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Diseases Most Common In Ferrets


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Understanding Ferret Adrenal Disease, Insulinoma, and Lymphoma

Ferrets are susceptible to a variety of diseases throughout their lives. However, three common illnesses afflict a large majority of ferret families. Unfortunately, many individual ferrets develop more than one or even all three of these diseases.

Three common ferret illnesses
The three most common ferret diseases are:

  • Adrenal disease (adrenal gland tumor)
  • Insulinoma (cancer of the pancreas)
  • Lymphoma (cancer of the white blood cells)

How well a ferret does after being diagnosed with one of these illnesses depends, in part, on your ability to identify symptoms and consult your veterinarian for treatment options. There are no proven methods to cure these diseases.

healthy tips for your ferret
It is thought that ferrets must get at least eight hours of complete darkness each night and that interrupting this photo cycle may contribute to illnesses, such as Adrenal disease. Some simple ways to help keep things darker for your ferret include:

Knowing how to identify each common ferret illness can help prolong your ferret's life significantly, if not save it. If you have not yet familiarized yourself with these three diseases, read up on them in our article section. If you think your ferret may have one of these diseases, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Also, there are indications that altering your ferret may help prevent certain illnesses. As such, be sure to neuter or spay your ferret around 6 months of age. It is vital that you spay your female ferret before her first heat since a ferret in estrus for over three to four weeks can develop a severe, life-threatening anemia.

In addition, diets high in sugar are not suitable for ferrets. In fact, improper diets may contribute to and will exacerbate many medical conditions, such as Insulinoma. Ensure your ferret gets treats that are low in sugar, such as Chicken or Bacon Bandits, in addition to a suitable diet.

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Ferret N-Bone Chew Treats
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