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Ferret Back Legs Not Working: 7 Reasons Why Ferret Dragging Back Legs

Undoubtedly, ferrets are wonderful pet companions for many people & families. However, you get very worried when you notice your ferret’s back legs are not working. Besides that, sometimes ferrets also drag their back legs due to underlying issues that we will discuss in this article.

Therefore, if you are keen on learning ‘why my ferret is dragging its back legs’ and what you can do about your ‘ferret’s back legs not working,’ go through this article thoroughly. We will discuss seven causes of ferret back legs not working and what you can do about it.

Indeed, the ferret dragging back legs is very concerning for all responsible owners. Here, you will learn the reasons behind this problem and what other issues can worsen this problem. So, without wasting time, let’s know why my ferret’s back legs are not working.


Ferret Back Legs Not Working: 7 Reasons Why Ferret Dragging Back Legs


Adrenal Disease


The first and most common reason behind ferret back legs not working could be adrenal diseases. If your ferret suffers from adrenal disease, it can be very itchy. According to the Billings Animal Family Hospital, if you have a female ferret, she is likely to have a swollen vulva.

In contrast, a male will have trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate. On the other hand, if your ferrets are already neutered, they might begin showing sexual behavior in case of adrenal disease. Adrenal disease is a common condition in ferrets that may cause symptoms, including hind leg weakness.

Also, you might notice both genders of a ferret having thickened skin or a musky odor. In severe cases, it turns into hind leg weakness or lethargy. According to the VCA hospital, if your ferret is in the initial stage of adrenal gland disease, the most common sign you are likely to notice is hair loss on the top of their pelvis or flanks, with or without pruritus.

When ferrets suffer from this disease, their brain releases a hormone from the hypothalamus, called ‘gonadotropins releasing hormone’ in large amounts, often due to increased daylight. This further stimulates the luteinizing hormone & follicle-stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland.

The exact reason is still unknown if you are wondering what may cause this issue. If your ferret suffers from adrenal disease, you should get it diagnosed at the nearest veterinarian. For proper diagnosis, your veterinarian is likely to recommend the following:


  • Signalment
  • Physical Exam 
  • Urinalysis
  • Radiography
  • Ultrasound. 


According to Long Beach Animal Hospital, surgical treatment or intervention may be required if your ferret is sick. The medical treatment that your veterinarian may recommend includes:


  • Deslorelin
  • Lupron
  • Mitotane/Melatonin
  • Casodex
  • Arimidex


Ferret dragging back legs is a serious situation that must be administered, diagnosed, and treated by a professional veterinarian. Therefore, ensure yodo not give your pet any medicationet before consulting a veterinarian.




According to the VIN, ataxia is also frequently used for ferrets with a decreased ability to use their Hind legs. If your ferret is dragging its hind legs, it may suffer from ataxia, which is related to sensory dysfunction. It usually affects the neurological & motor systems of your ferret.

If your pet cannot use its back legs or drag the bottom, ataxia can be the culprit. Besides the hind legs not working or weakened hind legs, ataxia can also have other symptoms. According to the petMD, if your ferret is exhibiting the following signs, it is likely to be suffering from ataxia:


  • Head Tilting 
  • Stumbling 
  • Tipping Over 
  • Swaying 
  • Abnormal Eye Movement


The treatment options typically depend on the underlying cause of ataxia or lack of coordination in ferrets. However, the ataxia treatment involves inpatient care. Other treatments can also range from therapy to prescription medication. Your veterinarian may also recommend some exercise that helps strengthen the ferret’s hind legs, especially where the spinal cord is involved. Some of the causes that result in ataxia in ferrets include:


  1. Brain or Spinal Injuries 
  2. Infection 
  3. Disturbance In Blood Pressure 
  4. Ingestion Of Toxins 
  5. Heat Stroke 
  6. Blood Loss 
  7. Disturbance In Blood Pressure 
  8. Poor Diet or Nutrition 
  9. Parasite Infestations


Posterior Paresis


Another condition that can cause generalized leg weakness in ferrets is posterior paresis. If your ferret suffers from posterior paresis, it may also lose the normal arch in its back. The chances of recovery come from latent conditions or diseases. However, a veterinarian may be able to treat it quickly, depending on the severity of the condition and your pet’s health status.

According to the Veterinary, the treatment of posterior paresis is specifically tailored to the diagnosis. Your Veterinary, however, is likely to follow the standard treatment regimen frequently used for dogs & cats. Talking about the treatment, petMD suggests that your veterinarian may follow the necessary inpatient treatment.

