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Nasally Sounding Ferrets And Mold

What is causing ferrets to sound nasally if they’re not responding to allergy medication?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, MS
Posted: March 1, 2012, 5 a.m. EST

Q: Do ferrets get allergies or respiratory illnesses? My ferrets seem to have gotten a nasal sound. They do not sound congested, and nothing has changed in their behavior except this nasal sound. They eat, they drink and play, and have no other conditions. Any idea what the nasal sound could be from? I took them to the veterinarian and was told to give Benadryl. I live in a log home, and we recently had a roof replaced and it has been leaking, not inside the house — just on the front porch. They can’t seem to find where it is leaking from, yet it still bothers me about a mold issue. It is difficult to tell in a log home if there is a mold problem. We are looking for someone to check to see if we have a mold issue. What do you think is making my ferrets sound nasally?

A: Your veterinarian prescribed an effective medication for ferrets if allergies or an environmental hypersensitivity were present in your ferrets. It sounds like Benadryl did not help, so the next step is to talk to your veterinarian again.

It may be that your veterinarian started with a low dose of medication to see how your ferrets would react. Potentially, the medication is still helpful but only at a higher dose or more frequent dosing.

If the medication was given at full strength and it did not help your ferrets, then possibly another type of anti-allergy medication is necessary or, more likely, this is not an allergy but potentially an infection, as you suspect.

If the nasal sound is from an infection, then your veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic or anti-fungal to treat this condition. Other things your veterinarian might do include skull radiographs, chest radiographs and cultures of your ferret’s sinus and nasal cavity.

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