Ferret Poop

Ferret owners must be the most “anally aware” pet owners on this planet!

Although you shouldn’t get completely paranoid about what your ferret’s poop looks like, it is always good to be aware of what colour, shape and texture it generally is.

Depending on what you feed your ferret, normal poop is usually brown and of a fairly firm consistency – it looks a bit like a squirt of toothpaste!

If you give your ferret a cheap supermarket-bought cat food like Whiskas, you’ll notice that when your ferret poops, it comes out a red color because of the dyes and artificial colors used. If your ferret’s poop looks a bit colorful, perhaps you should think of changing its diet.

However if you notice any of the following, it will mean a trip to the vet with your ferret.

Thin, stringy poop

Could be because of a blockage or hairballs.

Greenish poop

Could be caused by a number of things, including ECE, proliferative colitis and lymphoma :(

If it’s ECE, it will look and smell like fish glue and include projectile vomiting.

I know when Snoopy had that olive pit in her gut, her poop was a darkish green as well as being stringy. When I took Snoops to the vet (not my regular ferret-knowledgeable one) and showed him a sample of her poop, he misdiagnosed it as a gastric problem so we wasted a couple of vital days of treatment.

Runny yellow / gold diarrhea

The cause could be ECE.

Dark, gassy, sticky poop

If the poop looks almost ‘bubbly’ (from the gases) and very, very dark and sticky then there’s a good chance it’s caused by eosinophilic enteritis. This disease has very vague symptoms and can be misdiagnosed initially as a blockage problem.

Our boy Milo had it last year so you can read more details here.

Black & tarry poop

Could be caused by one of the following:

  • gastric ulcers
  • ADV
  • helicobacter mustelae gastritis
  • proliferative colitis
  • aspirin toxicity
  • ibuprofen toxicity
  • naproxen toxicity

Grainy poop

The “grains” are usually undigested fat and starch complexes. If your ferret has grainy poop, you might think about stopping the dry food and putting it on a diet which is bland and easily digestible.

Bloody poop

If you see any sign of blood in your ferret’s poop, take it to your vet quick smart!

Straining or no poop

Could be because of a blockage or proliferative colitis.

More information about Ferret Poop can be found on the following sites …

The Ferret Poop Chart by Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP (Has photos of different types of ferret poop)

The Complete Scoop On Ferret Poop by Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP

The Scoop on the Poop Miami Ferret


DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this page is not meant to replace seeing a veterinarian if you think your ferret is ill. It’s only meant to supply general information on a particular illness which was obtained either from personal experience with my sick ferrets, or from books and/or the Internet.


Ferret Poop — 6 Comments

  1. Hello, I have a boy ferret milo and he is having some runny poop issues. It first started a few months ago around november or december. It first started or light when I took him to the vet which the did a fecal test and found nothing so paracites were ruled out. But they dont have much ferrets at all just mostly dogs and cats at the vet. So they gave me an antibiotic with stool hardener which temporally solveed the problem.But then it came back quickly and ive tryed a few things with trying to clean the area well then have been giving them proboiotics for the last week which has seemed to give minimal help. So also in the past two weeks I started to wing him into new food from the 1 in 8 from petco to Evo kibble which I have read that it is alot better for them and could possibly solve the issue. But as of now before winging them on to the new food his poop has gotten worse to a full liquid and then a little firm but still runny(brown/green). And as of the last two weeks it will yoyo between the two. Now he seems to be feeling like his normal self but I just dislike his stools being inconsistent. Now his cage mate tiki doesnt seem to have much issues. But as of now I hope the newer food could help him get normal again but I just wanted to contact you and see if you have any suggestions becuase the vet says the next step will be an 150$ test for a blood panel which is hard after getting laid off a few weeks ago. So if you could help me in any way to possibility resolve this issue effectivly, it would be deeply appreciated. Thank you have a good day.

  2. Hi Sean

    There was a comment made by a ferret owner a few years ago about the wonders of canned pumpkin …


    I’d suggest trying it out on Milo to see if it’d work but, as you know, ferrets go downhill really quickly so don’t wait too long.

