My ferret has diarrhea – Causes and Treatment of Diarrhea in Ferrets

Q: Mitzie our rescue ferret has diarrhea.What Causes diarrhea in ferrets?

A: It could very well be stress or dehydration – the 2 most common causes of diarrhea in ferrets. Triggers range from too much ferretone, to food allergies (I don’t think this is your case), to mild GI infections, to having a stash of less than savory food tucked away that they snack on.

Other Common Causes of Diarrhea in Ferrets:

  • Stress. Ferrets get diarrhea from stress. As a quick rule of thumb, ferrets tend to behaive like cats and dogs, more than guinea pigs and rabbits, because they are carnivores. Symptoms are much in the same, with a few extra ferrety problems mixed in!
  • may be an intestinal ‘bug’ causing all that damage, my concern would be dehydration since that goes hand in hand with diarrhea. Green mucous and diarrhea is never a good sign.
  • Lower quality food. If they were on a low quality food it will take time to adjust to the higher protein content. Less grains means less fillers, means less to bulk up the stools. So adding in a bit of pumpkin can add some fiber for bulk but is low in sugar so you don’t have the worry of BG spike.  ferrets that eat grain free have less to poop out (which is a good thing). An interesting byproduct of feeding grain free is that their poop never quite is as firm as it was on the crap food.

Here are the steps you should take to treat diarrhea in ferrets:

  1. Stop dehydration from occurring. From what I have learned from many helpful, knowledgable people on the internet and my vet, your first concern is that she doesn’t dehydrate.
  2. Add Pedialite to your ferret’s water for electrolytes. I was told by my vet to add the non-flavored Pedialite to her water.
  3. Measure out the dosage. Add one teaspoon per 8 oz of water. When Rolo, my ferret, was seriously ill back in febuary she had horrible liquid diarhea and I told him I had been giving unflavored pedialyte in the water 50% pedialyte and 50% water.
  4. Add a probiotic supplement to their diet or water. Nature vet makes a good probiotic and enzyme for dogs and cats that has worked like magic for me in the past. Can’t hurt and I have bout 20 customers at the store I work at who would agree.
  5. Finally, call your veterinarian. If the diarrhea persists for more than 36 hours, they really do need to be seen by the vet.
  6. If the vet is concerned about a blockage, make sure if they xray they do a barium contrast otherwise it might not be seen,

If the ferret’s diarrhea is bloody, call your vet ASAP.

I would try pumpkin too it might work and save him all this trauma. Often you can use some pumpkin when your fuzzy is a little runny, 100% pumpkin, or you can use baby squash, with will help firm the stool naturally in mild cases) without the use of medication. I would add some plain canned pumpkin or squash baby food. Maybe 1/2 tsp of the pumpkin, or up to 1 tsp for the baby food (it’s usually less concentrated an diluted).

This will help bulk up the stools and absorb the excess moisture so they don’t become dehydrated.

Signs of Diarrhea in Ferrets

If it’s soft poop, I wouldn’t be overly concerned. If it’s straight liquid poop, I would be concerned about dehydration. Birdseed poop signals that whatever he ate wasn’t digested properly. If it happens once, no big deal, but mulitple poops are something to be concerned about.

Did he get into anything that would make him have abnormal poops? I would also give him the blandest diet possible. Be careful with the Pedialyte and make sure that it’s sugar free. In an emergency, regular pedialyte is ok, but for more than once or twice, it really should be sugar free.

Treatment for Ferret Diarrhea

Ferrets can be given Immodium AD but consult with your vet on doseage if no infection is present and you just want to get them back onthe right track. You could try probiotics too, but they do not have immediate results and build benefit over a time. . .

Childrens Pepto is perfectly safe for Ferrets too as it does not contain the asprin type ingredient.

My vet recommended kaopectate for upset tummies. Flavorless, if you can find it. You may have to make it flavored (with ‘tone or olive oil or something) because it can be fairly chalky tasting. But she said she recommends it over pepto (which I think you can give when worse comes to worse – original, not cherry).

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