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Animal Care Hospital
Call us today! 319-378-9000
Call us today! 319-378-9000

1146 Blairs Ferry Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Signs of Sickness in Ferrets

July 15 2021

Ferrets are extremely cute and fun pets. These little guys have big personalities! However, new ferret owners do face a bit of a learning curve, as ferrets have quite unique and specific needs. Being able to recognize signs of sickness in your adorable pet is very important. As your Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian, I list some key ones below.                       

Lack Of Appetite

It’s almost never a good sign when an animal isn’t interested in food. Ferrets are no exception. (Note: ferrets are notoriously finicky, and sometimes get fixated on one type of food. To avoid this, you’ll need to feed your pet a variety of foods. Ask your veterinarian for more information on this.)

Difficulty Breathing

Watch for any sort of respiratory distress, such as gasping, coughing, wheezing, and repetitive sneezing. These can all be indications of sickness.

Behavioral Changes

Ferrets are extremely playful and curious by nature. If your furry buddy seems listless, tired, or withdrawn, he may not be feeling well. Ferrets sometimes look dazed when they are sick, and they may grind their teeth. Pawing at the mouth is another red flag, as is excessive drooling.

Weight Loss

Ferrets’ weight do sometimes fluctuate a bit seasonally. However, if your pet is gaining or losing weight, and you’re not sure why, consult your veterinarian. 

Fur Changes

Another thing to watch for are changes in your pet’s appearance. Fur loss is often a sign of sickness, as are dullness and/or thinning of the fur. Your four-legged friend may also act itchy.


Vomiting is also an indication that something is wrong with your ferret, and warrants an immediate call to your veterinarian.


Just like people, ferrets sometimes sleep a lot when they are sick. If your pet seems to be spending more time than usual napping, he may be sick.


Pay attention to your tiny buddy’s waste. If your ferret is straining to go, he may be ill. Other warning signs include changes in the color, amount, or texture of your pet’s waste; diarrhea; excessive urination; or a lack of feces or urine.


Contact your veterinarian right away if you see any of these red flags. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference!

Do you have questions about caring for your ferret? Contact me, your local Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian, anytime. I’m here to help!