Ferret Disease Discovery – What Types and How to Avoid Them

Ferrets are extremely active animals. They exhibit their enthusiasm by leaping, running, bouncing, dancing, and just plain playful silliness that is more entertaining than American Idol. They have very high levels of energy and it is uncommon for ferrets to be lethargic. When and if that happens, your fuzzy may be sick and possibly have a unique ferret disease. Like other animals, ferrets are susceptible to different illnesses. In fact, there are common ferret diseases that are curable but can be deadly if neglected.

Your ferret may be suffering from adrenal disease if you observe your pet’s hair is falling out whenever it scratches its body. Some other signs to look out for are sudden weight loss, weakness, and he hardly moves or walks. This type of ferret disease is often caused by cancer in adrenal glands. Usually, but not always, it will occur in animals that are three years old or older. At this age they are considered senior. Most of the time, veterinarians will recommend tumor removals through surgery. Just be aware that this could cost a little more than what you might want to spend.

Insulinoma is like diabetes for humans. Its common symptoms are weight loss, weakness of the body, poor appetite, and sometimes seizures. This is caused by a malfunction of the pancreas, which results in the decrease of blood glucose levels and high levels of insulin. This type of ferret disease is harder to treat than adrenal disease. Surgery is possible; however it is not highly recommended. The other only option is the maintenance of a proper diet, which is low in sugar. Because of insulinoma, it is advised to never feed your ferret foods that are high in carbohydrates.

Older ferrets are also prone to heart disease. It is caused by the thickening of the heart wall; whereas, it becomes stiff and can’t expand and contract normally. The heart has a harder time pumping blood to the body and causes the ferret to tire easily. Other common symptoms are body weakness, loss of appetite and rapid breathing. A healthy diet is strictly observed for ferrets with heart disease and that means what is healthy for the fuzzy, not humans. Veterinarians may give diuretic medicine to promote urination that will reduce fluid build-up around the heart. He may also be given medicines that will relax the blood vessels. A maintenance medication to avoid a heart attack may be prescribed but it does not cure the disease. It will ease the symptoms and provide more comfort to your little guy.

It is evident that ferrets experience the same types of diseases we humans do and honestly, most of them can be avoided if he sticks to his regimented dietary constraints. What is good for humans is not necessarily good for ferrets.

By Laura