Your ferret throwing up can be a very scary time for any ferret parent. Unlike us and most other animals, puking actually hurts ferrets and is very dangerous. Whether they are throwing up because they are sick or because they have ingested something that is now causing a blockage – ferrets should see a vet if they are throwing up. Because ferret health can take a nose dive so quickly, it’s important to begin treatment at home.
Causes of Ferret Puking
When ferrets throw up, the exact cause is usually unknown. Most ferret puking happens if there is a blockage in their stomach. An old food pellet can become lodged, or even a small fragment of a plastic toy. On the other hand, some ferret puking is because of illness or injury. In those cases, a ferret may throw up several times until the body can correct any problems. No matter the reason for a ferret vomiting, it is unlikely to be resolved on its own without vet intervention.
Do keep in mind that vomiting and a hairball are different. Because ferrets groom themselves, like cats, they may occasionally get a hairball. While unpleasant, hairballs are usually not dangerous to ferrets and do not need to be met with a visit to the vet. Hairballs will be less wet than vomit and they will never be accompanied by food.
What to Do Next
A ferret throwing up is very serious and you need to call your vet to make an appointment as soon as possible. Because exotic pet vets can be difficult to reach during evenings and weekends, you may be put in a position where you need to wait before your sick friend can be seen. In that case, you will need to begin care before you visit the vet. Here are the steps you need to take:
- If you have any other ferrets, they should be separated in case your ferret has an illness.
- In case your ferret has a blockage, you should stop giving them food. If you have dogs, you will be familiar with this step. If they have a blockage, there is no chance any food will make it through, so giving them any food will result in them vomiting even more, which is harmful for them.
- Give your ferret Pedialyte to help restore their lost electrolytes. This step may sound unusual. When we say that vomiting is dangerous to ferrets – we mean it. The actual act of vomiting is dangerous for them because they lose so many vital electrolytes in the process. Unflavored Pedialyte mixed into their water dish (in a 50/50 mixture) will help to keep that danger to a minimum.
- Inspect all toys, bedding, etc, to look for missing chunks. After your other ferrets and your sick ferret are safe, you can begin to look for signs of what could be a blockage. If you find something, you will know what to keep away from your ferrets and it will be very useful for the vet.
What to Do If Your Ferret is Sick
If your ferret is throwing up, don’t panic. They could just be sick. While we all know that stomach bugs and the flu can really stink, they aren’t usually the end of the world. Even though they should still see a vet and it is still dangerous, this is likely the best option you could hope for. If your ferret appears to be sick, they will likely be uninterested in playing or snuggling and will just want to sleep alone in their cage until they are feeling better. Make sure they have access to clean water at all times. Also, do NOT feed them treats. The last thing they’ll need is more calories.
How to Treat a Ferret that is Sick
Emergency ferret care is the best you can do for a sick ferret. You need to go to a vet as soon as you realize your ferret is sick. You will want to avoid making the ferret sicker than necessary by not waiting too long. Symptoms of serious illness include inability to move, lethargy, decreased appetite, increased thirst, and vomiting/vomiting blood. What to do if your ferret has thrown up blood or vomited an unknown object? If your ferret is sick and has vomited an unknown object, you need to seek medical treatment for your ferret. This may require a call to a veterinarian or emergency veterinary hospital. It is important to keep your ferret safe by not introducing substances into the ferret’s system that will make your ferret sicker.
How to Treat a Ferret with a Blockage
Your ferret is experiencing digestive distress. This is because they may have eaten something harmful or inhaled something that is now affecting them. Start by removing anything from the cage that they could have chewed so they cannot hurt themselves any further. After you speak with a vet, they may want you to try to get the ferret to pass the blockage. You can do this by feeding your ferret a can of mashed pumpkin (the kind you make pumpkin pie with). If he can not pass the blockage on his own, your ferret may need surgery to remove the issue. It is important to keep your ferret under a watchful eye until you and your vet are sure the blockage is gone.
A ferret vomiting can be a scary experience. Whether it is caused by a blockage or an illness, throwing up is a dangerous act for a ferret. Make sure to keep them properly hydrated and under a watchful eye until you can make a visit to the vet. Ferrets should be separated while they are sick and anything that could have been chewed should be removed from their area in order to keep them safe.