Warning Signs of a Sick Ferret

Warning signs of a sick ferret should set off all the alarm bells!ย  If a ferret gets sick, it can go downhill very quickly so it is vital for you to be aware of any changes to your ferretโ€™s health.

If you notice your ferret showing any of the following symptoms, get it your vet immediately!

Disinterest in playing
Loss of appetite
Difficulty in breathing
A wound or any bleeding
Pawing at mouth
Weight loss (not due to seasonal changes)
Fur loss (not due to seasonal changes)
Grinding of teeth
Dazed and / or staring look
Anything resembling a seizure or convulsion
Excessive itching
Straining to piddle
Excessive drinking and / or piddling
Change in color or texture of poop (if diet is the same)
No poop or piddle seen in litter box or around the house during the day

Also make sure you can give your vet as much information as possible about how different your ferret is acting or feeling, and the condition itโ€™s in, to help with diagnosing the problem.

A good article to read as it could help you to figure out if your ferret needs medical attention …

Is It A Ferret Medical Emergency by Jerry Murray, DVM (SmallAnimalChannel.com)



Drs Foster & Smith have made a pdf called “Contact Your Veterinarian When Your Ferret Shows These Signs”.

You can download it HERE.

Print it out and stick it on your fridge or another obvious place where you put important reminders.



A site with General Information on Sick Ferrets

Feeding Sick Ferrets




DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this page is not meant to replace seeing a veterinarian if you think your ferret is ill. Itโ€™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.


Warning Signs of a Sick Ferret — 86 Comments

  1. My one male ferret hasn’t been wanting to play and just lays around. Feels like I can feel his back bones easily than before. Not really sure of his age as I got him from a lady online

  2. Stephanie, I honestly don’t know what to say :/
    It could be the hot weather (if it is hot at your end) that’s making him lethargic and not wanting to eat much.
    However it could be that he’s sick, and only a vet can tell you what’s wrong with him ๐Ÿ™
    I would seriously urge you to take him to a (ferret) vet to get checked over so that you know precisely what’s wrong.
    I hope it’s nothing serious ๐Ÿ™
    Hugs to your little man from his new buddies down under.

  3. What would cause labored breathing, loss of appetite and energy and stares into space?

  4. Deby, it could be that your ferret has insulinoma ๐Ÿ™


    You need to take it to a ferret vet and if it is insulinoma, then the vet will prescribe pred (prednisolone or prednisone (pills or liquid)) for it. It won’t cure the disease but will regulate it.
    If the vet does give your ferret pred, please think about getting milk thistle to help protect its liver as much as possible!
    Hugs to your sick baby ๐Ÿ™

  5. I couldn’t find the right place to post this, but my ferret has blackheads on her tail and her hair is falling out from it. How do you treat rats tail at home? I’ve read scrub their tail with a toothbrush every other day.

  6. Hi Emily
    I’ve had good results with Ungvita when a couple of my guys had a rat’s tail. You can read about it here …


    It’s a Vitamin-A cream which is used for mothers and babies so is perfectly safe if a ferret licks the ointment.
    I must say I haven’t heard that tip about brushing your ferret’s tail with a toothbrush before but if it works …. why not ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I rescued a female ferret from an abusive home 2 months ago and I don’t know her medical history but since this morning she’s had constant bloody diarrhea and vomits up whatever I try and feed her. The vet can’t see me for two days and I’m going to pull my hair out until then. Could it be IBS? Before she got sick her paws where always cold and she drags her mouth on the carpet which I thought was odd and the Internet doesn’t have any information on these symptoms.

  8. Oh Amber, your poor little girl ๐Ÿ™
    It could be IBS but it could also be gastric ulcers. If you say she was from an abusive home, it could be that she was stressed out of her mind and it took 2 months for the symptoms to show?
    Some of the symptoms of gastric ulcers are :
    — Rubbing the face against things, pawing at the mouth, drooling (signs of nausea)
    — Pale gums (a sign of anemia due to the continued blood loss in the stomach and intestines) — that could be the reason for her cold paws – lack of circulation?
    — Bloody stools
    I’ve got a few good sites which talk about ulcers which you might want to check out to see if her symptoms match.


    If you think she has ulcers, I found this advice about what you can do to try and relieve her pain …

    Quick relief can be found with 1cc (1 ml.) of Pepto Bismol (don’t use generic- tastes too bad), but this only treats symptoms. Reduction of acid which is part cure (but not full cure) and part treatment can be found with Pepcid, generic is Famotidine. Vets can also administer a painless inexpensive Famotidine injection.


    I hope you’ll find out what’s troubling your little girl real soon and get her back on the road to recovery. She’s a very lucky ferret having such a caring, considerate owner!
    Big hugs to your little one!

  9. Zelma, I’ve found a couple of sites which talk about respiratory issues in ferrets. Take a look and see if any symptoms fit your little one …



    When my Mulder caught that bug off my daughter, there weren’t any obvious symptoms for a few days. A bit of sneezing but then when he began wheezing, that’s when I took him to the doctor. It was the middle of summer so that’s why I couldn’t imagine him having a respiratory problem and, unfortunately, I left it too late. He was in hospital for 5 days and the day I thought I was going to collect him, I got a call from the vet to say he’d passed in the night :'(
    Hugs to your sick baby!

  10. We got our ferret from Petco 4 years ago. She has recently displayed a SEVERE loss of appetite, difficulty breathing (she often heaves), is lethargic, and has lost some of her coloring. She isn’t herself. We can feel some of the bones on her back. What should I do and what is wrong with her?

