Posted: April 30, 2010, 5 a.m. EDT
Causes of a blisterlike growth on a ferret's toe could be a skin tumor, an infection or a foreign object.
Q: My ferret Max has an appointment Monday with an exotic vet for a red, blood-blister-looking thing between his toes. He plays and jumps. What is this? What can be done for it?
A: Thank you for sending along that photo. That helps me a lot in trying to help you.
Judging by the photo alone, it is likely that your ferret Max has a benign skin tumor between his toes. Benign skin tumors are common in ferrets.
Even though such tumors are benign, they can become very large. As the tumor grows in size, it can become annoying to your ferret, and your ferret may bite or scratch at this mass causing bleeding, irritation and even a secondary infection. Because such tumors are benign, they will not spread to other areas of the body, but they do need to be removed to make your ferret comfortable.
Other causes for something that looks like your picture could be an infection or even a foreign object stuck between the toes, which has led to a great amount of inflammation.
To best help your ferret, once you have your veterinarian remove the mass, ask him or her to send that tissue to a veterinary pathologist to know exactly what it is. In the very unlikely chance this is malignant, you need to know this and take precautions to prevent the spread of this mass to other areas of the body.
See all Ask The Doc questions and answers»