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 …

Ferrets with Black, Tarry Feces due to Presence of Blood — Melena in Ferrets (PetMD)

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

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



All three photos are © Ferret Harmony. A wonderful collection of photos to show the different types of poop and what the cause could be!



(Last updated October 2015)



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 — 33 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 🙁


  7. Hi Nona my seven year old ferret Samy has been sick for a month.She loss weight and hair and when she wake up she Scratches a lot. She is so skinny 1.90 pounds .The last week I went to the vet and she told me that she needed blood test because she thinks that it will be adrenal glands. The test was 0.73 and the range máximum is 0.80.Samy has 0.73 .She told me that is the start but in 6 month it will be worse .Every day I have to give her melatonin .The problem is that Samy does not eat except only few things. I love her and I really appreciate her. Could you give any advice for Samy?Sincerily

  8. Oh Margarita, I am so sorry to hear about Samy 🙁 It’s horrible when our ferrets get sick and I wish I could wave a magic wand and make her better 🙁
    You can read about melatonin treatment for ferrets on this page, so that you have a better idea of what to expect …


    Can I assume you live in the States? If you do, vets can now give ferrets with adrenal disease a suprelorin implant which helps to stabilize the symptoms. It’s either that or seeing a ferret vet to remove the tumor from her adrenal gland. The only difficulty is if the tumor is on her right adrenal, which is next to the vena cava, but if not then the operation is usually very successful.
    Here is a list of vets who supply the suprelorin implant ….


    I don’t know how much it’ll cost in the States – it cost me A$100 to get an implant for my boy Angus and the implant lasts for one year. It certainly helped Angus with his symptoms and it was just rotten luck that he died of Acute Renal Failure just when he was to get his 2nd implant 🙁 I was really worried that the implant might have caused Angus’ renal problem but my vet said she didn’t think there was a link.
    Then my 2nd ferret developed adrenal symptoms so I booked her in to get her implant but the one the vet got for me was used by another vet and then she heard they were out of stock so poor old Mojo never got hers. At the moment she’s bald but doing well. I give her a lot of supplements in her smoothie and when I saw her lymph nodes were swollen, I found a great tincture which helped to fix that.
    It might be good for you to read my page on adrenal disease, as there are a number of good articles by vets there to help you …


    You might want to think of giving Samy a daily smoothie too to build up her strength and to get her immune system strengthened. Astaxanthin is excellent for the immune system and there are other supplements which I give my guys to help keep them in as good health as I can.
    I’ve put the recipe of my daily smoothie down on this page …


    When I got the tincture for Mojo, she hated it so I put the required dose on a little dish then added a little bit of raw egg yolk on top to hide the tincture. She was very happy to have it like that so maybe you could try that with the melatonin if Samy’s happy to lick the yolk.
    I hope that you’ll be able to tempt Samy to have a smoothie and get her weight back up so that she’ll be with you for as long as possible!
    Big hugs for Samy from her new friends down under 🙂
    Best wishes

  9. Thank you so much Nona! I live in the United states in St Augustine, Florida. I will talk to her vet tomorrow about the implants. Thank you for your great advice and I will try out the smoothie tomorrow. I will make sure to update you with the progress Samy has made in the future. God bless you!

  10. Oh Margarita, you’re more than welcome! I just hope that some of the information will help Samy to live a longer and happier life! And great that you live in Florida as there are a lot of ferret vets there so if you feel you might need a more experienced vet, then please check out the Florida vets page …


    Yes, I hope you will let me know how Samy’s getting on.
    I am sending her lots of get-well vibes from across the seas and hugs to you too. You’re truly a wonderful ferret mom to care so much about her 😀
    Very best wishes

  11. Hi Nona I am from Cuba and I crossed the sea in 1995 to start a new life.I so happy that found such a kind the person like you that gave advice for Samy. I have one ferret and 3 turtles. God blessed you Nona.

  12. Cuba! How wonderful, Margarita! I must say that I find it fascinating to see photos of Havana and the countryside – it looks beautiful but I guess living there is a different story 🙁 Do you miss your country?
    I was born and brought up in Hong Kong but when my father retired, they came down to Australia and I joined them a year later as life was getting too expensive in HK. My husband and I have lived here for 40 years now and have our kids and grandchildren around us so life is wonderful! 😀

  13. Hi Nona I have not talked to you sooner to tell you about Samy’s condition because I went to see another vet and his name is doctor rossi. Since Samy is older and much more delicate the vet thinks that she cannot withstand the operation to get her spleen removed and rather let Samy stay as is. The vet decided to give her a lupron vaccine instead. Samy’s spleen has swelled up a lot. She doesn’t eat a lot anymore but, she eats her multivitamins and I feed her duck soup everyday. Also, the vet gave her pills of melatonin that she takes daily. Her stomach is very swollen and I am so sad about her condition.