  11. Andrew, please take your girl to a ferret savvy vet AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
    I can’t tell you what’s wrong with her because I’m not a vet but I do know that if you don’t take her to see a vet soon, she might not be with you for much longer ๐Ÿ™
    Check out the ferret vets in the state where you live – hopefully you’ll find someone close by to take her to but PLEASE don’t leave it too late!


  12. My ferret blaze will get up and play for a little bit and then he just lays down. When he eats he lays down. And laid in my arms for 10 minutes with a small wiggle here and there. He has not showed any sign of being sick. And this behavior just started tonight. Any ideas?

  13. Oh Jennifer, I honestly don’t know what to suggest apart from taking him to a ferret vet for a check up.
    Ferrets are great at hiding their illnesses and a lot of owners have said their ferret was fine one day then really sick the next ๐Ÿ™
    Your vet will be the one who’ll be able to tell you whether there’s anything lurking in Blaze’s system which is making him so lethargic or not. It just doesn’t seem right that he didn’t act that way until all of a sudden he did.
    I hope there’s nothing wrong with him – maybe he has a 24 hour bug or something – but it really would be best for him to be checked over by a ferret vet!
    Hugs to Blaze from his new buddies down under ::)

  14. I just bought my ferret a new cage, she had adjusted well, and I noticed that she had thrown up in 2 places in one day, she had also been itching a bit however, she is in need of a bath soon, is she sick or could her stomach have gotten too excited if she ate too much causing her to throw up?

  15. Oh Alyssa, I really don’t know what to say about your little girl throwing up.
    It could be something she ate, it could be a sign of something serious – is she still throwing up or was it just those two occasions?
    I know my silvermitt occasionally throws up but then she’s fine … I don’t know why she does it but I keep an eagle eye on her and haven’t seen any signs to show that she’s doing it because she’s not well.
    Maybe that’s the same with your girl but it’d be impossible for me to say.
    If you’re concerned, please take her to a ferret vet to be checked out for your own peace of mind. Ferrets are great at masking their illness until it’s too late so it’s always good to be safe rather than sorry, that is to see a vet if you’re worried.
    As for itching, it could be because her skin is dry (if you have the heating up in the house perhaps that has affected her skin) and other innocent reasons, but it could also be a sign of adrenal gland disease. Again, if you think she’s scratching a lot more than normal, please take her to your vet in case it is due to adrenal problems ๐Ÿ™
    Hugs to your little one from her new buddies down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Isabella, please take your ferret to the vet as only they will be able to tell you what’s wrong with your ferret and why he has watery poop!
    I hope it’s nothing serious but if it is something contagious, that would mean your other ferrets are at risk of getting sick and/or dying ๐Ÿ™
    I’d suggest you get some electrolytes to put in the water as it’s important to keep a sick ferret hydrated.
    If you don’t have anything for ferrets, then you can use unflavoured Pedialyte and add half Pedialyte and half room temperature water. Do NOT give anything like Gatorade to your ferret/s it has too much sugar, which is bad for ferrets.
    If your ferret/s won’t drink it on its own, then you’ll have to syringe it into its mouth, but be VERY CAREFUL you do not get it into its lungs!
    Add it gently to the side of your ferret’s mouth and put a few drops at a time – don’t squirt it all in quickly.
    Try to get it to take about 15mls (1 tablespoon) every 3-4 hours and PLEASE get it to your vet ASAP!!
    Ferrets go downhill so quickly when they’re ill that it’s imperative to make sure it’s taken to the vet as soon as possible! <-- Sorry to repeat that but it's so important!! Good luck! ~Nona

  17. So my ferret is about 6 months old. She has been eating less, not playing, moping around for the past week. I have already taken her to the vet. X-rays are good, temp is fine. The vet still put her on an antibiotic to be safe, and said she should feel better in the next 48 hours. It has been that amount of time, and she hasn’t seemed to get noticeably better. We are supposed to call the vet if she is still looking ill, but the next step is exploratory surgery which is really pricey. Are there any suggestions you might consider?

  18. Oh Shawna, I am so sorry to hear about your ferret. It really is lousy when our babies get sick ๐Ÿ™
    I honestly don’t know what to suggest though ๐Ÿ™
    The thing is that if your ferret swallowed foam or something similar, it wouldn’t show up on x-rays; however I would imagine that if she DID have a blockage, it would affect her temperature … or would it? I honestly don’t know :/
    Does her poop look normal or does it look greenish and skinny? If it does look odd, then it could be a blockage and she would definitely need surgery ๐Ÿ™
    What you must do is make sure she drinks because you don’t want her to get dehydrated – pinch a bit of the skin on the back of her neck. If it stays up, then she’s dehydrated, if it falls back into place, she’s okay. You can get sachets of electrolytes from the vet or maybe even from a pet store but if you can’t get one from those places, you can use unflavoured Pedialyte for kids. You can mix it with water with a half-half ratio and then give her 15mls (1 Tbs) to drink every 3-4 hours.
    I would also give her a smoothie with supplements to make sure she’s getting good stuff into her. Get no lactose milk (about 150mls), add one egg yolk, and the supplement I would recommend is Astaxanthin but get a good quality brand as some of the cheaper brands are useless.
    If you get a capsule, get a thumb tack to prick it and drop about 2 drops into the milk. Mix it all together really well and serve ๐Ÿ˜€
    Do you think you should take your little girl to another vet for a 2nd opinion or do you have complete faith in your vet?
    Sorry I can’t be of more help – I really hope you find out what’s wrong with your baby and get her back to her old self soon!
    Hugs to your girl from her new friends down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. so im new to ferrets i have a little female i have had her for about 3 months now shes 6 months old today i noticed she has some dieriah she is still playing and drinking well just her poop looks diffrent is this something i should be worried about i have not changed her food at all

    Attached image:

  20. Oh Aarron, your little girl is beautiful! DesiSmileys.com
    I honestly don’t know if you should be worried about her diarrhea – she might have found something to eat which you didn’t notice and that might have caused her poop to change.
    Take a look at this page, which has photos of different kinds of poop at the end, and see if you can recognise what her poop is like.


