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Ferrets/Sick ferret


Hi jacquie im not sure if u got my last question because i didnt get a question reciet so im asking again. I bought a male ferret from a pet shop 2 mo ago.he is a marshals ferret which means he comes with years health guarantee and fee of all congenital diseases. But this past mo he has been going downhill. Hes loosing weight, he has very little energy, and his coat looks unhealthy. Also he seemed like he was having alittle trouble chewing his food. I had the vet examine his teeth and she said they look fine. His stool sample came back good too. I plan to get blood work and an xray done when i get my next paycheck to check for blockage. I let him out of his cage daily so it is possible that he could have ate something. I have him on some hairball meds and ferretvite but im not sure how much of the ferret vite to give him as everyone has a different opinion! He normally eats marshals ferret food if that helps u. Do u have any idea whats going on? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

Hi Jaime:

What you are describing can be so many things.  Hopefully you have a good vet (an "exotics vet, not just a dog & cat vet).  Some vets don't know much about ferrets.  Look in your phone book for an ad that says they see "exotics" or "ferrets" is the best way.

The guarantee on the Marshalls ferret, unfortunately isn't usually very good, as they usually tell you to choose another ferret, then they have that one put down (killed).  Very sad  you are better to contact them and tell them you don't WANT another ferret, but could they pleasr tell you what vet they recommend in your area that can help it get well.  It's worth a try.  Ferrets can be expensive; sick ferrets can be VERY EXPENSIVE, so give it a try, but insist you do not want to trade want this one, but want him well!

Cat hairball remedy is basically useless.  I don't recommend it.  a small amount - maybe a teaspoonful) of plain Vaseline with 6-8 drops of Ferretone is usually better.My vet recommends usunf plain, pure pi pkin...NOT THE MIX, it must say "pure pumpkin" on the i gredients label.  Ferrets like Ferretone, but should NEVER have more than 4-5 drops a day, so it is best to mix it half and half with Olive Oil when you first get ut, then keep it refrigerated so it doesn't get rancid.  AFTER you dilute it with the Olive Oil, THEN mix it with Vaseline.  Same as cat hairball laxative, but without the sugary stuff.

You NEVER want to give your ferret anything with sugar in it.  They are obligate carnivores, which means they eat meat only.  Warmed chicken baby food (stir with yor finger to be sure it is not too hot, add a little water, then feed from your finger and try to get him to lick from your finger is best.

Ferrets don't usually act sick until they are nearly dying.  Do you have some nice soft blankies i  his cage (not the kind that shed odd fuzz...more like baby receiving blankets ir even nice clean tee shirts.  Be sure he always has FRESH, clean water in a clean bowl everyday.  Also, keep his food bowl clean....all ferrets leave parts if their crunchy food i  the bowl and you have to empty that every few days.

We have a group on FACEBOOK named THUNDERING FERRET PAWS and there are some "files" there to help with sick ferrets, along with lots of people who are there to help.

I wish I could diagnose him iver the internet, but unfortunately I cannot.  My best suggestion is the chicken baby food as often as he will take it, keep fluids in him by speinkling a small bit of Ferretonr (oily) on top of warmish wTer, dip your finger and try to get as much fluids in him as possible....same with warm chicken baby food (meat o ly).

See your vet as soon as possible - be SURE he is an exotics vet)  sometimes wrapping them lightly in a tee shirt or similar and rocking them, talking softly to them will help calm them down till you can get fluids and food down him.   

Have you actually seen hi  eat?  Some ferrets just don't like Marshalls food, but almost all love Totally Ferret.  Please go to THUNDERING FERRET PAWS and see if anyone there can think of anything else I may have missed.

Best of luck.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your baby.  I hope you can get help from a really good EXOTICSVET soon!!

