Ferret Health - Is your ferret healthy?

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Ferret Health - Two Sables

I love to see my ferrets bouncing up and down and all around like only healthy ferrets can! A healthy ferret is a happy ferret.

It is very important for an owner to get to know their ferret as much as they can, so that they can recognize any sings of dis – ease. If you feel there is something wrong with your baby then the best thing to do is to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Because ferrets are such small animals you actually do not have time to observe a problem over a few days. If you do…it might be too late.

If we ever have problems with our babies and we know it is something out of the norm we will not risk it, straight to the ferret specialist they go! (Read more about it in Bear and Binxi's ferret history)

A ferret that is bouncing off the walls, tackling you and other ferrets and making playful sounds (dook dook) is unlikely to be sick (however there may be exceptions to this rule). If your ferret's personality suddenly changes and it becomes more sedate than usual, then you might need to investigate as to what the cause of this might be(this might mean a trip to the vet).

Here are a few things you should look out for on a daily basis in order to make sure your fuzzy is experiencing optimum ferret health:

  • Check that the eyes are clear and bright – it is really amazing how different the eyes can look if a ferret is sick, they tend to get a slight squint (just like humans do when we are not feeling well).

  • Check your ferrets gum's and teeth – the gums should be pink and the teeth should be clean. If the gum's are unusually red it could be a sign of dehydration. or another health problem. Just like humans ferrets can get a build up of gunk/tartar on their teeth which can be either yellow or grey in color. This can be professionally removed by your vet or as preventative method feed your ferrets whole raw foods such as mice, rats, chicks, rabbits etc. The bones in these foods act as natural toothbrushes and clean the ferrets teeth preventing build up.

  • Have a look at your ferret’s whiskers
  • – they should be long and soft. If they are short and broken it might indicate poor nutrition and poor ferret health (you might need to consider changing the diet ).

  • Check out your ferret’s ears
  • – their might be some earwax, as some ferrets tend to produce quite a bit of it. You should clean your ferret’s ears whenever they get dirty, ask your vet to show you how it is done (you can't go too deep cause you might puncture the ear drum). Normal ear wax is slightly red in colour.

    If the wax is dark brown or black and your ferret frequently scratches its ears then it is very probable that your baby has ear mites. In this case you should take your ferret to the vet. Ear mites are fairly simple to treat (but they look HORRIBLE under a microscope! Our specialist was “kind” enough to show us… yuk). If left untreated, ear mites can damage you ferret’s ear drum.

  • Run your hands over your ferret frequently – familiarise yourself with your baby’s coat and general shape and contours of its body. The coat should be soft rather than brittle.

    If you find any lumps and bumps it could mean that your ferret has a tumour or abscess.

    The coat should be clean and without black dots, this can indicate fleas (which can cause anemia if left untreated). There should also not be any irritated areas which normally appear red.

  • When cleaning out the ferret’s cage (daily) always check the poo (you’ll get used to it)
  • – a ferret's poo should be nice and firm, and most importantly there should always be some waiting for you the next day!

    No poo might indicate that your ferret has an intestinal blockage and this is life threatening! (This can sometimes be accompanied with vomiting or not eating) Ferret diarrhea – can cause dehydration quickly leading to very bad ferret health, if it persists take your ferret to the vet.

    It is very important to recognise the signs of poor ferret health. If you spend lots of time playing and getting to know your ferret then you will have greater chances of recognising a problem when it arises.

    A sick ferret is a very unhappy ferret and usually leads to a very unhappy owner, so watch out for your little friend/s and they will show you gratitude in the form of endless, everlasting, pure entertainment! Dook, dook…

    Common Ferret Diseases.

    Does your ferret need to be vaccinated? Find out here...

    Ferret Diarrhea - Knowing more about it could save your ferret.

    Can your Ferret get dehydrated? Is it bad?

    How long do ferrets live? Can you prolong their lives?

    What do I need to know about ferrets?Click for common ferret questions.

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