    Hopefully it won’t be anything to be concerned about but if you are worried, please take her to see a ferret vet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry ๐Ÿ™‚
    If you haven’t got a vet yet, please check out my page about Ferret Vets to (hopefully) find one near to you.
    Hugs to your little girl from my guys ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. My ferret has been losing hair on belly she eight years old would it be the age

  22. Hi Jeff
    If a ferret has adrenal gland disease, the hair loss *usually* starts at the base of the tail and goes up the spine but that is not a hard and fast rule :/
    It could be alopecia and older ferrets do end up having a thinner coat that youngsters.
    If you’re concerned, please take her to a ferret vet. If you’re in the States then the vet can take some blood from your ferret and send it to UTenn. They provide a blood assay that measures the circulating levels of several hormones produced by the adrenal glands. Elevated hormone levels support the clinical diagnosis of adrenal disease.
    I’m afraid I don’t know if it’s an expensive procedure or not but if it comes back clear, then you’ll have peace of mind ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hugs to your lovely old lady from her new friends down under ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. My baby girl was rescued about 2 months ago she was already a very calm and chill little girl I got her vet checked and she was perfect and healthy and vet said she was about 3 years old now tonight I went to take all 4 of my babies out to play and as I sat her on the ground she has not wanted to move or play or even eat treats like she normally does I’m worried she might be sick or maybe I’m just seeing her as being sick when she might be tired maybe my hubby says she looks like her normal self…am I crazy or should I spend the money to go get her vet checked???

  24. Hi Sam
    I honestly do not know what to suggest :/
    I’d like to think that since the vet gave her a clean bill of health then you shouldn’t be worried. However I do understand that ferrets can go downhill very quickly so if she is ill, then it’d be a good idea to take her for another check up!
    Having said that, I also know how ferrets can occasionally give us big scares by doing something odd or acting differently.
    One of my girls, Kimiko, has given me some grey hairs these past couple of days by either lying on the bed and looking like she’s feeling unwell, or like this morning, coming out of the bathroom and going straight into the bed to sleep, which was totally unlike her ๐Ÿ˜ฎ But then a couple of hours later she was bouncing around the house like a mad thing!
    So I guess if you think it’d make you feel less stressed, take her to the vet and find out if there’s anything wrong with her. I’ve always said it pays for a ferret owner to be paranoid ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hope that’s been of some help – I’m just sorry I can’t give you more advice!
    Hugs to your little girl from her new buddies down under ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. Hey I have a male ferret I don’t know his age exactly I got him from a family online but he fell out the cage about a month ago n now for the past couple of days he’s hasn’t been eating or drinking he only drink when I hold his neck but starts foaming out his mouth he does eat at all poop or pees he doesn’t play he has no balance he falls n he’s just laying sleeping all the time n looking at me he has foam coming out sometimes n he has a noise like he’s congested is my ferret dying ???? ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข

  26. Can someone tell me how can I help my ferret I’m going nuts I need to know what’s wrong with him n how to help !!

  27. Cassandra, you MUST take him to a ferret vet ASAP! Don’t leave him or he will die!!!
    I have no idea what could have happened to him when he fell but it doesn’t sound good if he can’t eat or drink on his own ๐Ÿ™
    Please – if you don’t have a good vet – check my Vets page to hopefully find one near you but DO NOT LEAVE IT ANY LONGER!


  28. My female ferret is about 6-7 years old and has suddenly became sick. She threw up in her cage, drooling from the mouth, refused to drink anything, and is lazy. Like all she wants to do is lay around, to the point where she doesn’t even want to lift her head. Her breathing is also very rapid….what do I do?

  29. Oh Teri
    You really MUST get your little girl to a vet ASAP!
    Drooling could mean insulinoma and if she gets put on pred, that would help her system balance out so that she improves but only a vet will be able to tell you if it’s that or not.
    If you leave her, she will die ๐Ÿ™
    I’d suggest you read this page and give her some honey on her gums to try and stabilise her until you get her to the vet…


    I hope that that is what is wrong because if it’s something else, the honey won’t help but it definitely will if it is that.
    Please check out the page and rub honey on her gums and let me know if she improves … and PLEASE GET HER TO THE VET ASAP!
    She will need medication for the rest of her life if it is that disease.
    I hope you manage to get her stabilised until you see the vet. The poor little girl ๐Ÿ™

  30. I have an ferret and she has gained alot of weight however it’s hard for her to get up the stairs and when we first got her she was fast and could get up the stairs easily also her tail is loosing hair what does this mean?

  31. Hair loss on the tail is a sign of adrenal gland disease ๐Ÿ™ You can read more about it and what you can do for your ferret on this page …


    What are you feeding your ferret? You might want to read about what the best diet for ferrets is and see if you should put your girl on a diet to get her back to being lean and fast again!


