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Ferret Health FAQ

Check out these answers to frequently asked ferret health questions.

By Jerry Murray, DVM

Frequently asked questions about ferret healthFerrets owners often ask questions about the care of their ferrets. Over the years the questions have remained the same, but some of the answers have changed as a result of research and new information on ferret medicine and surgery. Here is a list of commonly asked health questions and answers.

1. Why is my ferret going bald?
Hair loss is very common in ferrets. Ferrets normally shed their winter coat in the spring and grow their new summer coat. Likewise, they shed their summer coat in the fall and grow their new winter coat. 

Excessive hair loss is also a very common sign of adrenal gland disease. Adrenal gland disease is the most common problem in adult ferrets. In addition to hair loss, ferrets with adrenal gland disease often have other signs, such as an increase in musky odor, itchy skin and return of sexual behavior; they may even become nippy. Female ferrets with adrenal gland disease often have a swollen vulva, and males may have difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate. 

Most ferret-knowledgeable veterinarians can do a physical exam and determine the cause of hair loss.

For the full article, pick up the 2011 issue of Ferrets USA or click here to buy the issue.


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