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Ferret Poop Concerns

Is it cause for concern if a ferret has jellylike poop?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, DABVP
Posted: August 1, 2010, 5 a.m. PDT

Q: My ferret’s poop is kinda jellyish and holds together well, so if I grab one end I can pick it up and it stays together in a strand and jiggles. Is this normal?

A: Normal ferret poop should be firm and dark. What you are describing is neither firm nor dark. That is not normal.

Based on your description of the feces, it is likely that some of the nutrients your ferret is ingesting are not being absorbed or digested properly. This can be due to the type of food being eaten, a disruption of the normal cell lining of the gastrointestinal tract or a lack of the proper enzymes in that same tract.

Despite how bad all of that may sound, a ferret can look very normal despite having intestinal problems. In the case of your ferret, first make sure you are feeding a food designed especially for ferrets and your ferret does not receive inappropriate treats. If you are satisfied that the diet is appropriate, then the next step is a visit to your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian will do a physical examination and then likely recommend a variety of tests to determine why your ferret is not absorbing its nutrients properly.

If this condition persists, your ferret may start losing weight and begin to look unthrifty. The best thing is to find out the cause of this problem now rather than waiting until your ferret is showing signs of illness.

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