    Re the hair loss – please take your little one to a ferret vet to get checked out as there are things which can help your girl live a relatively happy life despite having that wretched disease!
    Hope that’s been of some help!
    Hugs to your little baby from her new friends down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Hey, we have had our ferret for about four years now, but recently we got a puppy and… lets just say he didn’t take it so well. He lost a lot of weight and he refuses to eat, but otherwise his behavior is normal when he isn’t hiding from the new puppy. When we took the puppy to the vet, we figured out that he had worms, and we were worried that our ferret also got worms… what should we do?

  33. Cody, you’ll be able to see any worms in your ferret’s litter box and if you do, I’d advice going to the vet to find out which worming paste would be best for him,
    It really is a worry that your ferret is losing weight and not eating ๐Ÿ™
    Have you offered your puppy your ferret’s bottom to sniff? I did that with all our ferrets whenever we got a new dog and before long, they were all best buddies.
    Always be around when your puppy is near your ferret to make sure the puppy is not too boisterous and scaring your boy. If the dog gets too enthusiastic, tell him no and pick up your ferret and makes sure that he knows you’re his champion and will look after him.
    It might take a while but with patience and persistence, you should be able to get them to – if not be best buddies, then certainly tolerate one another!!
    I hope it all works out and you have a happy family soon!
    Hugs to both your little man and your pup from their new friends down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Hi. We have had our ferret for almost two years and have had no issues. Plays eats and is just a bundle of joyful. I boarded her for a week at our local exotic vet because i had to leave town and when my husband brought her home she was pale and lethargic. Took her back to the vet the same day and they said it was possible heat exhaustion from the car ride. She spent the night at the vet was given fluids and antibiotics. Brought her home the next day and she looks better but literally has no energy. She will eat then sleep. I wake her just so i know she is drinking enough. How long will it take for her to recover? Or do i need to take her to a different vet? Sincerely, fine now not fine

  35. Hi MB
    I would definitely take your little girl to another vet for a 2nd opinion.
    It seems really odd that she should be fine when you took her to the boarding place and come back pale and lethargic. She might have caught something from there from another animal (?) or maybe the food wasn’t right for her. Maybe she was bitten by an insect and that’s affecting her?
    I’m afraid I have no ideas as to what could have happened to her so if you can find another ferret vet nearby, please take her and see what they say.
    One supplement which I think is terrific is ASTAXANTHIN and I’ve been putting a couple of drops in my guys’ daily smoothie. It’s an antioxidant and I believe it really helps our little guys keep healthy.


    Scroll down to Chapter 11, where it talks about the benefits of giving the supplement to animals.
    I hope they find out what’s troubling your little girl and that she bounces back to her normal self soon!
    Hugs to your little one from her new buddies down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. I have recently found out that there is only one vet who treats ferrets. I have been thinking she has an infection and am taking her in first thing in the morning. As of right she just lays and will not eat and I can barely get any drops of water in her without possible aspiration. The dr told me he did not run a blood screen which I will have him do first thing in the morning. Thank you for responding. I thought she would improve in 24 hrs after bringing her home but it seems she is getting worse. Pray she makes it through. She is our proud and joy, a family member. BTW. Any idea how long a ferret needs to be exposed to heat for it to cause changes? Just for peace of mind. I truely think something else is going on and not “heat exposure”. Thank you again.

  37. MB, I have a page about heat stroke so you might want to look through it to see if her symptoms match …


    Make sure your girl doesn’t get dehydrated as that will make things worse. More information here …


    I will pray hard for her recovery … having just lost two of my girls within weeks of each other, I know how you are feeling :'(
    Please let me know what the vet says.

    Attached image:

  38. Thank you for info, continued support and hugs! I tear up just writing you back. So, went to the vet yesterday and of course he is out of town. The vet avaiable treats ferrets but no one can draw blood. How can you treat a sickness if you dont know what it is. She had a fever of 106.5. Turns out she has an infection which I already knew and I am not a vet. This has been going on when we first got her back (wed) now Sunday morning in the states. She was definitely dehydrated. Yesterday she was given fluids sub q and food from a syringe. The facility told me to go to a different city where blood could be drawn since the only dr that could was not available. Mind you this is three hours away one way. I refuse to keep my little one in the car in a cage and uncomfortable for hours! I asked the facility to give me the essentials to keep her going until Monday. So since yesterday I am giving her fluids, electrolytes and 3 different kinds of antibiotics. She perked up for the first time last night but only for a few minutes. She is so weak I hope she gets through til Monday. The info has been very helpful seeing how no one at the facility has been too helpful. I will keep you informed. Good to know on the pedialyte, I will give her more than I have through out the day. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Hey, my ferret she keeps on coughing like everyday and im getting a bit worried about her. should I tell the vet because I need to go there any way for a flea treatment.

  40. And my other ferret tiger some times acts really scared and just stares at the back door and just stands there when there’s nothing there. Slinky never does that and when Tiger does it it sort of creeps me out..