However, your pet’s activity is likely to be restricted until all the symptoms of posterior paresis are ruled out as causes. If your ferret’s back legs are not working, they must be moved away from soil bedding and turned from side to side at least 6-8 times daily. Depending on paresis, your veterinarian may recommend evaluating patient bladers 3 to 4 times a day to keep them functioning properly & regularly.


Broken Bone


When you find your ferret dragging back legs, it may also indicate a broken bone. You should know that long bone fractures are among the most common syndromes affecting ferret patients suffering from weakness in hind legs or not working. This usually happens when your ferret falls from an elevated surface.

Not only will your ferret drag its back legs, but it may also exhibit other symptoms if it suffers from a broken bone, depending upon the severity of the breaks. Some of the most common symptoms that you are likely to notice if there is any broken bone causing ferret back legs not to work are as follows:


  • Stiffness In The Back Legs, Pain or 
  • Tenderness In The Back Legs 
  • Numbness Or Tingling In The Back Legs 
  • Muscle Weakness In The Back Legs 
  • Difficulty Working Or Running


All these symptoms may seem similar to one another, but each of them exhibits different meanings. However, if all of these or a couple of the symptoms are accompanied, there is a broken bone. Your veterinarian will do a physical or neurological examination to diagnose the proper location of the fracture or broken bone.

Radiography may also be required. The only treatment option for a broken bone is surgical repair, with the progress typically depending on the location & type of fracture. If you are wondering what caused your ferrets to break bones, here are the following reasons.


  • Trauma From Falling 
  • Stepped on By Someone 
  • Caught in a Furnishing Outdoor


Insulin Tumour


According to Avian And Exotic Animal Care, insulin tumor is a common condition that usually affects middle to older ferrets. When these tumors inhibit your ferret pancreas, it further increases insulin secretion, leading to severely low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia. Insulin tumors are frequently found in ferrets that drag their back legs. According to the Pet Care Veterinary Hospital, the following are the possible ferret treatment options.


  • Surgery 
  • Medical Therapy 
  • Dietary Modification 
  • Chemotherapy
  • Steroids like Prednisolone.


According to the Long Beach Animal Hospital, insulinoma is a malignant tumor that affects & decreases your pet’s life span while compromising its quality of life. This is a very serious condition that may require medical or surgical treatment by professionals. So, don’t be late with the veterinary consultation for your ferret’s well-being.


Vitamin E Or B12 Deficiency


Another reason your ferret’s dragging back legs or ferret back legs are not working could be Vitamin E or Vitamin B12 deficiency. Both deficiencies are known to cause weakness in the back legs of ferrets. As you know, vitamin E is very important for maintaining the health of nerves & muscles, whereas vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in producing red blood cells in ferrets. Not only will your ferret’s back legs stop working or dragging, but also your pet may exhibit other symptoms of vitamin deficiency. In case of vitamin E deficiency, your ferret is likely to exhibit the following symptoms:


  1. Loss Of Appetite 
  2. Weight Loss 
  3. Diarrhea 
  4. Vomiting 
  5. Seizures 
  6. Difficulty Walking 
  7. Numbness or Tingling in The Limbs


In the case of Vitamin D deficiency, on the other hand, your ferret is likely to exhibit signs like:



  1. lethargy 
  2. Weight Loss 
  3. irritability 
  4. Difficulty Walking 
  5. Tingling In The Limbs


In case of any vitamin deficiency, a veterinarian will likely prescribe some supplements that can improve your ferret’s condition and get it back to its normal state of walking, running, & playing around.


Old Age


As your pet ages, ferret muscles & nerves in its hind limbs start to degenerate & weaken over time, leading to weakness, paralysis, or even death. According to the National Institute of Health, older ferrets will likely develop paralysis on their hind limbs, and the symptoms will likely develop within a few days.

In older ferrets, degenerative myelopathy develops and affects the spinal cord of our beloved pet. On the other hand, hypoglycemia and diabetes also make our old ferrets suffer a lot. If your ferret is very old and suffering a lot due to dragging back legs or backless not working your veterinarian may recommend euthanasia for immediate relief. Depending on the severity of the aged ferret, the veterinarian is likely to recommend a couple of treatment options, along with euthanasia, 




I hope now you have all the ideas around why your ferret’s hind legs are not working or why your ferret is dragging hind limbs. No matter what the culprit is, it is important that you first get your pet checked at the nearest veterinarian clinic for proper diagnosis and to learn the best course of action.

This guide is only for educational purposes and doesn’t recommend diagnosing or treating any condition of your ferret on your own without the guidance of a veterinarian. I hope this article helps you identify the issue with your ferret’s hind limbs and what you need to do about it. If you find this article helpful, then consider sharing it. To stay updated with ferret care & management, they should check my other helpful guides on this website. See you in the next post, till then, take care & goodbye.