My Ferret Is Dying – Common Causes of Death in Ferrets

Q: Why is my ferret dying? What are some common causes of death in ferrets?

Caucasian-Female-Boss-iconAnswer: Ferrets die from hidden heart, liver, kidney defects. Or perhaps he choked on some food. Ferrets die from just about anything. Their bodies are so little that they are able to go downhill in just an hour.

Common Causes of Death in Ferrets Include:

  • Renal Failure (Kidney Failure).
  • Insulinoma.
  • Adrenal Infection. (The vet may be able help with a lupron injection or a Suprelorin implant.  These treatments help ferrets with adrenal infection to live very long good lives)
  • A number of types of cancers and tumors.
  • Blood sugar problems.

If you notice her acting different, take her to the vet. Older ferrets (4-6) are subject to numerous aliments due to poor breeding at ferret farms like Marshalls.

If your ferret is still alive, get her to a veterinarian. Occasionally ferrets that are old are better off being put to sleep compared to attempting to keep them alive.

Our local shelter puts ill ferrets to sleep because its way more humane when compared to pumping them full of chemicals, and also implants, only to have them passing on anyway.

Better to be safe than sorry, or allow your own ferret to suffer. Provided the vet recommends euthanasia I would say follow their advice. It sounds horrible, though I have euthanized two of my pets (cat and also dog) at older ages due to strokes, seizures, failing kidneys and what not. It’s the one thing we can do as humans to help their passing to be as peaceful and gentle as possible.

We’re going through this debate now with a family member that can’t imagine euthanizing their pet who is  extremely old and having seizures. They really don’t want her to “die without dignity”, though often times its the only thing one may do as an owner to help. .

Ferret Death Sleep

Are you 100% certain he’s lifeless? Ferrets do a thing called the dead ferret sleep, when they sleep really heavy and take forever to wake up. Their breathing can also be shallow.

Yell their name, shaking them, scratching them roughly- anything! Chances are it isn’t good to shake your ferret and yell at them, but if they’re alive and not dead, it’s way better than burying them alive. . . If you’re certain he’s dead, then I Am so sorry for your loss!

Old Ferrets – When Should I Put my Ferret to Sleep?

Not to scare you, but remember ferrets are considered old at the age of 4-5 years. Some live to be to 11 (my boyfriends family’s only ferret) and some really don’t make it past 7. It’s sad but true. We’ve consciously made the decision to do this if our oldest girl gets really bad, we will make the decision to let her pass away peacefully.

How Do Vets Put Ferrets to Sleep?

They take them in the back, find a vein, put in a catheter and bring them back to administer the medication which will peacefully end their existence..  I choose not to remain there because it is quicker and also faster for my precious animals to endure.  They are taken to the back, given a small amount of gas to place them in a sleep. And AFTER THAT are given a heart stick which they CAN’T feel really.

Finding a vein, putting in a butterfly suture, and taping it to their leg is generally painless for them.  It’s more stressful to the owners, is why this procedure is usually done in the back. I know all about this, since I had to put down 8 ferrets this year.  It was an exceptionally tough year. I lost a ferret just last night.

If I can, I take them to the emergency veterinarian.  I call, ask if they are busy.  If they are not, I tell them what I need and that I do not need at a vet visit, and usually just ask for the euthanasia.  If I take my baby home with me for burial, it costs $30.00.  The office typically charges about $100 for cremation.  That is for the office visit and the euthanasia.. This stuff is tough to think about, but each pet owner should at least ponder these things WELL BEFORE the time comes, as it will probably come, usually sooner than we had hoped.

Replacement Ferrets

My ferret Rosie was my first ferret. I Actually adopted an older ferret a year later. He lived about 1/2 a year right before he passed away. I encountered Rosie curled around his body once I uncovered Musky dead. I had her for around 1/2 a year hoping she might adapt to being alone however she didn’t so I got a newborn kit, Jupiter.

Rosie and Jupiter are a great match and Rosie seems such a lot happier. I would get a new ferret if I were you. Make it a point to bring your ferret in a pet taxi or pet coop to meet new ones right at the pet store or shelter.

Assuming the ferret dies before the 1 year guarantee of health issues you didn’t cause, and you have fed them food for that year, then they will replace the ferret. You just bring the dead ferret to the pet store with the lable of your most recent of Marshall kibble, they take the lifeless one, and let you pick a brand new one.

The deceased one will be shipped to Marshalls for testing and subsequently it will probably be thrown away. It’s a terrible guarantee as your old baby’s body is messed with after death, then brought to the local dump.

Marshall’s won’t swap the ferret if it didn’t die of a typical illness that the ferret’s cause of death was genetic. So, if the ferret died of distemper or even ADV it will likely not be replaced, as the ferret could not have come to you  with that illness.

My first Marshall ferret died 7 months just after I got her, and it was from a illness she came with. I Actually didn’t return her as I wanted her body and I took her off of their food when I possibly could. . .

Ferrets from Marshall’s aren’t as healthy as a breeder ferret happens to be. They are smaller, and usually become ill earlier when compared with a breeder. Needless to say, you can find some Marshall ferrets that have lived to be 12, although most die earlier – heck, my first died at 9 months old!

You will find some breeder ferrets that die as young babies, it all depends on the individual ferret. In all likelihood, however, you’re not going to get a high-caliber ferret from Marshall’s ferret farms. They don’t care about you getting a healthy ferret, they care about their own profit.

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