  41. Slinky Tiger – yes, do get your vet to check out your ferret during the flea treatment.
    My rescue boys both had little coughs when I first got them but one of them started coughing quite a bit so I was concerned. Took him to our vet and she gave him a clean bill of health so that was great for my peace of mind!
    Hopefully your vet will also find nothing wrong with your girl but if not, at least you can get treatment for whatever is wrong!
    Hugs to Tiger and Slinky from their new friends down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. We have a female ferret that is just not well . We went in to feed them and she is just lifeless. Not sure what to do for her this time of night. She’s taking water threw a dropper but she won’t eat play or even offer to move. Any suggestions

  43. Googley, you really need to take her to a (ferret) vet as she sounds really sick ๐Ÿ™
    It could be that she has a blockage (have you seen her poop? Is it thin or skinny?). Did she suddenly go lifeless or was she lethargic earlier?
    Blockages can make a ferret go into a slump all of a sudden but it’s obvious that it builds up due to the ferret not being able to poop!
    But it could also be because of a host of other things – I truly have no idea what ๐Ÿ™
    I would suggest that if you can’t take her to the vet immediately then please get some electrolytes to put in the water and get that down her.
    Try making her kibble into mush and see if she’ll lick that off your finger.
    She hasn’t had an insulinoma coma has she? If she goes into shock then you need to get some honey and rub it on her gums to get her out of the coma and then she needs to see a vet asap!
    I’m so sorry I can give you any answers but I really hope you manage to get your little girl to a vet and hope she improves!

  44. I gave her water and Gatorade for the electrolytes she has pooped a little but she’s fighting whatever she has she’s trying extremely hard. Vet doesn’t open till 9 am. I also gave her some antibiotics. She tried standing on her feet this morning about 5 am and was lifting her head which she wouldn’t do last night . Giving her around the clock attention. I’m just so worried over her. God bless her heart. Her brother is fine. He’s active and jolly . I hope she makes it. They been together since birth.

  45. Oh Googley … I have fingers, toes, arms and legs crossed that your little lady gets better soon.
    I know that having a sick ferret is one of the most stressful things for us ferret lovers so I hope you’re doing okay, all things considered!

    Attached image:

  46. He was fine this whole time and just Friday he wouldn’t move he try’s to play but you can tell he’s not feeling well he’s starting to poop runny and he’s peein on him self I Ben trying to give him water threw a robber he drinks it but he’s not eating

  47. I’m not a vet so I honestly cannot tell you for sure what is wrong with your little guy.
    When you mentioned that he looks dizzy and that his head wobbles, the first thing I thought of was insulinoma ๐Ÿ™


    Please read up about the symptoms and see if they fit what your boy is showing.
    The only thing I can recommend if he does have insulinoma, is to be sure to have honey available in case he goes into a coma because if you don’t get him out of the coma, he WILL die ๐Ÿ™
    You NEED TO TAKE HIM TO a *ferret* VET asap! The vet will check him out and if it IS insulinoma, then he’ll be put onto prednisone and that will regulate his sugar levels and he’d be in a better condition than he is now.
    However if you think it’s not insulinoma, then you MUST take him to a vet to find out what’s wrong with him. Don’t leave him or he might pass away ๐Ÿ™
    Hugs to your sick fellow from his new friends from down under!

  48. My ferret is very lethargic and twitches. He won’t eat or drink. He’ll wake up then slowly lay back down. Poop is like a tar. He has some crust around eyes.

  49. Shawna – I am not a vet so can’t give you a definite answer as to what’s wrong with your ferret but I’m afraid I think he’s got Canine Distemper ๐Ÿ™


    Please take him to a vet as soon as possible because if he DOES have it, then it’s very possible that he can infect any other animals you have ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™
    If it is that, I’m sorry to say that there isn’t a cure as far as I know. The vet will probably euthanise your little fellow to put him out of his misery :'(
    I hope to God I’m wrong but when you said he twitches and has crusts around his eyes, that set off warning bells in my head.
    So sorry I can’t give you any good news ๐Ÿ™

  50. Hi ,I have a 2 month old female (baby girl) I just bought her for my son for Christmas from petco ,she is fine she plays well and eats fine her poop is normal but the problem, if it is one ,is she sneezes very frequently. I dust the room regular, and keep it vacuumed really well .she was doing it when I brought her home .and when she gets in my ear it sounds like her little nose is stuffed up.maybe I’m freaking out a little ,she’s not due for a checkup till next month .is there something I can do for her ? I keep her bedding cleaned daily and her litter box as well .thank you and happy new year.

  51. Hi TJ
    Believe it or not, I have a rescue boy who has the exact same problem ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    When I first got him and his brother, they both sounded like they’d occasionally make a strange squeaking noise but then it was only one of them who’d start honking like a goose! That noise didn’t last for long – perhaps 30 seconds – but it worried me so I took him to my vet.
    She checked his chest and poked around and said he was fine, so not to worry. That was about 2 months ago.
    Just recently he sounds like he has a cold – he sneezes and, again only occasionally, has a sneezing fit ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    Unfortunately my vet is away on vacation for 3 weeks so I’ve made an appointment to see her when she’s back so I can’t tell you what she said. I’m wondering if maybe he has an allergy to dust or something and maybe your little girl has the same problem?
    I know what you said about dusting the room and vacuuming but you know how ferrets can go under couches and chairs and it’s not always possible to vacuum all the dust up from under those bits of furniture ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I want to take my boy to my vet mainly for my own peace of mind – he doesn’t sneeze or make odd noises often but when he does, I get worried! I’m sure if there was something wrong with his chest my vet would have picked it up the last time I took him so I would suggest that you shouldn’t worry about it and just tell your vet when she has her check up!
    I’ll post what my vet says on the 20th and if there is anything to worry about, I’ll let you know immediately. Fingers crossed I’m right in my assessment ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hugs to your little girl from her new friends down under!
    Thanks for your new year wishes – I hope you and your loved ones, and pets, all have a very happy and healthy 2017 ๐Ÿ˜€

