Ferrets are very active, agile and exploratory by nature and are awake for a maximum of seven or eight hours in a day. They are extremely boisterous and active while they are awake. During their waking hours they are liable to be mischievous and tend to chew up and swallow anything they find like rubber, furniture, cloth and so on. No wonder they are susceptible to indigestion and diarrhea. Ferret diarrhea brings stomach pain, vomiting and fever which can be hard to handle. Here is how to manage it.
Diarrhea is caused due to mal-absorption of content in the intestines, which can occur due to intestinal blockage, food poisoning or some stress that the ferret undergoes.
Moreover, as diarrhea is only a symptom of internal disorder it may also be a manifestation of some gastrointestinal infection which is caused by parasites, virus or bacteria. Diarrhea is the passing of liquid stools frequently. If it is an occasional manifestation, it may well be normal requiring no medical attention. However, if persistent and recurrent it requires the attention of the vet.
You can work out a plan to treat your ferret diarrhea by examining its stools, blood, and conducting radiography, biopsy and/or exploratory surgery. You can treat viral infections by supporting methods such as feeding it by tube or syringe and fluid therapy. If there are any alternative bacterial infections antibiotics may be given.
Some effective antibiotics include amoxicillin, bismuth subsalicylate, chloramphenicol, cimetidine, erythromycin and trimethoprim-sulfa. If symptoms are due to eosinophilic gastroenteritis or proliferative colitis, steroids like metronidazole and prednisone are used supported by anti-inflammatory drugs.
Contaminations that are protozoa are usually treated with sulfadimethoxine and giardia treated with metronidazole. However, if diarrhea is caused due to Cryptosporidium parvum and Lymphosarcoma, there is no available treatment for these. If there are changes in the diet of the ferret or intake of a high protein diet, these can also cause diarrhea. To treat the infection, make changes in the nutrition and diet of your pet.
If it is a case of dehydration, it can also result in the death of the ferret if not immediately hospitalized. To give first aid, feed the ferret with plenty of fresh water to replace the loss of fluids as well as restore its electrolytes.