Sickness in Ferrets


Diarrhoea in ferrets is not a condition to be taken lightly. Because of their small size, ferrets suffering from diarrhoea are at risk of becoming dehydrated. Although not a disease in itself, diarrhoea is a sign that all is not well. Get in touch with your veterinarian as soon as possible and in the meantime, encourage your little furry friend to drink as much as possible.



Diarrhoea can be caused by many things. A sudden change of food or just of brands, the ingestion of unsuitable substances (such as plastic) or contaminated food, over-eating, intolerance to certain foods, stress and hygiene issues can all cause upset stomachs and diarrhoea.

Chemicals, parasites, medications and viruses are other causes. Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis (ECE virus) (sometimes called green slime) is a serious concern if contracted by older animals or those with poor immune systems. The ECE virus attacks the lining of the intestine and is highly contagious. If contracted by young animals and treated promptly, permanent immunity will result. Ferrets suffering from inflammatory bowel disease may also have diarrhoea.

Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery, 3e
Amazon Price: $92.95 $55.94 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 2, 2016)
Get to know the signs that indicate
something is wrong with your pet.

It is always helpful to know what is normal and what is not normal for all your pets. Your veterinarian can make a much more informed diagnosis if you can tell him what is normal for your pet. Knowing the normal consistency, amount and colour of the stools will be enormously helpful as will taking a faecal stool sample with you to the clinic.

Dehydration can have serious consequences, particularly for elderly animals, and very young or very small ferrets. Such animals have trouble regulating their body temperature and coma may result.


 To counteract dehydration, fluids and electrolytes may be given to the ferret, possibly by means of a drip. Infections are normally treated by antibiotics and the ingestion of unsuitable material may be treated with a laxative to enable easier elimination of the foreign material.

As a general rule, unless the cause of the diarrhoea is known, consult your veterinarian and don't run the risk of losing your ferret.

Below are links to my other articles on Ferrets:
Common Ailments of Ferrets
Sarcoptic Mange in Ferrets


The Ferret: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet (Your Happy Healthy P)
Amazon Price: $12.95 $0.01 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 2, 2016)
This is a comprehensive and informative
guide. It answers all basic questions for
first time owners as well as being a
useful resource for others.