You are here:

Ferrets/Surgery? Any other holistic alternatives?


I have had a pretty rough time with my ferrets health as of late. In the past week, his stool has become dark red and sludge-like. He vomited about 4 times within 2 days. He has become very lethargic and sleeps most of the day, even during the normal hours of play time.

I took him to the vet and they did a whole bunch of times, all of which have come back normal. His blood glucose, stool, and blood pressure are all normal. An obstruction did NOT come up on his x-ray as well. I have brought him to two different vets. The first one, gave me metronidazole and ferret lax. Initially those meds helped but after the first 2 days he vomited so I was advised to stop the metro.

The second vet said she suspected a stomach ulcer and gave him carnivore care(since he stopped eating), peptid(half a tablet), and amoxicillin(excuse my spelling.) He has not gotten better since getting these meds.

I brought him to the first vet today because he did not poop until yesterday at about 4pm. The vet said he wanted to go with surgery because even if there is no obstruction, he will get an idea of whats going on. Is this a good idea? I could beg, borrow, and steal for the 2000 but I want to make sure I have used all my other options first. Has anyone else had an issue similar to this one? PLEASE help. I am so upset and want to make sure I am doing the right things for my baby.

Some additional details about my ferret:
8 months old, no prior health issues, ferret food diet.

Dear Jen,

Normally I would consider dark red & sludge-like stool as emergency symptoms.  But it is odd that all the tests have come back normal.  And, he is young and has seemed to be okay up until now.  If I were in your position, I would be totally exasperated and wouldn't know what to do either.  I would be inclined to go with whatever the vets say.

But, I have one question.  Exactly what are you feeding him?  This is a long-shot but, some foods and treats contain dyes. Some of these dyes (though they may not be red) can produce red stool.  I just can't help thinking this problem might be related somehow to his food.  Ask your vets (both of them) if this is a possibility before you schedule surgery.  If they tell you it is NOT a possibility then I would have to go ahead with the surgery.

I know how upset and concerned you are and I am so sorry.  Believe me I know what you're going through.  I never knew how much I could love one of these little fuzzies.  They are just about the most loving adorable little creatures God has made.

I am hoping very much that your little guy's problem is just a quirky episode and he  will recover quickly.  If you can, let me know how he does.  I wish I could help more.

Warm Regards,


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Janet Russek


I can answer questions re: Feeding(keeping that body weight up) General Care, Safety, Behavior, Best Cages, Proper Toys, Dangers to Ferrets (ferret proofing your home), Play Area/Room Suggestions.


I've raised ferrets very successfully for approximately twelve years. I usually kept three at a time. I presently have one. I've tried a variety of cages, habitats, toys, treats.

Highschool grad with some college.

©2017 All rights reserved.