  14. Oh Margarita, I am so sorry to hear that 🙁
    Has the Lupron injection done anything to help her condition, that you know of?
    Tell me, are Samy’s lymph gland swollen? I just ask because my Mojo has a very swollen belly too, but the vet said it was because of her liver. Because she’s totally bald, I could see how swollen her glands were as well – around her neck, shoulders, under her arms. I went online to see what herbs were good for “shrinking” swollen glands and found a tincture called Mr Morse’s Lymph Nodes V Tincture and I was really amazed at how good it made her look. A lot of the swelling was reduced and she’s been pretty perky since being on the tincture!
    When I looked for the US website to give you the URL, I saw that Dr Morse also makes a tincture for adrenal glands so I must see if we can get it in Australia!


    Here are some sites with herbal information for helping the spleen …




    Mojo isn’t on any medication so I honestly don’t know if you can give Samy a tincture but it might be an idea to discuss this with your vet to see what they think?
    I honestly believe that giving supplements to our babies help them if they’re unwell and if not, the supplements protect them from getting sick!
    I hope you’ll be able to give Samy something to make her feel better!
    Big hugs for your little girl 🙂
    All the best

  15. My Ferret Max is having diarrhea that is white foamy and runny and he drags his butt on the carpet and his butt looks red. He wasn’t eating or drinking so I put him in a warm bath and that made him drink water because he always drinks his bath water and I think it helped sooth his bum. I also put triple antibiotic ointment on his bum and today it isn’t quite as red but he is still dragging his butt. He did start eating and drinking again today but Im worried what might be wrong.

  16. Hi Jessica
    I *think* your Max might have a prolapsed rectum.
    Take a look at my page on the subject to see if it is the problem. Certainly the symptoms you describe make me think it is that …


    There’s also a photo of a kit with a prolapsed rectum so you can compare that with Max’s bottom.
    If he still has diarrhea then please take him to the vet to be checked out in case it’s due to proliferative colitis. If you haven’t got a ferret vet, please check out my Vets page to see if there’s someone close to where you live. I’ve recently updated all those pages so hopefully you will find someone.
    Hope that’s been of some help!
    Hugs to Max from his new friends down under 🙂

  17. Hi my fuzz ball has liquidy poops I’m pretty sure. When she poops it makes a loud squelching noise which I don’t think is normal. She never seems dehydrated, but she does seem to like sleep. I don’t know if I should be worried or not. It looks normal its just extra watery.

  18. Izzy, can you point to when your little girl started t!o get her watery poop? Did you change her diet or give her something different to eat?
    If it is food related, perhaps go back to her old diet and see how things go.
    However don’t leave it too long as if it’s caused by a bug or something then the sooner you get her to a vet to be checked out, the better it’d be for your girl.
    If you need the name of a ferret vet, please check out my vets’ page – hopefully you’ll find a good vet close to where you live!
    Hugs to your little lady from her new friends down under and I hope she gets better soon!

  19. Hi! I’m not sure if anyone can get back to me on this but I’m having an emergency with my little girl. She is about 1 1/2 years old and is very lethargic and is defecating black stool. It seems like she is also having issues using the restroom as she will frequently having accidents on herself. She hardly goes in the litter pan and now refuses to eat or drink. She doesn’t whimper when she uses the restroom or anything. Recently she worried us before because she was wheezing and the vet said it sounded like she had something in her nose causing her to sneeze like pepper does to a human nose. She no longer sneezes now but is now defecating irregulary. I don’t know what to do. I’m scared for my baby. I tried giving her liquid pumpkin (suggested by our regular pet store where we bought her at.) My friend said it could be possible kidney failure but I’m unsure.

  20. Oh Jayy, your poor little girl. She certainly sounds sick and I think you have to take her to a ferret vet to see what he can do for her 🙁
    When you said that your friend thought it could be kidney failure, I thought she might have a problem called cystic kidneys.
    Check out the symptoms and see if they resemble what you see in your little girl …


    You said she’s not drinking ATM and if a ferret has kidney problems, then they drink an awful lot – well, at least my Angus did when he was diagnosed with ARF 🙁
    However if most of the symptoms do match, then you can at least tell the vet that’s what you think is the problem and then just keep all fingers and toes crossed that it’s only one kidney which is affected 🙁
    Try to make sure she doesn’t get terribly dehydrated as that could cause more problems …


    If it’s not cystic kidneys then the only other disease which produces dark poop is proliferative colitis but you didn’t mention anything about her making noises when pooping. If the cystic kidney symptoms don’t match, then please see if she has any of the symptoms for proliferative colitis.
    I am so sorry that I can’t give you a definite answer but I hope whatever is wrong with your baby will be fixed and that she’ll be back to her old self ASAP!
    Hugs to your girl and many healing vibes from me and my gang down under.

