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Ferret Has Strange-Colored Stool

Is it bad for a ferret to have yellow or red stools?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, DABVP
Posted: October 1, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

Q: My ferret’s stool is sometimes a yellowish mucus color, with maybe even a little reddish brown mixed in. Is this a bad sign? It happens at least every couple of weeks. I thought it was the treats, but I stopped giving them to him and it happened again the other day.

A: Ferrets normally have soft to firm stools. Usually, the color is brown to dark brown, close to black. Different colors may sometimes reflect colorings put into food or treats, but this is not common. More likely, yellow or red in the stools indicate a gastrointestinal problem. Mucus in the stool is a definite sign that this is not normal.

The fact that this happens every couple of weeks tells us that this is a chronic problem. The lack of other medical problems tells us that this may not yet have caused any serious disease to your ferret.

What could be causing these signs you are seeing? It could be something as simple as parasites, a diet that needs to be adjusted or something more complicated like a bacterial or viral infection. Unfortunately, all of these different causes have similar symptoms. The only way to know for certain what is wrong is to visit your veterinarian. The sooner you find this out, the better your chances of helping your ferret.

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