​​​Broward Ferret Rescue & Referral


Note: Consult with your vet if your ferret is acting unusual! While you are "the first line of defense" for your pet's health, a trained professional can help ascertain what the combination of symptoms may mean. A vet, not your spouse, best friend, other ferret owner, or the local shelter, is the BEST QUALIFIED person to advise you if your animal needs immediate veterinary attention. Please be advised this listing is by no means exhaustive!


Bulging or swollen eyes------------------ Glaucoma      

Runny or watery eyes--------------------- Allergy, cold      

Pus ---------------------------------------------- Conjunctivitis      

Brown crusting------------------------------ Distemper      

White spot or "disk" in eye/s ----------- Cataract      

Blindness ------------------------------------- Cataract


Pale gums------------------------------------ Anemia, low blood pressure      

Red, sore or bleeding gums----------- Tarter buildup; gingivitis      

Bluish gray gums-------------------------- Lack of Oxygen      

Blackened teeth --------------------------- Dead tooth      

Dark or stained teeth --------------------Age, tetracycline as kit      

Rash on chin and lips-------------------- Distemper      

Drooling-------------------------------------- Insulinoma, seizure; poison     

Clenched teeth ----------------------------Insulinoma, seizure      

Scratching at mouth--------------------- Broken tooth, nausea      

Vomiting ------------------------------------ Foreign body, ulcers, ECE; hairballs; poison      

Vomiting blood ----------------------------Internal hemorrhage      

Panting--------------------------------------- Heat stroke; severe pain; insulinoma seizure 


Sore on Nose ------------------------------ Infection      

Runny nose, sneezing -------------------Runny nose, sneezing      

Short, broken whiskers------------------Poor nutrition, ill health      

Dark pink or red ---------------------------Insulinoma, seizure

Bright red ------------------------------------Hypothermia (heat stroke) 


Black inside--------------------------------- Excessive dirt      

Black inside, itching ----------------------Mites      

Yellow -----------------------------------------Hepatitis     

Bad smell ------------------------------------Excessive dirt; yeast-type infection      

Growth --------------------------------------- Tumor; infected bite      

Loss of hair on ears ----------------------Another ferret chewing on them      

Deafness ------------------------------------Congenital, Wardenburg's Syndrome (panda                                  pattern); infection 


"Splayed" feet----------------------------- Housed on wire      

Hair loss------------------------------------- Age, adrenal disease      

Dry pads ------------------------------------Clay litter      

Dark pink pads---------------------------- Insulinoma, seizure      

Bright red pads--------------------------- Hyperthermia (heat stroke)      

Rough, thickened pads -----------------Distemper      

Roughened, scratched pads ----------Lost outside for significant period; housed outdoors/dirt/cement      

Long quick ----------------------------------Not regularly clipped     

Nail torn out -------------------------------Caught on bedding; on cage wire      

Curled toes ---------------------------------Age, weak hindquarters Legs       

Limping ------------------------------------- Stepped on      

Staggering --------------------------------- Insulinoma; stroke; ear infection      

Stiffness ------------------------------------ Arthritis; age; over-caged      

Weakness in hindquarters------------Age; arthritis; low blood sugar; general illness 


Kinked--------------------------------------- Previously broken; birth defect      

Lump at end ------------------------------Chondromas      

Black spots-------------------------------- Blackheads      

Hair loss ------------------------------------Blackheads; age; adrenal disease 

Fur & Skin        

Dry -------------------------------------------Sleeping in litter; poor nutrition; age; general illness      

Black spots --------------------------------Flea dirt      

Fur falling out -----------------------------Seasonal coat change; poor nutrition; stress; flea allergy      

Guard hair sparse -----------------------Regrowth of coat      

Thinning ------------------------------------Age; unnatural light cycle; adrenal disease; in heat or rut      

Pattern Loss: base of tail, side ------Adrenal disease                           

Along side back --------------------------Adrenal disease                               

"Graying" ----------------------------------Natural silvering pattern; age     

Flaking skin -------------------------------Flea dermatitis; poor nutrition; allergies; over-shampooing      

Yellowed -----------------------------------Hepatitis      

Reddened, rough skin---------------- Allergies; fleas; sunburn; bites from others      

"Pinched" skin stays pinched -------Dehydration      

Wart-like growths -----------------------Skin tumors      

Dark brown or black "moles" --------Ticks     

"Puffy," inflamed areas ---------------Abscess      

Sore slow to heal -----------------------Diabetes; adrenal disease; cancer 


Coughing ---------------------------------Cold, heart disease; lymphosarcoma      

Wheezing ---------------------------------Allergy; heart disease; pneumonia 

Rapid breathing ------------------------Heat stroke; pain      

Difficult breathing ----------------------Heart disease; pneumonia; lymphosarcoma; heartworm Stomach/Spleen        

Stomach distension -------------------Intestinal blockage; heart disease; poison; internal tumor      "Lopsided" abdomen ------------------Enlarged spleen      

Hardened area along abdomen ----Enlarged spleen      

Anorexia ------------------------------------Stomach or mouth ulcers; ECE 


Male "dribbling" or crying Urinary--------- tract blockage; bladder stones; kidney infection; adrenal disease      

"Sand" in urine----------------------------------- Bladder stones      

Heavy urination &/or excessive thirst---- Diabetes; kidney infection      

Inability to urinate -------------------------------Kidney failure; blockage      

Inability to defecate ----------------------------Internal blockage      

Diarrhea --------------------------------------------Dairy products; food allergies; stress; coccidia; camphobacter     

Green diarrhea ----------------------------------Upset stomach; stress; ECE      

Dark, tarry stool ---------------------------------Too many raisins; bleeding      

Blood in stool-------------------------------------Internal hemorrhage, cancer      

Fabric or odd objects in stool-------------- Eating fabric or toys     

Frequent, small stool -------------------------Poor rectal muscles     

Protrusion from anus-------------------------Rectal prolapse      

Draining area near anus --------------------Anal gland impaction 

Reproductive Organs 

Bleeding penis ---------------------------------Caught on something      

Growth on penis -------------------------------Tumor "Dragging" penis across things Territorial marking; adrenal disease      

Swollen vulva -----------------------------------In heat; leftover ovarian tissue; adrenal disease      

Pus or discharge from vulva --------------Infection; adrenal disease 

Overall Body        

Temperature over 103-------------------------Fever      

Temperature under 95 ------------------------Hypothermia; serious illness     

Severe anemia -----------------------------------Lengthy heat cycle; internal tumor; severely enlarged spleen      

Limp upon awakening ------------------------Baby sleep; low blood sugar; insulinoma      

Comatose -----------------------------------------Insulinoma; stroke      

Uncontrollable shivers/tremors ----------Shock; poison      

Convulsions --------------------------------------Insulinoma seizure; epilepsy; poison; shock     

Wasting --------------------------------------------Cancer; age; internal blockage; internal parasite      

Enlarged lymph nodes -----------------------Infection; cold/flu; lymphosarcoma     

Blood sugar level under 80 ----------------Anorexia; insulinoma 


Fainting -------------------------------------------Insulinoma      

Lethargy ------------------------------------------Anemia; low glucose; age; heart disease; illness      

"Listing " to one side -------------------------Ear infection; mites; stroke      

Walking in circles ------------------------------Stroke     

Excessive grooming --------------------------Stress; adrenal disease     

Biting when startled -------------------------Blind; deaf      

Biting other ferrets ---------------------------Blind; dominance issues 

Hopping & leaping —————————————PLAYING!