  21. I also wanted to add she just recently got her shots (distemper and rabies) not sure if that affects anything. While looking around on the internet I saw that vaccine infection can occur. And I gave her some pumpkin and now her feces is more yellowish and less brown. Still having the lethargy, lack of interest in eating/drinking and she is hardly defecating like she is constipated. :/

  22. Jayy, I don’t know for sure but from what I’ve read the vaccinations seem to affect ferrets soon after they’ve been inoculated – I don’t think it should affect them for a long period of time but, as I said, I’m not a vet so only know what I’ve read and researched 🙁
    Also we are lucky in that we don’t seem to have any problems with the distemper shots here in Oz and – very fortunately – we don’t have a rabies problem here so there is no need to inoculate our ferrets against that!
    Re her yellowish poop – what goes into ferrets seems to come out the same colour so I *think* the poop is coming out the colour of pumpkin. I don’t think that should be a concern but I could be wrong of course 🙁
    Do you have a good vet nearby? If you need to find one, please check out my Ferret Vets page in your state.
    I really think you need to take her asap to find out what is wrong.
    Hopefully it’ll be something which the vet will be able to fix easily DesiSmileys.com

  23. Jayy
    I had another thought. Can you get hold of Hill’s A/D Formula? This is what I can buy in Oz but the link is to a Canadian site…


    If you can get hold of it, get it and try and feed your girl with it. If you find she won’t eat it like it is, you can add boiled water to make it mushy and once it’s cooled down, see if she’ll lick it up. It’s full of goodness and will help to give her the nutrients she needs. Another good thing is Carnivore Care – we can’t get it in Oz so I’ve never tried it but I’ve heard lots of good reports about it helping sick ferrets …


    Please get some plain Pedialyte for children and add it to water to make sure your girl doesn’t get dehydrated. If she refuses to drink, get a small syringe and syringe the liquid into her mouth but MAKE SURE you point the syringe across her mouth, and that you squirt into the side of her cheek and NOT down her throat. Putting the syringe straight into her mouth could mean that the fluid could enter her lungs and make her very sick 🙁
    Another thing you could give her is a smoothie – use NO LACTOSE milk with an egg yolk and if you can get your hands on ferret vitamins, put a small amount into the milk and then mix it all up together well. My guys love their smoothie but I know some friends who say their ferrets aren’t keen so maybe your girl won’t like it.
    Hope that gives you some ideas on how to improve your little one’s condition!

  24. Hello, my ferrets poop isnt on the chart, its dark brown and very wet but keeps shape. Kibble fed with the odd chicken breast

  25. Hi James
    Your ferret’s poop sounds pretty normal – is it the fact that it’s very wet which worries you?
    My guys get turkey mince at night, kibble 24/7, and they too have a similar type of poop to what you described.
    If your ferret’s eating, drinking and acting normally I honestly don’t think there’s a problem but if you’re concerned, please take your baby, together with a poop sample, to your vet!

  26. Please make changes to the ibs / ibd picture. Ibs is irritable bowel syndrome a functioning gut disorder. iBD is either crowns or UC and is a disease of the bowel. Huge huge difference to mistaken for!!! Ty.

  27. Hi Amy
    That chart showing the different kinds of ferret poop isn’t mine. I had permission to use it, that’s all, so am afraid I cannot make any changes to it.
    But thanks for the heads up 😀

  28. Ludine, if your ferret has a blockage then you MUST take it to the vet.
    IF they swallowed something which is stuck in its gut then it’ll need an operation to fix the problem!
    However read this article as it explains how pure pumpkin helped to push a fur blockage out of this ferret’s stomach …


    You can try pure pumpkin on your ferret but make sure you make an appointment with the vet in case the pumpkin doesn’t work.
    Hope that’s of some help!

  29. Hello my little guy Rocky had found him self a almond somehow the day before yesterday.He was lethargic and weak took him in to the vet /he has had a laxative and seems to have pooped out the nut in two sections. I have bought him some Duk soup and he did not hesitate in chowing down not wanting to drink much water but I make the soup extra runny so at least he doesn’t dehydrate. This was the day before yesterday his poopy is what seems normal now as far as what the images on the net show long smooth brownish like a tootsie roll. He was pretty slim in the matter of hours when he was dealing with the foreign object ( almond pieces). Should I withhold food from him even if its the only way I can make sure he keeps hydrated? How long after he passes the foreign object should it take for him to be back to his spunky self he was alert this morning and wanting out of the cage to roam and his tummy is nice and full can I be causing harm by making sure he is eating?

  30. Hi Brendalicia
    So happy to hear that Rocky got rid of his almond!
    It sounds like he’s on the road to recovery so I would think it’d be a good idea to feed him and then just keep an eye on his poop to make sure there’s nothing still stuck in his gut to bother him!
    I think it sounds like Rocky has bounced back and is back to normal! That really was so lucky that he passed the almond himself otherwise it would have meant an operation. Scary thought 😮
    You could get some organic coconut oil and get him to lick a little bit off your finger every day for about a week just to make sure he passes everything easily.
    Another thing you might want to consider is getting some electrolytes to add to his water so that he’ll keep hydrated by having that.
    Apart from those two suggestions, I think you did a wonderful job in looking after your little guy!
    Hugs to Rocky from his new buddies down under 😀

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