Posted: January 5, 2015, 9:25 p.m. EST
© Gina Cioli/I-5 Studio
One or two odd-looking ferret poops usually are not cause for concern, but a veterinarian should be consulted if poop consistently looks odd.
Q: Help! I'm a new ferret owner. I only have one ferret, and my ferret is 2 months old almost 3 months. I went to clean his litter box, and I noticed some of his poop looks normal except it has a slight green tint to it. Then I noticed there's a fresh poop that looks exactly like an egg yolk. When I looked closer, I noticed a tiny red speck the size of a grain of salt. So I took a popsicle stick and sifted through it and noticed on the bottom it had a very slight barely noticeable rusty tint to it. Could it be a blockage, ECE or worse? I feed my ferret a mixture between two ferret-specific kibble food. The other day I gave him a big glob of ferret skin and coat supplement so I could clip his nails. The day before yesterday I tried introducing both fresh raw chicken and fresh cooked chicken without the bone, but he didn't eat the raw and I think he ate some of the cooked chicken. Sometimes he'll try to eat pieces of his kibble that end up in his litter box, which has ferret-specific, paper litter in it. He's still eating perfectly fine and he's alert and active.
A: It sounds like you are doing a great job with your new ferret. And the fact that he is active, alert and eating fine is a good sign that what he may have is a minor problem. But untreated minor problems can become much more serious issues if you do not seek help for your ferret.
One or two abnormal-looking bowel movements may not be a cause to see your veterinarian in an otherwise healthy ferret. But if these abnormal-appearing bowel movements continue, then you do need to find a veterinarian who can help you with your ferret. Bring with you some of the fecal samples. It could be that your ferret has nothing more serious than some internal parasites such as Coccidia, roundworms or even hookworms. These are easily found on examination, usually in the veterinary office, and treatment can quickly resolve these issues.
If it is a more serious problem, such as epizootic catarrhal enteritis (ECE), then this will take a little longer to resolve and a slightly more intensive course of treatment than what is required for parasitic diseases.
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