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What Are The Signs Of Intestinal Blockage In A Ferret?

How can you tell if a ferret is suffering from intestinal blockage?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, DABVP
Posted: October 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT

Q: My son’s ferret ate some of a Styrofoam cup, and we are afraid of intestinal blockage. What are the signs of a problem? How do we know if the ferret is in trouble or not?

A: When ferrets have a gastrointestinal blockage, they usually do not want to eat. They do not defecate. They are lethargic. They look like they have a stomachache. Ferrets with a blockage rarely vomit, as dogs and cats will do.

It is likely the Styrofoam will pass without any problem. But if you are concerned, a quick trip to the veterinarian will answer your question. Your veterinarian may palpate the abdomen and maybe even take radiographs that will give you an answer and, hopefully, peace of mind that everything is fine with your ferret.

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Reader Comments
I am going thru something similar with my ferret. I know it's a blockage but the vet says no. He x-rayed and saw lots of trapped gas. Could I ask what vet you went to that found the blockage?
Laurel, Franklin, PA
Posted: 1/4/2010 2:20:09 AM
My ferret recently had a intestinal blockage and he ate and deficated. The only signs were he was thin and lathargic. I took him to one vet and he said that the ferret did not have a blockage. I took him to another vet and in less than ten seconds of him feeling his abdomine he said there was a blockage. He operated and Brutis has been in good health since.
Rob, Pittsburgh, PA
Posted: 11/12/2009 11:02:00 AM
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