What Are the Signs of a Ferret Being Sick?

What could cause a ferret to throw up?

Causes of Vomiting in Ferrets Parasites. Toxins. Foreign body entrapment (esophageal, stomach, or intestinal) Dietary changes.

A ferret is an exotic pet, beloved for its playful and curious nature. But with any pet, comes the responsibility of providing your ferret with the best care possible. This includes keeping an eye out for signs of illness – after all, ferrets are susceptible to a wide range of ailments and they don’t always show obvious signs when they’re not feeling well. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs of a ferret being sick to ensure that you can provide your pet with the best care possible.

Frequent But Minor Symptoms

One of the most common signs of ferret illness is a change in appetite or drinking habits; if your ferret is no longer eating or drinking its usual amount of food or water, be sure to take him in for a veterinary checkup. Other minor signs include excessive sleeping or a decrease in energy, sneezing and nasal discharge (this can be a sign of a respiratory infection), and even mild forms of vomiting which usually consist of clear, yellowish liquids.

Changes in Behavior

Ferrets are usually full of energy and enthusiasm and lazing around most of the day can be a signal that your ferret isn’t feeling well. Aggressiveness and irritability are also common signs of ferret illness and should be addressed as soon as possible. Additionally, your pet may become unable to complete some of its usual activities such as playing or running.

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Decreased Resistance & Physical Decline

If your ferret seems unusually susceptible to infection and reacts poorly to even minor injuries, this can be a sign of illness. Other physical decline signs include fluid retention or a distended or hard abdomen which could signify an internal infection or cancer. Additionally, you’ll want to keep an eye out for unusual lumps or bumps, as this can be an indication of early stages of cancer.

Skin & Coat Changes

Another important sign of ferret illness is a change in their skin and coat. Look for patches of fur missing or falling out as this can indicate fleas, mites, or even a vitamin deficiency. If you notice that your ferret’s fur is becoming unusually dull or greasy, or if your pet is scratching excessively at its skin, you should take them in to be checked by a veterinarian.

Incontinence & Tumors

Finally, if your ferret is not using the litter box reliably or urinating while sleeping, they could be showing signs of a tumor or infection. Tumors and infections can show up in the form of drooling and excessive lethargy. If this is the case for your pet, it’s important that you take them in for a checkup as soon as possible.


Sick ferrets can be difficult to diagnose and it’s usually left up to the expertise of a veterinarian to determine the type and severity of a pet’s illness. Because ferrets are so small and susceptible to a variety of ailments, it’s important that all owners keep a close eye on their pet’s day-to-day health, paying attention to any changes from their usual behavior or physical appearance. Knowing some of the signs of ferret illness can help to keep your pet healthy and happy.