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Ferrets/3 year old ferret- fang gum line receding


If it weren't almost midnight, I'd call the vet we see but you seem incredibly knowledgable! We have 2 free roaming ferrets- 1 is 5 years old, the other is almost 3. Recently, the 3 yr old has been eating a lot. We feed them, in seperate bowls, Totally Ferret active diet and Wysong Epigen 90. We have ran out of WYsong recently and stuck with Totally. Tonight, I realised that the younger one's top fangs seemed weirdly warped, so I looked closer and it looks like the gum line is receding (only in that spot)or the tooth is becoming thinner at the top (mostly receding though..) I was wondering if this is due to his over eating recently, or maybe because of us not giving him raw meat on bone food. Or if there is something else wrong here. Thanks!

Hi Nicole:

This is the first time I have heard of acute gum receding. Possibly it has been going on for a while and you didn't notice?  As ferrets age, their teeth do become more translucent and gums recede abit, that's where the term "long in the tooth" comes from when describing an older animal; this is normal. You say the tooth appears warped it loose?  It is possible he just crunched down wrong or chomped down on a toy and has loosened the tooth.  I would check to see if the tooth wiggles with your finger very very gently. If it is loose, it may be best to have your vet remove it as soon as possible.  Do not mess with It any more than necessary, as if it is loose, it may reattach on its own if not irritated....your vet will advise you if it needs removed or wait and see with soft food.  At any rate, if loose, switch to soupy, warm 'soup' of your choice, or soup made from his scrunched to powder kibble in a pinch,  till your vet visit.  If he is not used to soup, be sure it is warm but not too hot, start by touching a fingerful into his mouth a few times till he eats it willingly...or feed it all by finger if necessary.  They just need to get a few good tastes before accepting the new texture.   I find my kids eat soup better if I start by finger, then switch to a spoon, as they do not like the soup in their whiskers. Wipe mouth with napkin when finished or he will smear it everywhere trying to get it off his face when finished.

As far as his appetite, as fall approaches it is normal for their appetite to increase and fur to thicken in preparation for winter months. So I would not be concerned about that . Continue to feed with soup regularly if the tooth is loose as much as he wants.

If the tooth is loose, it would be good to reduce his feed to powder and add water to make a soup (or whatever warm soup you feed) to prevent further injury to the toooth until a vet can see him asap.  If you use another soup recipe OR you can use canned baby food meat only, thin a bit with water, warm and hand feed.  I keep Hills A/D Feline canned food (get it from your vet) which I use to give Vetasyl hairball treatments and any time my kids need soupy food (when sick, not eating enough, etc) that would be great too, just feed him as much as he will eat about every four hours till vet visit and let the tooth rest.  If the tooth happens to be really loose, you might want to go ahead and gently remove it (he will do just fine without it) with your fingers so he does not end up swallowing it. Immediately apply and hold pressure on the gum where tooth was until bleeding stops. Anything around the mouth tends to bleeds a bit, but constant pressure by holding gauze on the gum should stop it after 10 minutes or so.  If you need to put a bit of Ferretone on the gauze for him to allow you to continue holding pressure on the place where the tooth came out to soothe him and allow you to continue, thats fine too. Hopefully IF you must do this, he will cooperate and/or a couple extra hands may be helpful in extraction and calming him afterwards as you apply pressure till it stops bleeding.You just don't want him swallowing the tooth in the case it may be very very loose.  If you do remove the tooth, as long as it all comes out, root and all, you should not really need a vet visit because your question is answered, unless you have other questions or problems. IF you must remove it, continue on liquid soup diet for at least 3-5 days to give the gum a chance to heal.

So, I really suspect he may have a loose tooth. That may be wrong. And you may need a vets opinion.  This does not seem to be life threatening, just a few modifications to feeding and a possible followup vet visit.  I hope my suggestions are helpful for you.  I hate when things like this come up at night, but that seems to always be when they happen, isn't it?  Ferrets with only one fang do get along just fine IF that is what this turns out to be.  

I would like to invite you to join my online ferret group on Facebook called THUNDERING FERRET PAWS where our group 'Files' cover so many common problems we encounter over a ferrets lifetime and are available for reference 24/7, plus there are a couple hundred other ferret owners, shelter owners and even a vet who chimes in now and then.  Hope to see you there!

Thanks for your very interesting question.  I hope nd pray your little one will be just fine and am pretty confident he will be. You are a good and observant mommy to even notice this!  Take care, I think he will be fine :-)


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!

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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 :-)

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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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