Diarrhea in Ferrets

Diarrhea in Ferrets

Here we can see, “Diarrhea in Ferrets”

Ferrets, like other pets, are prone to a variety of illnesses, with diarrhoea being one of the most prevalent. Diarrhea in ferrets can be a major problem since it can quickly lead to dehydration, but it can also be a symptom of food indiscretion. You may help prevent diarrhoea in ferrets by learning more about the reasons, which will make both your ferret and the person who cleans the litter box happy.

Causes of Diarrhea in Ferrets

Diarrhea is a frequent, watery kind of bowel movement. There are a number of reasons why a ferret may have diarrhoea, and not only is it a pain to clean up (both in the litter box and on your ferret), but it may also indicate that your ferret has a more serious problem. Diarrhea is often a sign of a problem with the intestines, and some of these conditions can be life-threatening.

Infectious Disease

Infectious illness, whether bacterial, fungal, or viral, is a common cause of diarrhoea in ferrets. When a young ferret is brought to a family, a viral condition known as “epizootic catarrhal enteritis,” or “green slime disease,” can cause diarrhoea in older ferrets. This is owing to the fact that young ferrets are carriers of the coronavirus. Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is another disease that has been linked to bacterial infections. IBD can cause “bird seed” stools, which contain undigested food particles. If IBD is left untreated, ferrets with this disease tend to lose weight over time. Have your ferret checked out by a veterinarian, regardless of whether the cause is bacterial, fungal, or viral.

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Intestinal Parasites

Even your veterinarian may find it challenging to diagnose your ferret with intestinal parasites. Under a microscope, worms, protozoans, parasite eggs, and other types of intestinal intruders may be found in your ferret’s faeces. These parasites often attack the lining of your ferret’s intestines, which can lead to diarrhea.

In ferrets, coccidia is the most frequent form of intestinal parasite. Coccidials are minute protozoans that are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye. If left untreated, these parasites live in a ferret’s intestinal tract, causing diarrhoea, weight loss, and other symptoms. Your veterinarian can diagnose coccidiosis by using one or more faeces samples to run tests to discover this microscopic parasite.

Dietary Changes

If your ferret eats something they don’t regularly eat, they could have diarrhoea as a result of the change in diet. Although this sort of diarrhoea is usually only temporary, it can still be bothersome and messy. Ferrets may eat food that has fallen to the ground, steal food from another pet, or simply obtain a new treat that causes diarrhoea. In ferrets, certain meals are more prone to causing diarrhoea. Foods that are high in fat or contain a lot of oil, as opposed to foods that are high in fibre or bland, are more likely to cause loose stools.

Foreign Bodies

When a ferret consumes something it shouldn’t, that object is classified as a foreign body. Ferrets have been known to chew on and swallow little objects in order to satisfy their curiosity. Foreign bodies can include small rubber and plastic things, hair ties, coins, ear plugs, and even hairballs. If these things become trapped, they can cause a significant obstruction in a ferret’s digestive system. Diarrhea or a general absence of faeces, which is a common symptom of a total blockage by a foreign substance, are clinical symptoms of obstructions because these objects disrupt the normal digestive tract. If the foreign body gets stuck or makes toxins, the ferret might throw up, lose its appetite, and feel tired.

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Cancer is a term that no one wants to hear, but it is all too often used in pet ferrets. Because it can impact a ferret’s digestive tract, lymphoma is one type of cancer that can cause diarrhoea, but other cancers can also cause this symptom.


When a ferret is anxious, it may get diarrhoea, just like many other species. This is not unusual after a vet appointment, when being transported in a carrier, or after a ferret has moved to a new home. Stress diarrhoea normally goes away as the ferret relaxes, so if that happens, it’s a positive sign that stress was the cause of the loose faeces in the first place.


Depending on the cause of your ferret’s diarrhoea, it may go away on its own or require medical assistance.

  • Your veterinarian may recommend medications to cure intestinal parasites, reduce cancer-related inflammation, or simply firm up the faeces.
  • If a foreign body in your ferret’s digestive tract is causing diarrhea, making toxins, or is stuck there, it may need to be surgically removed.
  • Dietary-induced and stress diarrhoea may typically be cured by feeding your ferret a plain ferret diet with no additives and giving it some time to recuperate. However, if the diarrhoea persists, consult your veterinarian.
  • If your ferret has diarrhoea, it’s critical that you keep him hydrated. Some ferrets need fluids given through an IV or subcutaneously by a vet, while others can stay hydrated by drinking from a bowl of fresh water.

How to Prevent Diarrhea?

It’s crucial to keep your ferret healthy in order to avoid diarrhoea:

  • Before handling ferrets that aren’t your own and before handling your own ferrets, wash your hands.
  • Vaccinate your ferret on a regular basis.
  • Regularly clean your ferret’s cage, plates, and litter box.
  • If you have to make dietary adjustments for your ferret, do it gradually.
  • To reduce the chances of a foreign body being ingested, make sure everything your ferret has access to has been ferret-proofed.

User Question

What do I do if my ferret has diarrhea?

Pedialyte (available in the Baby Care sections of most drug shops and grocery stores) can be used at home to rehydrate a ferret and replace electrolytes lost due to diarrhoea. Every hour or so, give them a spoonful or more of water or Pedialyte. This will keep them from getting dehydrated.

How much Pedialyte should I give to my ferret?

In general, feed your ferret 10% of its body weight in balanced electrolytes; for example, if your ferret weighs 800 grams, feed it 80 millilitres of electrolytes.

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How do I know if my ferret has worms?

The majority of ferrets afflicted with intestinal parasites will exhibit no indications of infection. Possible symptoms include diarrhoea (with or without blood), loss of weight, thirst, less activity, a dull coat of hair, straining to go to the bathroom, prolapse of the ferret’s rectum, and even death.

What does a dehydrated ferret look like?

If you think your ferret is dehydrated, look for signs like dry gums, gums that stick together, weakness, tiredness, dull eyes, squinting a lot, and less urine.

Do ferrets get sick easily?

Ferrets are particularly vulnerable to human flu. Fever, thick clear or dry discharge from their noses, sneezing, coughing, decreased appetite, and weakness are all indications of flu in ferrets. Ferrets do not have the flu vaccine.


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


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