Posted: May 1, 2011, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: My ferret, Cupcake, is 6 1/2 years old. She has adrenal gland disease and is under treatment, but she is always scratching herself. Is there anything I can do to lessen the itchiness for her?
A: Pruritus or itchiness is a hallmark of the adrenal gland disease we see in ferrets. It is one of the most difficult aspects of adrenal gland disease to treat. There are no known topical products like powders or shampoos that stop the itchiness.
The only way to stop your ferret’s itchiness and minimize scratching is to aggressively treat the adrenal gland disease. If you are using treatment and your ferret is still itching, the treatment is not totally successful.
Discuss this with your veterinarian. It may be that another medication needs to be tried or what you are using needs to be given more frequently or at a higher dose. Of course, surgery should also be considered if your ferret is healthy enough to go through a surgical procedure.
Finally, ferrets normally scratch more than most pets. It may be that this is normal ferret scratching and not the increased itchiness caused by adrenal gland disease.
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