During the daily run, you have plenty of time to watch your little darlings. This way you get to know them well and you’ll notice immediately if their appearance or behavior changes. Diseases can be detected quickly.
A healthy ferret is a real whirlwind. It jumps and climbs throughout its cage and your home throughout the day, stopping only to take a nap or satisfy its hunger. Immediately afterward it will put away your cleaning rag again, pull the covers off the table and hide in your bed. You may not have any nerves then, but you can be sure: your ferret will be fine. As long as it’s alert, roaming its territory with bright eyes and shiny fur, and eating with a great appetite, it’s healthy and happy.
Of course, every ferret can get sick, even if it is kept and fed appropriately. However, if you keep a close eye on them, you will quickly notice any changes, and you can take your little housemate to the vet in good time should the worst happen.
Clear eyes and a shiny coat
Take a few minutes every day to watch your little rascals closely. If your animal is tame, you can pick it up for a quick health check so you can take a better look at it. Pay special attention to the eyes and ears. A healthy ferret has clear eyes. They don’t weep, and the fur around their eyes isn’t stuck together. The ears are clean. If crumbly, dark earwax builds up, it can be a sign of ear mites.
The animal’s whiskers are long and soft, and the entire coat is well-groomed. It’s shiny and not sticky. Bald, dull and completely bare patches of fur are usually a sign of illness. Also, take a look at the anus of the animal. If it is smeared with feces, the animal may suffer from diarrhea. Also, check the ferret’s droppings regularly when cleaning the cage. If it has an unusual color or consistency, this can also indicate diseases. As an extra precaution, weigh your pet regularly. Strong weight fluctuations are often a warning signal. Not every change in the ferret necessarily means that it is sick. Sometimes it just lost a tuft of hair while fighting, or unfamiliar food led to diarrhea for a short time. However, if in doubt, you should always consult the veterinarian.
From the funny whirlwind to the sleepy bore
Ferrets suffer silently and are usually good at hiding their illnesses. Most of the time it won’t let you know by squeaking or whimpering that something is wrong. However, if you carefully observe your ferret’s behavior, it will give you information about its health. A healthy ferret is alert and eats with a good appetite. If your ferret withdraws into the roost more often than usual and distances itself from its peers, this is usually not a good sign. If it even sits apathetically in a corner of its cage without reacting to its surroundings, you should try to get to the bottom of the cause and consult a vet as soon as possible.
The condition of your loved ones can also be seen from their facial expressions. Flattened ears and a frown can be signs of pain. If the animal has less appetite or even eats nothing at all, this indicates an illness. Ferrets have very short intestines and actually need to eat every three hours. If you have no way of observing when and how often your pet eats, you can check whether the ferret has lost or gained weight by weighing it.