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Ferret Repeatedly Develops Boil

What causes a recurring boil on a ferret’s face?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, MS
Posted: April 1, 2012, 5 a.m. EDT

Q: One of our ferrets has developed a boil on the side of his cheek, just below his eye. We have had it drained three times, but it comes right back. What causes a condition like this? Is there a cure for this condition short of surgery? Is it caused by something lacking in diet?

A: Without seeing your ferret, it is impossible to tell you exactly what is going on. An infection in that area of the face that appears to not heal is commonly associated with an abscess of a tooth root. The tooth itself is diseased and infection has grown into the root of the tooth and broken through to the skin. The only way to treat this is to remove the tooth and clean out any infected tissue. This is easily done in ferrets, and they usually recover quickly from this surgery.

This may also be an infected salivary gland or even a cancerous salivary gland.

You have done the easy, safe treatment, but the problem keeps recurring. At this point, I would consider asking your veterinarian to try to determine the cause of this problem so you can cure it and no longer have your ferret affected by this lesion.

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