  52. I got my ferret from the humane society, said she was a stray with fleas. I asked them to have the vet triple check that there was no fleas left when I come to pick her up a few days later and the girl said we wouldn’t let you see her if she wasent completely healthy. A couple of days later they let me take her home I noticed on my way home she was a he and that he was infested with ticks. So he had fleas and they took care of it. And I’ve been taking care of the ticks haven’t seen any in three days, gave him front line for cats and kittens and he also has ear mites and I’ve been putting stuff in his ears every two days. He’s still scratches a lot and doesn’t do much other then sleep in his cage or lay there with his eyes completely open. I did take him to the vet and they had no idea what else to do. Any ideas if there something more wrong with him then just having the ear mites now that everything else is gone? He also licks me a lot! And doesn’t seem to eat much idk if that helps

  53. Hi Bobbi
    I was wondering what advice I could give you about your ferret and the only thing I could think of was that *maybe* he’s anemic. Having all those fleas and ticks on him could have weakened his immune system. Take a look at his gums and if they’re pale, rather than red, that means he is anemic ๐Ÿ™
    You could go to your vet and ask him what he suggests you could give him to fix that problem but you might also want to give him a daily smoothie to help his system get back to normal.
    I would recommend this:

    100ml no lactose/pet milk
    1 egg yolk
    A few drops of astaxanthin
    1/4 teaspoon organic UNREFINED coconut oil
    Whisk it together and serve.

    You can read about the benefits of astaxanthin here (scroll down to “Love your pet”)


    And although this article is about the goodness of coconut oil for dogs, I think it applies to ferrets as well …


    Another thing – Revolution is brilliant for getting rid of fleas, ticks ear mites & heartworm so if you find your poor little guy has fleas, etc, get a tube of the 5-15lb cat dose of Revolution and put it between his shoulder blades so that he can’t lick it off. Apparently Pfizer did a small trial with the 0-5lb kitten size tube and found it was not 100% effective in preventing heartworm in ferrets, whereas the 5-15lb cat size tube was. Obviously for heartworm prevention, you’d need to give it to him every month but if you’re not worried about heartworm in your area, then just give him Revolution once ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hope this will be of help to you and I especially hope my suggestions will help your little guy!
    Hugs to him from his new friends down under ๐Ÿ˜€

  54. I bought two girl fereets from a guy online he said the ferrets love to play…this is my first time having a ferret…when they got to my house they have ate fine and drank fine but for some odd reason they like dog food better then the cat food. They really dont play they jist walk around the house and explore if they are not asleep once in a blue moo. They will sneeze and that is it but they dont play is it because they are older? Or jist really calm ferrets? They let my kids hold them with no problem they really dont care…and they sleep in my dresser. With my clothes but as of yesterday i have not seen my second ferret and ahe has not came out at all to deink or eat and my house is ferret proof and i can not find her. They usually just go to my room or living room and that is it but she is nowhere to be found. So i am wondering where could she be and is everything i explained about them even normal?

  55. Dulce, have you found your other ferret? I hope she didn’t go outside ๐Ÿ™ Please get a squeaky toy and squeak it to see if she’s found a special sleeping spot in your house. Most ferrets tend to come running if they hear the squeaky so I hope she does too.
    If you think she’s somehow got outside, please read up my Lost Ferret page to see what to do to find her.


    Some ferrets are very calm and cool when they get to a new place – I think you’re lucky to have such placid ferrets for your first ones ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure that once they know that they’re in their new, loving home, they’ll relax and then do their weasel wardance and start being just a little bit crazy ๐Ÿ˜€
    Please don’t let them eat dog food as it really has no nutritional value and could harm them in the long term. Giving them good quality dry cat or ferret food is essential to them having a healthy life. If you need help with what kind of food to get for them, there’s a very good chart here …


    I really hope you’ve found your other girl and that you will enjoy being a ferret parent with them ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. My son was trying to help and give our ferret a bath but he got the water way to hot. When I tried to cool him down with semi warm water he started to sieze. I don’t have a vet that knows about exotic animals anywhere close by. He stayed catatonic for quite awhile. Now he is kinda trying to move and has his eyes open but I don’t know what to do.

  57. Angel, I honestly have never experienced such a thing so don’t know what to suggest apart from keeping him cool!
    Ferrets don’t have sweat glands so they suffer badly in the heat. Rather than semi-warm water, splash cold water on him and keep wiping him down with a cool wet cloth.
    Has he improved at all since you posted your comment?
    Take a look at my US Vets page – I hope you’ll be able to find someone good near you …


    Sorry I can’t be of more help. I’ve asked some other ferret owners if they have any suggestions on what you should do so if I hear back from them, I’ll let you know.
    I hope your little guy is better now – such a worry ๐Ÿ™

  58. hi my name is sandy and my ferret is 3 months old he is a baby and he is not playing that much he is not eating that much and im worry.

    I have a ferret he is a baby he is 3 months old and he is getting sick foe the past 3 days he hasn’t been playing that much and he is loosing a little bit of hair and im very worry what should I do>?? I don’t have enough money to take him to the vet?? he plays but not to much and sometimes he just laydown and won’t move that much

  59. Hi Sandy
    I honestly don’t know what to say to help your baby.
    You say he’s losing hair but he’s way too young to have adrenal gland disease so maybe it’s seasonal shedding or maybe he has fleas. I don’t know – only a vet can tell you ๐Ÿ™
    Take a look at this page and see if you can figure out if his hair loss is because of any of the reasons listed there …


    And this is my page about Adrenal Gland Disease … have a look at see if you see any symptoms that your boy might have which shows that he does have this disease …


    A reader has written an article about how she helped her ferrets with adrenal problems by giving them certain supplements which worked in lessening the symptoms …


