Recognizing Any Common Ferret Disease Could Save Your Pet’s Life!

Educating yourself about ferret diseases will go a long way to preventing your pet from falling victim to any of the common diseases ferrets are prone to. Moreover, knowing what symptoms to look out for will greatly speed up your pet’s recovery as the earlier the symptoms are noticed, the sooner treatment can be sought.

Among the most common ferret diseases or ill-health conditions they can become a victim of are intestinal disorders and blockages. These disorders or blockages are usually the result of the animal ingesting something it is not supposed to. These foreign objects may include a wide variety of things such as a button, a pin, a clip, etc, etc. In older ferrets, this disorder also arises because of hairballs. If you begin to notice that your pet is losing its appetite, and is a victim of diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy, make it a point to go see a vet since these are the typical giveaways of an intestinal disorder. Usually, intestinal disorders are curable with the required treatment taking on the form of surgery.

Another ferret disease which you need to look out for is Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis (or Green Slime Disease as it is more commonly known). This is a very infectious disease of the gastrointestinal tract and it causes the occurrence of large green diarrhea. While there is debate about the exact root causes of this condition, most experts will agree that this disease is typically exhibited by ferrets when they are taken to new surroundings. Hence, look for out for symptoms when you bring a new pet home. If you have more than one ferret and see one of your pets exhibiting this ‘stress diarrhea’, make it a point to quarantine it away from the rest of your pets.

While Green Slime Disease is known to be curable, a more serious and fatal ferret disease is Adrenal Disease. As the name suggests this illness affects the adrenal gland, which grows and causes abnormal amounts of adrenal hormones to enter the ferret’s blood steam, so much so that the hormones can increase to lethal levels. Hence, recognizing the symptoms of this horrible disease is essential. As a rule of thumb, take your little fur ball to the vet if it begins to show hair loss and excessive scratching. For female ferrets, also be on the lookout for swollen “lady-parts”.

In addition to all the above-mentioned ferret diseases, these loving creatures can be susceptible to various kidney and heart problems. While kidney problems can be recognized by increased water consumption and increase in the frequency of urination, heart problems lead to symptoms such as weight loss, coughing, exercise intolerance, and shortness of breath.

Moreover, since ferrets generally have a weak immune system, they are also prone to various forms of allergies and cold. It is important that you note that they can contract flu very easily, even from humans, therefore if you have any form of influenza or virus, it is best to avoid going near your pet as your ordinary flu could prove to be fatal for your furry friend.

A newer and possibly more common health issue is that of obesity. Since these little creatures love treats, novice owners can become more inclined to giving their ferret these treats on a regular basis under the false assumption that they are keeping their pet happy. In the long run, these treats can cause serious problems for the animal by resulting in muscular, cardiac and liver troubles. Therefore, avoid giving your ferret too many treats and instead make sure that it incorporates regular exercise in its day.

Above all though, provide your ferret a clean and hygienic environment. This alone will go a long way to preventing the spread of ferret diseases and illnesses.

By Laura