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Contagious Hair Loss Among Ferrets

Why would a group of four ferrets suddenly begin losing fur on their tails?

Karen Rosenthal, DVM, MS
Posted: July 23, 2014, 4 a.m. EDT

many ferrets in exercise pen
© Courtesy Jennifer Roda
It's possible for ferrets to pass ectoparasites among each other, so if fleas or mites are a concern, consult a veterinarian.

Q: I have four ferrets and one was losing the hair on its tail. Now three of the four are losing all the hair on their tail. What could be causing this?

A: There are a number of things this can be, and the best way to know is to visit your veterinarian. It could be that all of your ferrets have developed adrenal gland disease, which is certainly possible given how common this disease can be. The first sign of adrenal gland disease can be hair loss on the tail that starts to move up to the rear and flanks of the ferret.

Other possibilities are ectoparasites, as ferrets can share these amongst each other. Ectoparasites include mites and fleas. These are not difficult to treat but you need the assistance of a veterinarian to prescribe the correct and safest medication and to discuss possible treatment of the environment.

If there are irritants in the environment such as can be found in cleaning solutions, these can also cause a reaction in a ferret for hair to be lost. Again, a discussion with your veterinarian about the use of products in the house will be extremely helpful in determining the cause of the hair loss. 

Like this article? Please share it, and check out:
One Ferret Health Issue You Can't Ignore Is Hair Loss, click here>>
Flea Control For Ferrets, click here>>

See all veterinary Q&A about ferrets, click here>>
See all ferret health articles, click here>>
See veterinary Q&A for all small animal pets, click here>>

Posted: July 23, 2014, 4 a.m. EDT

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