    If you think he might have this disease, why not try giving him the supplements which Lisa wrote about?
    Is his poop normal? If it looks a bit thin then maybe he’s swallowed something and has a partial blockage in his gut. The partial blockage could also be because of his grooming and if he’s got seasonal shedding, he might have a furball.
    One of my readers talked about pureed pumpkin being good to clean out a ferret’s gut in case there is a furball …


    You don’t need to buy a can – get a small piece of pumpkin, take off the rind, cut it into small pieces and steam it until soft. Then just mash it so that it’s soft and like mashed potatoes, no lumps, and give the amount the article says to your ferret.
    Are you feeding your ferret a good diet? If he’s only eating cheap cat food that could make him sick.
    This site gives you a good chart about what brands are good and which ones are bad for ferrets …


    I understand that you say you haven’t got enough money to take your baby to the vet, Sandy. Is there not a vet where you can pay the bill in instalments?
    It worries me that there might be something wrong with your ferret which needs medication to get it better and if you don’t get vet care, then your ferret might die :'(
    I really hope that something here will help your ferret and improve his well-being!
    Good luck and big hugs to your little boy from his new friends down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. My male ferret Buddy has recently gotten into a tub of cocoa butter lotion, his poop is white and grainy and he is not playing. I let him out to play and normally he is excited but now he goes right back to bed.. I have recently bought a baby ferret to keep him company and he seemed to really like her but I don’t know if her presence has changed things either. Going to the vet in a couple days if things don’t turn around. Any tips on how to care for him in the mean time?

  61. Hi Ruth
    Has Buddy become more active now?
    I honestly don’t know what to suggest apart from keeping an eye on him and making sure he’s eating and drinking properly.
    His poop must look strange because of the cocoa butter lotion – hopefully once he’s pooped all the lotion out he’ll feel better. It might be a good idea to get the vet to check him out just so that you have peace of mind, knowing he’s okay.
    So sorry I haven’t got any definite advice for you ๐Ÿ™
    Hugs to your ferrets from their new buddies down under!

  62. Hello,
    I have a weird situation. My ferret dobbie apparently sometimes screams in his sleep …he shows no other signs of disease or appetite change or play change. My roommate said she heard him screaming saying it’s seizures
    I find this a little extreme but im fielding out for help

  63. Oh Cassandra … I am so sorry to hear about Dobbie screaming ๐Ÿ™ I confess I’ve never come across that happening to any of my guys!
    To be honest, I don’t know what to suggest! Maybe it’s just bad dreams?!?!
    Is it really a scream or is Dobbie just making a noise in his dreams? I assume you’ve heard it? I know your roommate heard it but I was thinking that if your roommate wasn’t well versed in ferret habits, she might have mistaken the scream for something else?
    It would be good if you took him to a (ferret) vet so that he could be checked out and if it’s nothing, then you can rest assured if you hear him making that noise during the night.
    So sorry I can’t give you a definite answer but I do hope what I’ve said will help :/
    Hugs to Dobbie from his new buddies down under ๐Ÿ˜€

  64. My ferret fell yesterday and hasn’t been quite the same. The next morning I checked on him and he seems to be that his stomach is hurting him. He hasn’t ate and is not drinking water. And everytime I touch him on his belly it starts to move funny. Please help!

  65. Olga, your comment was put in the spam folder so I only saw it today, when I was cleaning the folder out. I am so sorry ๐Ÿ™
    Is your ferret better now? He really needs to see a vet so please get him to one as soon as possible!
    If you need to find a ferret vet, hopefully you’ll find one in the country you live in …


    I honestly don’t know what the problem could be for your ferret but he might have damaged one of his organs and that’s what’s causing the pain in his stomach ๐Ÿ™
    I hope you manage to get him fixed up!

  66. Hello,
    I’m very concerned about my ferret. She is close to a year old or younger. Last night I noticed she did not want to move around and was lethargic. When I picked her up she was clenching my arm but is usually relaxed.She was also Trembling and very weak. I notice her litter box is Empty and remembered I just changed her food. I’ve been giving her water through a syringe but she is getting worse. I plan on getting her regular food back this morning. Could the change be the cause of all this????

  67. Hi Sara
    Please take your baby to the vet AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
    No, changing her food would not cause such a reaction and I honestly don’t know what is wrong with her. She needs medical help. The only thing I can think of is that she swallowed something which has blocked her gut so can’t poop. If you don’t get her seen to ASAP, she could die.
    Also, can you get electrolytes to give her as that will help more than plain water.
    Sara, again I urge you to get her to a ferret vet as an emergency as she sounds really sick ๐Ÿ™
    If you don’t have a ferret vet, please check my vets’ page …


  68. I have a female ferret im not sure how old she is but ive had her for a couple months and she was playing and doing really good and she was doing really good about going to the bathroom in her liter box but shes not anymore and she will poop or try to every couple of minutes and she just isnt acting the same does anyone know whats going on

  69. Hi Kerra
    I’m not really sure what to suggest as you said she wasn’t acting the same, but what do you mean by that? Is it just the pooping everywhere that has you worried or is she acting sluggish, lethargic or what?
    I wouldn’t worry too much about her not pooping where she should as it seems to be a ferret thing. They’ll go from being wonderfully litter trained to hopeless without any reason.
    However if she’s not herself then I strongly suggest you take her to a ferret vet for a check-up. It could be nothing (which I hope it will be) or she might have some underlying illness which is making her act oddly ๐Ÿ™ Ferrets are so good at hiding any illnesses until they crash so it would be best for her to have a vet look at her.
    Hugs to your little girl from her new buddies down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  70. I have 4 year old panda Marshall ferret. About 6 days ago I noticed he started grinding his teeth really bad whenever he tries to eat. I also noticed that he had started to lose a significant amount of weight and was dehydrated. I of course took him to the vet. They told me that all of his blood work was fine and that his teeth were ok. They said he most likely had an upset stomach and gave me some probiotic paste and a vitamin gel and told me to use this. They also gave him 60 ml of fluid. This was about three days ago. He still seems to be unable to eat. As soon as he gets and kind of food in his mouth he starts to over salivate and grind his teeth. If I look into his mouth the food is in the middle of his mouth like he canโ€™t chew it or something. Iโ€™m have to give him mushy food and water through a small syringe. PLEASE HELP if you have any idea what this could be.