    I had a shock just before this Easter when my boy Dash suddenly got ill. He had really skinny poop that was greenish and I was convinced he had a blockage, as all signs seemed to point to that.

    Took him to a ferret vet and after a lot of tests, x-rays and an ultrasound, I was told he had inoperable lymphoma :( And there I was thinking it was a “simple” blockage 😛

    Hopefully there’s nothing sinister about Milo’s condition but as I said, please don’t wait too long before getting him checked out by a (ferret) vet if possible.

    Have you looked at my ferret vet pages to see if there might be one near you?

    Please let me know if the pumpkin helps Milo! Fingers crossed it does :)



  3. Thank you for your quick response in the link it talks about the pumkin but it says laxitive at the end does that mean the pumkin( and should I mix it with something)? Also it talks about tummy smoothener but speaks of no ingredents, do you know of what there speaking of?

  4. Hi Sean

    The lady who wrote the post said …

    Doses for laxative: 1-2 TBS every four hours until signs of matter appear in stool. Stop when ferret no longer evacuates foreign matter.

    Tummy soother: 1 TBS 1-2 times daily, until symptoms disappear. (can mix in a duk soup or other treat if you want).

    I would give Milo 1-2 tablespoons every 4 hours until you see an improvement but please, again I say, do not leave it too long because if Milo’s diarrhea is caused by an illness, he could go downhill quickly. Is his poop still runny?

    Make sure you don’t get pumpkin pie filling in a can – it has to be PURE pumpkin and from what I’ve read, Libbys is the best brand for pure pumpkin.

    This article might be helpful …


  5. Hi Nona, My 2 year old ferret simon has been sick for about 10 days. He had X-rays and bloodwork and was diagnosed with a heliobacter infection based mostly on his symptoms (anorexia, teeth grinding, and tarry stools) since the X-rays and bloodwork showed nothing abnormal. Simon has been on antibiotics and Pepcid for 1 week and although I am seeing major improvements in his poop he is lethargic and prefers to sleep. I was hoping to see some improvement in his behavior. He is getting ‘carnivore care’ hand fed to him but I was reading about the pumpkin and wondered if that might help this situation. I am concerned that his attitude is not improving and he is still refusing to eat on his own despite being on the medications for a week. My vet doesn’t seem to have any insight as to why he is still lethargic and not wanting to eat. Whitney

  6. Hi Whitney
    When I read the symptoms Simon had, it sounded like he was suffering from gastric ulcers


    The treatment Simon got seems like what it should be for ulcers, however did the vet give him anything to heal the ulcer/s? Maybe it still hurts and that’s why he’s lethargic and not himself?
    This is what is suggested by a vet …
    “A complete blood count or CBC may show a regenerative anemia (an anemia in which the body shows signs of attempting to replace the blood loss) resulting from blood loss and microcytosis (small red blood cells). Radiographs show variable amounts of gas with segmental ileus (lack of intestinal contractions).”
    “Treatment consists of concurrent use of Metronidazole and amoxicillin to control the bacteria population in the gut. Sucralfate and a histamine (H2) blocker such as ranitidine or famotidine may also be used to decrease production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and to aid in the repair of the gastric ulcers.”
    If Simon is still on antibiotics, it’d be good to get some probiotics to help the good bacteria in his gut. If you live in the States, you shouldn’t have any problem finding a suitable one for ferrets. One such supplement is Nupro Ferret Formula, which has Lactobacillus acidophilus in its ingredients so that might be better than plain probiotics.
    I’ve also heard good results about Rebound Liquid Diet. That might be a more gentle diet for Simon if he’s suffering from an ulcer.


    I hope some of my suggestions will help Simon to improve. There’s nothing more worrying than having a sick furbaby and I feel for you.
    Hugs to your little man from his new buddies down under.

    PS – Whitney … I just saw this article about a ferret with an ulcer caused by renal failure! It might be worth printing this out for your vet to see if that is what’s wrong with Simon. I hope to goodness that it’s not, as it seems to be fatal :(


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