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A ferret's gums, paws, and feet pads should be a healthy deep pink, if they are pale or whitish it could be a sign of internal bleeding. Get them to the veterinarian.

Check their teeth they should be a nice and white. Check the molars for food build up, or brown which may cause decay. Make this check up part of the routine at your veterinarians office.

Keep their nails trimmed, this will keep them from getting caught in something and doing damage to the toes.

Hmmmm...What do I have here? Many people don't know how to tell a boy from girl, and sometimes will tell you the wrong sex rather then admitting they don't know.

Gently rub you hand over you ferrets belly, do you feel a belly button? Congratulations, you have a boy, no belly button then you have a girl!

Fixed and descented

This is generally done by the breeder long before you take your ferret home. But beware, there's no guarantee that it has been done thoroughly.

If you have a female the first signs of an incomplete spay will be her vulva swelling. This located below her tail and rectum, it is the one closest to her front.

With some females, this is the only symptom they will exhibit, others may suddenly seem a little aggressive towards the others in their group if you have more then one. They may go off on their own and start gathering nesting materials, shirts and other material, separated from their normal sleeping area.

The easiest way to find out if she's going into heat, is to check her weekly, just take a peek nothing more embarrassing then that. If you notice the vulva swelling, starting to look like a small life saver, bulging and getting pink, call the veterinarian. This will be life threatening if left unattended. A female ferret will not go out of heat by herself.

A male can also have an incomplete neuter. This is a little harder to detect, but the two most common signs are aggression and frequent urination.

If you only have one ferret it is hard to recognize, but if you have others you will see him attacking them, trying to mount, trying to drag them off. This sexual behavior play is different then normal rough play, it is much rougher and more persistent.

Bowel Movements

If you know your ferret well, and check the litter box as you clean it, you will know the difference between a normal, brown and formed poop and those that should send a warning. These are poops that are long, thin and stringy, green and slimy, and dark black and tarry. Also make sure the litter is wet from urination.


Ingestion of a foreign object that can not pass through the intestines. If it is a partial blockage you will notice the stringy stools, which look like very thin poops, depending on what can get through.
If it's a total blockage you'll see no bowel movement at all. A ferret with this generally has a tummy ache and doesn't want to be bothered with. They'll sleep a lot and not want to play or if they do, it will be for a very short time. They will not want to eat, and if there is no poops don't force them, it could make the situation worse, just make sure they are drinking water, and get them to the Veterinarian. The life of your ferret may depend on how fast you discover a blockage and how quickly you get professional help.

Urinary Problems

Just about every time you ferret uses the litter box he will also urinate. If you notice him straining or a lack of urine, or possible blood in the urine, this is cause for alarm. If his water intake has suddenly changed and he's drinking more then normal, keep and eye on this situation, it could be a possible adrenal condition developing. Anytime you see blood, a slight pink, get the ferret to the Veterinarian.


Sometimes the fur face gets into the snacks that are left around and will get an upset tummy with diarrhea. Sometimes they have too many snacks from a loving family, who hasn't communicated with each other. The results will be diarrhea. All things can be tried (except chocolate) and given, in my opinion, but only in moderation. Undigested food will come out green, watery, and sometimes slimy. This shows that the taste was great, but nutritionally disagreed with your ferret's digestive tract.

Raisins, a big ferret favorite, will generally come out looking like raisins. If diarrhea persists for more then a 24 hour period and several meals, it could be a sign of ECE, this needs immediate medical attention. During any episode of diarrhea a ferret still needs to eat and take water. If he's not drinking on his own, you'll need to force him.

A good thing to have on hand is pedialtye. In a pinch I use Gatorade, this will keep them hydrated, a ferret can get dehydrated in a very short time and this is dangerous.

To tell if your ferret is dehydrated pinch the skin and if it sticks together or does not bounce back he is dehydrated. Get him to a veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.


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