For the public

Tooth Problems in Ferrets

Ferrets can develop plaque and tartar on their teeth as they age.  As the tartar accumulates, it starts to irritate the gums and eventually progresses to gingivitis (bleeding and irritated gums).  Left untreated, a ferret will develop infections of the mouth and may have bad breath, drooling, and difficulty eating.  Over time, this can lead to painful abscesses and loss of the teeth.

Lymphoma in Ferrets

Lymphoma is a cancer of a kind of white blood cell known as a lymphocyte.  Since white blood cells are part of the immune system, they circulate in the blood to every part of the body and are in particularly high concentrations in the bone marrow and lymph nodes.  Due to the widespread occurence of lymphocytes, lymphoma can occur in every organ of the body.  Frustratingly, lymphoma is one of the more common causes of illness in ferrets.  It is also a very tricky disease to diagnose as it can mimic so many other diseases depending on where in the body it manifests.  Anytime a ferret is ill,

Insulinomas in Ferrets

Older ferrets often develop a condition where they collapse suddenly and act very weak or disoriented.  Many times they may start to grind their teeth or chatter and may develop full blown seizures.  These signs are most commonly caused by low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).  Hypoglycemia if ferrets is typically caused by a tumor called an insulinoma that overproduces the hormone insulin.  Insulinomas are diagnosed in ferrets by blood tests that are performed within a few hours of eating.  In some cases, the ferret has to stay at the hospital a few hours so we can obtain a accurate results to m

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Ferrets

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a very common condition in ferrets.  It often starts out as a few days of soft stool or diarrhea about once a month.  Most people don't think that this is a cause for concern because the diarrhea clears up without treatment and the ferret continues to act healthy.  Over time, the episodes of diarrhea become longer in duration and more frequent.  At this point, the ferret starts to lose weight and may develop a rough dull hair coat.

Flu Virus in Ferrets

Ferrets commonly come down with sneezing and coughing due to a variety of viral diseases such as influenza (also known as "the flu"). Flu viruses can be passed from ferrets to people and people to ferrets so it is important to practice good hygiene when working around a sick ferret (or around a sick human).

Ear Mites in Ferrets

Does your ferret and scratch its ears as if it can't get the itching to stop?  Do you find dark reddish-brown chunky material coming out when it shakes its head?  If you answered yes, chances are your ferret has ear mites.

Diarrhea: Ferrets

Ferrets develop diarrhea from a variety of causes.  Any time your ferret has diarrhea for more than a day, it may signal a serious underlying disorder and we strongly recommend a health consultation.  It is easier to treat diarrhea disorders when they first start than when they have lasted long enough that your ferret has lost weight and energy!

Adrenal Disease Complex in Ferrets

Adrenal disease is one of the most common diseases of ferrets and can occur as early as 18 months old. In adrenal disease, the adrenal glands start to produce excessive sex hormones (both male and female sex hormones). These elevated sex hormones begin to cause problems for ferrets such as hair loss, itchy skin, pot -bellied appearance, loss of muscle tone, and lethargy. Some ferrets are intensely itchy.  Females often develop a swollen vulva.  Males may develop a swollen prostate gland causing difficulty urinating or causing him to have accidents outside the litter box. Female ferrets may develop and enlarged vulva. Some ferrets may show sexual behavior (mounting) or become aggressive. Some ferrets with adrenal disease can develop life-threatening drops in their red blood cells due changes in their bone marrow, and can be incurable if not caught in time. As the disease progresses the abdomen often becomes larger and ferrets become weak in their hind legs s the disease progresses the abdomen often becomes larger and ferrets become weak in their hind legs. If left untreated, adrenal gland disease is a life-shortening and life-threatening disease for ferrets. 

Dental Problems: Chinchillas

Chinchillas have constantly growing teeth (incisors, premolars, and molars). Dental problems are very common in pet chinchillas if they do not get proper diets. A chinchilla should always have available a large amount of high quality timothy hay, such as Oxbow Timothy Hay, which helps wear the teeth and provides enough fiber to promote their gastrointestinal health. If a chinchilla does not get enough timothy grass hay, the teeth may grow in unusual shapes due to a lack of tough material to physically grind the biting surface of the teeth.