Do you have a pet ferret? If so, it’s important to realize that ferrets can be considered seniors at just 3 – 4 years of age. Once your little buddy reaches his golden years, you’ll need to adjust his care regimen a bit. As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I discuss senior ferret care below.
H ealth Issues
Older ferrets have many of the same problems as older people do. For instance, your tiny pal may develop dental problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease. He may also have lost a few teeth. This can be very concerning, as dental issues interfere with your pet’s ability to chew and eat. Vision and hearing problems are also not uncommon. Generally, keep a close eye on your pet, and watch for signs of illness. Consult your vet right away if you notice anything concerning.
It’s normal for your ferret to go through some changes as he ages. He may become sleepier and less playful, and he may seem finicky about food. Just watch for things that are extremely out of character, such as lethargy. These can be signs of medical issues.
You may need to adjust your pet’s meal schedule a bit. Older ferrets sometimes do better with smaller, more frequent meals, and often thrive with a higher fat content. Your ferret may also become prone to issues such as diarrhea or constipation. Ask your vet for specific advice.
You’ll start to notice small changes in the way your ferret looks. His fur may become thinner or coarser, and it may change color a bit. His skin may also dry out, and his claws become thicker and more brittle. Increasing the fat in your pet’s diet may help, but check with your vet first. You can also rub a little oil on your ferret’s paw pads.
As your little buddy gets older, he’ll likely become a bit stiff and sore. He may also have trouble jumping, climbing, or scampering. Make sure he has a soft bed to sleep in. You may also want to add another layer of padding to the bottom of his cage. If your ferret has stairs in his cage, replace them with ramps. Your pet’s ramps should be at a gentle angle, so they are easy to climb.
As your local Marion, IA area veterinarian clinic, I’m here to help! Call anytime!