Jacquie Rodgers


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Jacquie Rodgers


PLEASE READ ALL BEFORE ASKING QUESTIONS... WHAT I CAN DO: Being a ferret owner for 20 years, I can answer questions re: general care, cage ideas & requirements, healthy foods and snacks, safety issues, ferretproofing play areas, common causes of intestinal blockages, appropriate housing, litterbox training, making bathtime fun, toys, games galore, outdoor trips, "Do`s and Don'ts, traveling w/ferrets by car or RV, safe environmental temperatures & keeping your ferret cool in summer (NOT A FAN!!), setting up a hospital cage, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), helicobacter (ulcers), adrenal disease symptoms & care,intestinal blockages, helping your ferret recover quickly/safely from surgery; common problems of ferret ownership, illnesses; care of sick or injured ferrets, hospice/palliative care, facing & coping with your ferret's death, choices that must be made when a ferret dies, memorializing your pet online and in your daily life. #1 TIP: FIND AN EXOTICS VET BEFORE YOU GET A VET...IF YOU WAIT, YOU MAY FIND YOU HAVE TO DRIVE UP TO 6-HRS TO GET TO A PROPER VET!..if you did not find one first, be WILLING to drive as far as possible for proper care. AND.... #2 TIP: FERRETS ARE EXPENSIVE TO FEED, HOUSE, VET & CARE FOR PROPERLY...IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD ONE/OR NOT READY TO SACRIFICE, PLEASE DON'T GET ONE!! A FERRET IS NOT LIKE HAVING A CAT OR DOG!! THEY REQUIRE MORE TIME, ENERGY, CARE AND MONEY to properly care for them. Prepare to spend up to $8,000-$10,000 OVER A FERRETS LIFETIME (6 to 8 years usually) FOR NECESSITIES & VET CARE. WHAT I CAN`T DO: I can`t take the place of your ferret vet; if your ferret appears sick,PLEASE have your ferret examined by a ferret vet .TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE FOR A SICK FERRET - PLEASE, IF IN DOUBT, GET THEM TO A VET! 24- hours of a ferret not eating/drinking may kill your ferret! NEVER FORCE FEED A SICK..he may choke. Sub-Q or IV fluids from your vet who is not eating WILL help save his life IF he gets it in time.


I have nursed ferrets through many illnesses, an injury, and a variety of diseases over the years.Ferrets are so very delicate, yet incredibly strong-willed; a well-loved ferret will fight courageously to live if given proper medical care, close monitoring, and especially lots of TLC.& LOVE. A ferret can entertain for hours on end when they know they are the center of attention; and they can make even the grumpiest person laugh. They do require a LOT of time, love and daily care, but the love you give a ferret always comes back to you tenfold OR MORE!! I dedicate the time I spend helping others here to my precious little ones who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge. They taught me how to laugh, to love unconditionally....and how to live each & every day to its fullest, and for that I am forever grateful.


Yuma Daily Sun (local newspaper) recognition for being an outstanding ferret mom and having incredibly well-trained ferrets. I am currently working on book of ferret care to share my experience. JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK:!/groups/thundering.ferret.paws/ for faster answers to your questions and input from other experienced ferret owners. Lots of past questions answered on that you can still reference by category. If you don't find your answer there, please submit it and I will be happy to help you :-)

I read everything I can get my hands on regarding ferrets, I learn from my great Exotics Vet, and my own experience and interactions with other ferret owners. I am writing a book on ferret care (Great Need for a CORRECT one!) never rely on a ferret book OR a website when your ferret is sick. I can help with suggestions to use IN CONJUNCTION with proper care by your exotics specialist vet (ASK when you call for an appointment whether or NOT your vet has EXPERIENCE in working with EXOTICS..if not, move on and continue to seek one. The wrong vet can KILL your ferret. I learned this early when my ferret hurt his front paw jumping off the couch...a vet, NOT EXOTICS SPECIALIST couln't handle ferret properly because he was afraid of the ferret...and ended up xraying THE WRONGBARM, telling me it was not hurt. I took xray & ferret to EXOTICS SPECIALIST VET 3-hrs away & found out the arm WAS BROKEN & wrong arm had been xrayed. THAT is how important it is to have a PROPERLY TRAINED VET FOR YOUR FERRET!

Awards and Honors
WANT TO BE A FERRET EXPERT? I serve as the resident "guru" for this category. IF YOU WISH TO VOLUNTEER IN THE FERRET CATEGORY, please email me at and request an application. All volunteers must complete a general ferret information questionaire to be a volunteer in this category. Thanks for your cooperation :-)

Past/Present Clients
I try to educate anyone who is interested in ferrets, as I take my ferrets with me in public a lot. There is a lot of MISinformation out there about ferrets that needs to be dispelled with fact, and ferret owners who need to be keep abreast of the latest and best information. FACEBOOK FERRET GROUP (OPEN): THUNDERING FERRET PAWS - Join us as we all share our pictures, stories & experience!! :-)

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