  71. Oh Steven, the only thing that I know which causes a ferret to grind its teeth is pain in its stomach, like an ulcer ๐Ÿ™


    Take a look at the page and see if any of the signs are like your boy shows. If they seem to match, please take him back to the vet and get him to treat him for that.
    I do know that some ferrets get really sore stomachs if they’re on prednesone but you didn’t say that he had any medications so it can’t be that.
    If the vet said that his teeth were okay then his reluctance to eat can’t be because of a broken tooth or something like that.
    You might want to get is electrolytes from the vet to add to his water – they will help him to feel better if he’s not drinking much.
    Are you happy that your vet is experienced in dealing with ferrets? If not, please take a look at my Vets page to see if there is a ferret vet near to where you live.


    I hope that you’ll find out what’s troubling your boy soon and that he bounces back quickly!
    Good luck, and please give your boy a hug from his new friends down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  72. Lily our ferret is 7 years old. 2 days ago she was fine but today she can’t walk, shivering, has lost alot of weight, poo is black and softer and smaller than usual and really looks like she’s dying. Has she been poisoned.? Please help

  73. Oh Kris, I am so sorry to hear that about Lily.
    I honestly don’t know what could be wrong with her – you really need to get to her a ferret vet asap to be checked out. It could be that she has an illness, like lymphoma, as that comes on really quickly! If she does have that, then she’ll need medication so only the vet will be able to give her what she needs.
    My last boy developed lymphoma and it was like he was fine one day and the next he was pooping like he had a blockage – green, gassy poop. Took him to the vet and after an xray and ultrasound, they told me what it was ๐Ÿ™
    Do you have a good vet to take her to? If you don’t, please check out my Vets Pages to hopefully find someone who knows ferrets near to where you live!


    I hope you manage to get Lily fixed up asap – please don’t delay as ferrets go downhill very quickly ๐Ÿ™
    Wishing you the best of luck on getting Lily better.

  74. My ferret is usually always playful. I took him out of a little when I came out of work then I put him back in the cage. He just looks at me and lays down. Is my ferret sick? Because when I took him out I๏ธt you as just for 5 minutes?!

  75. Oh Carmen, I honestly don’t know what to say ๐Ÿ™
    Have you checked his poop — is it normal? Is he eating and drinking properly?
    I can only suggest that if you’re worried about him, you should take him to a ferret vet to be checked out.
    There are many diseases which happen “suddenly” … one day a ferret is fine but the next day he’s acting oddly and it’s because of insulinoma, or lymphoma, or whatever other wretched diseases they catch ๐Ÿ™
    If you don’t know of a ferret vet, please take a look at my vets page – hopefully you’ll find a good one near to where you live.


    I’m sorry I can’t give you any advice but I do hope your ferret will be fine!
    Hugs to your little boy from his new friends down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  76. Hi, my male ferrets is about 7 months old, and he over the past week has gotten very lathargic and I have noticed he hasnโ€™t been eating. He is still drinking water, and playing with my other pets, however his bones are much more prominent- so Iโ€™m very concerned. A few days ago he had a bunch of fleas, so I bathed him and put a topical flea medicine on him I got from the vet- which has solved the problem. Also, he has had some diarrhea. What do I do to get him to eat? He normally eats cat food or the dogs food- with less than 3% fiber. Please help, Iโ€™d like to help him as much as possible before taking him to the vet.

  77. Hi Sarah
    I must say that I don’t know what is wrong with your boy. He could have juvenile lymphoma or it could be a reaction to the topical flea medicine you put on him.
    See if any of these symptoms fit what he has …


    My boy Dash was only 5 when he got that horrible cancer and it happened so suddenly that I thought he had a blockage as his poop was all green and gassy! Unfortunately it was lymphosarcoma ๐Ÿ™
    The only thing I can think of to help him is for you to get some Carnivore Care (I’m assuming you’re in the States? We can’t get Carnivore Care in Australia!) and try to get him to put some weight on …


    Another thing which I think would be good for him is a daily smoothie of no lactose milk, one egg yolk and a squirt of Astaxanthin, all mixed well and served at room temperature ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you have other ferrets, they too would benefit from having it with your boy. I give my two wolverines that and our dog loves it so much that I have to make enough so that he gets it to drink every evening as well!!
    I get my supplements from the Australian site of iHerb.com and I’m so glad to see the selection that we can finally get nowadays.
    *IF* your vet says that it is juvenile lymphoma that your boy has, then I would recommend you get Essiac from iHerb as I believe it will help him. You can read more about that supplement on the Lymphoma page.
    I hope that I’m really wrong about lymphoma and that the vet will give your boy a clean bill of health!
    Good luck and hugs to your little guy from his new friends down under!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guests are limited to images that are no larger than 250KB, and to only jpeg, pjpeg, png file types.