When adopting a pet, visits to the veterinarian can be frequent. But, as far as the ferret is concerned, the good news is that they are a little sick animal. The ferret is robust: this is probably partly why it was used, not so long ago, by poachers to hunt hares and rabbits. It can of course still happen to him to fall ill. Here is a list of the 8 signs you need to be aware of to be able to react quickly.
Sign # 1: Your ferret has lost its appetite
As in all animals, loss of appetite is often the most obvious sign of illness in ferrets. By feeding your animal correctly each day, you cannot fail to realize that the animal has eaten little, or even completely abandoned the contents of its plate. Ferrets have a rapid metabolism and therefore this type of feeding behavior can have serious consequences. very serious consequences.
First and foremost, you must take the time to analyze the situation. Maybe you just changed something in your ferret’s diet, and he just wouldn’t like it, showing his disapproval? Note that stopping the diet that persists over two or three meals is an emergency. Serious diseases can indeed be hidden behind the loss of appetite: distemper, influenza, tumor in the pancreas or lymphosarcoma.
Sign # 2: Your ferret has stopped drinking
Some animals resist poor hydration better than others. The ferret is certainly not one of them. Water is essential for it to ensure the proper functioning of its vital organs. Reduced water uptake exposes the ferret to stone formation or the development of diabetes.
A ferret must absorb between 75 and 100 ml of water on average every day. Obviously, these needs increase with summer temperatures. Since the ferret does not sweat, hydration helps limit the increase in its body temperature. The use of a heavy bowl so that the ferret does not overturn it is often preferred over a bottle. Whichever method you use, the water should be renewed every day or whenever it gets dirty, and you should make sure that the water bowl is empty because the ferret has indeed been drinking and not not because he would have knocked it over out of clumsiness, or because the contents of the bottle have descended and the mouthpiece is not blocked.
Beware of tap water, especially if you are in town: it can be too loaded with lime, which could affect the health of the ferret over time, especially by promoting the formation of stones. But water that is too mineralized is also harmful. So carefully choose bottled water if you turn to this solution.
Sign # 3: Your ferret has lost its dynamism and seems weakened
A ferret that has lost its appetite or has stopped drinking will quickly weaken. However, when temperatures are very high, a female ferret can be shot dead.
Apart from these exceptional situations, heart failure, anemia or intoxication can cause weakening of the animal. Given the dynamism of a ferret, it is impossible for you to ignore this type of sign!
Sign # 4: your ferret is vomiting
It is rare for a ferret to vomit. It is therefore a sign to be taken very seriously, unlike vomiting in a dog or a cat which can do it more frequently. Considering ferrets’ propensity to chew on anything that passes within their reach (like a sponge or gum), you can imagine that not everything passes easily through its esophagus. Also, if something gets stuck there, the animal will try to evacuate it by this means.
Your ferret may also have difficulty swallowing food or swallowing saliva: an oral disease or a tumor may be the cause. Only a specialist can make the correct diagnosis.
Vomiting can also be a sign that the digestive system is dysfunctional. The presence ofa bacteria of the name ofHelicobacter mustelae is quite common and causes stomach infections. Gastritis causes abdominal pain and reduces the animal’s hunger. If ulcers are present, the animal’s stool is very dark in color.
Sign # 5: your ferret has diarrhea
Any diarrhea is a form of emergency: the cause must be identified quickly and stopped without delay, otherwise the animal risks dehydration which can quickly prove to be fatal for the ferret, as we mentioned above.
The first instinct is to review the animal’s diet: perhaps he ate too many fruits and vegetables? A stressful situation or even heat stroke can also cause diarrhea.
If it is a parasite, bacteria or virus, only the veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Sign # 6: Your ferret has breathing problems
Ferrets can cough, sneeze, have a runny nose… It all looks like a rhinitis. It is an irritation of the respiratory tract which can be caused by the excessive presence of dust, in particular because of low-end or unsuitable litter. The only solution is to eliminate the cause of this irritation. But your ferret may have just put his nose in an unusual place that caused him a temporary allergy.
It is only if the signs persist that a consultation with the veterinarian is necessary, especially if your ferret turns out to be down. This can be a sign that a viral illness, such as bronchitis or the flu, is gaining ground.
Beware of the flu: it is the same virus that affects humans. This means that your ferret can infect you but also that you can infect your animal. However, this disease is more serious in ferrets than in humans. So be extremely careful if you trigger flu-like symptoms.
Sign # 7: Your ferret is losing its hair
Symmetrical hair loss is typical of excess sex hormones. It is a tumor of the adrenal glands that is the cause. This type of disorder only affects ferrets sterilized over 3 years old. Hair loss is not the only symptom that can be observed: the ferret’s body is very stressed and the animal will lose weight quickly. Urinary disorders can also be associated.
Sign # 8: You feel lumps under your ferret’s skin
A lump under the skin can have different origins and different levels of severity. It can be cutaneous lymphoma, a malignant cancer of the lymphatic system, but also other tumors which are not necessarily so serious. It looks like nodules, red or purple balls, purulent pimples, small purulent masses, plaques, etc. In short, the skin does not look normal. Without any emergency, the animal must be taken to the veterinarian who will carry out a complete examination and analyzes. The surgery is often necessary to limit the progression of these skin abnormalities. Corticosteroid therapy may also be prescribed as a supplement.
When the ferret ages …
As with us, aging leads to the appearance of disorders and disorders which are sometimes comparable to the signs of a disease: the ferret is weaker, less dynamic, it moves less easily and its appetite is reduced. Keep this in mind, without neglecting your pet. Do not hesitate to consult a veterinarian if you have any doubts.