love. It is important that you take
your ferret to a veterinarian any time it is sick.

Human cough or cold medications can also kill or make your ferret very sick if they contain certain ingredients or are given in incorrect dosages. Your veterinarian can tell you which medications are safe and the correct dosages to give.

How often the ferrets gets sick

Ferrets are generally healthy pets What’s more, they are playful, social and quite friendly. Even though these pets rarely fall ill, they are prone to certain diseases. However, most of these illnesses are out of improper care.

For instance, if you keep your ferret in a hot environment, he is likely to suffer heatstroke. At the same time, using the incorrect type of litter could possibly lead to respiratory issues.

Common signs of a sick ferret


Vomiting is not normal in ferrets and other pets for that matter. If you find your ferret vomiting, you should be concerned. It could indicate various forms of illnesses. You will need a vet to diagnose your ferret to tell what your fuzzy friend is suffering from.

At the same time, vomiting could be a result of dietary changes. For instance, if you have changed your ferret’s diet from dry food to a raw diet, it could trigger vomiting. Note that vomiting can be a symptom of different illnesses. Your vet should be able to diagnose the cause of your ferret vomiting.

Wounds and Lumps

Observe your ferret for lumps, swelling and also wounds. Ferrets are curious and mischievous. They can get injured in different scenarios. If you have two ferrets, they can get into a fight and scratch each other trying to establish 

Ferret As Pets

When you observe any lumps on the skin of ferret or swelling at any part, immediately take your pet to the vet. It could be an indication of serious conditions such as lymphoma.

Grinding the Teeth

Teeth grinding is often a sign of pain. However, your ferret can also grind his teeth if he is struggling to chew new food.  Do not ignore teeth grinding as it could be a sign of a fatal illness. You might hear your ferret grinding his teeth for the first few days. In most cases, ferrets can get stressed when moved to a new home.

However, it should go away in a few days. When your ferret starts grinding his teeth suddenly, it could be a sign of a fatal illness. visit your vet to rule out the possibility of an illness such as insulinoma.

Hair Loss

Hair loss is a common sign of adrenal disease. However, ferrets will naturally shed their hair during seasonal change. For instance, your ferret will shed his summer coat and grow a thicker coat for winter. If your ferret is losing hair for none of these reasons, it could mean that he is sick, or infested with parasites.

Other secondary signs

  • Excessive itching
  • Excessive drinking
  • Constipation
  • Change in poop color

Helping the Sick Ferret

The best thing you can do when your ferret is sick is to reach out to an exotic vet. Meanwhile, if your ferret is not eating anything, you can prepare a mushy soup from the kibble using a lot of water. Then, use a syringe to feed her the solution in small quantities every hour or so.

Don’t push in too much, as that could cause a blockage. In some cases, your ferret can be suffering from hypoglycemia. To check this, you need to check her gums. They should be pink and turn pale when you gently press them.

If they aren’t pink, get some sugar syrup or honey and apply it to them. Some more things to check out are her vomit and feces. Look for things like hairs, blood, foreign objects (rubber/wood/plastic/ anything), parasites, and worms in them.

Will Female Ferret dies if not mated

Female ferrets remain continuously in heat due to their periods, and therefore, unsprayed female ferrets can die due to blood loss/anemia if they are not mated. There is, however, a way out of this. Some parents use neutered hobs to get the females ferrets out of their heat.

Ferret 1

Implants can be used to stop seasons, but they only work for 4 years or so. These are, however, preferred to spraying by some vets as sprayed ferrets can become more susceptible to Adrenal problems later in life. There are hits that can bring them out of season, but they can have side effects.

There are reports that female ferrets can go through phantom pregnancies (lots of weight gain, excessive nesting) due to the effect of hits. There are other ways through which you can satisfy the female ferret and get her out of the heat, including using hormones and chemical implants/Deslorelin.

Can I offer Pedialyte to my Ferret

Pedialyte contains appropriate combination of sugars and electrolytes that is safe for ferrets. Giving this formulation is suggested for to replenish the electrolytes and keep a sick ferret hydrated. It is also recommended to only give unflavored Pedialyte to ferrets.

Other known hydration beverages, such as sports drinks, sweetened sodas and juices, have a higher amount of sugars, which could make your ill pet worse. You must avoid giving your ferret anything that is too high in carbohydrates or sugar.

Dying Ferrets

The signs might start up to a week before your ferret passes, but every ferret is different. If you are confused or uncertain about what you should do, talk to your vet. They can help you determine whether you should put your ferret to sleep or let them die at home.

  • They sleep more than usual.
  • Squinty eyes
  • Reduced apetite
  • Easier to handle
  • Not intrested in spending their time out of its cage.

Causes of Ferret’s death

A lot of things can cause a ferret to die, including insulinoma (a type of cancer common in ferrets), infections, stroke, injury, blockages, old age, etc. As ferrets are quite highly inbred, their chances of having diseases are relatively high.

Ferret 2

Signs of the Ferret in pain

  • Squinty dull eyes
  • Teeth grinding.
  • Twitching in muscles at the top of the head.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Unable to hold food in the mouth.
  • Having trouble chewing or swallowing food
  • Having trouble walking. limping or dragging the feet while doing so.
  • Holding their limbs up
  • Inability to groom themselves
  • Excessive licking or scratching
  • Favoring one side while walk or lying
  • Inability to get up on the feet
  • Having trouble stretching or curling up
  • Crying or moaning on touch
  • Pooping unusual sounds or on moving around

A healthy Ferret has

  • Big bright shiny eyes that are moist and clear.
  • Non smelly breath.
  • Pink moist gums.
  • White teeth.
  • Plumpy nose.
  • Clean eyes which are nice and pink.
  • Full shiny soft coat with no bald spots.
  • No black speckles inside their fur as those could mean fleas
  • Pink pads on their feet
  • They need to be playful, active, and alert. They need to have an inquisitive behavior except when wake up
  • Normal brown good consistent poop. Not hard, not moist but just right.
  • They need to be clean around their gentiles­ – penis and anus.
  • Their normal body temperature should be between 37.8 c to 39.4 c.
  • Their normal respiration is 33 to 36 breaths per minute.
  • Their normal heart beet 200 to 400 beats per minute.