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Ferret Sneezing A Lot: 5 Causes, Signs, & Treatment Options

We get very worried when we find our beloved pet suffering from discomfort. One such occurrence tends to be ferret sneezing a lot. If you are wondering, ‘Why is my ferret sneezing a lot?’, this article is for you. In this article, you will learn about five reasons why ferret sneezes a lot, along with the symptoms & treatment options.

Undoubtedly, ferret sneezing a lot is a worrisome signal for many owners, which requires some attention & sometimes veterinary/hospice care. However, if your ferret is freezing occasionally, there is nothing to worry about. But, if you are keen on learning why ferret is sneezing a lot, here is what you need to know.

 

Ferret Sneezing A Lot: 5 Causes, Signs, & Treatment Options 

 

Upper Respiratory Infection (Like Influenza)

 

If your ferret sneezes a lot, it might suffer from upper respiratory disease. 

 

Causes

 

According to the National Institute of Health, ferrets suffer from canine distemper & influenza-like respiratory disease. Other than this, bacterial pneumonia can also happen, but it is uncommon in ferrets. If your ferret suffers from bacterial pneumonia, it is also likely to develop secondary to viral pneumonia. Also, you should note that researchers have recorded a few other respiratory diseases causing ferrets to sneeze a lot, like

 

  • Cryptococcosis
  • Blastomycosis 
  • Coccidioidomycosis

 

The above diseases are pretty rare in ferrets but can be found. Other than this, Northwest exotic pet vets suggest that a ferret is also prone to the Aleutian disease virus that causes respiratory symptoms in the ferret. If your ferret is suffering from the Aleutian disease virus, you must get your pet diagnosed & treated at the nearest vet clinic that specializes in ferret care & treatment. You must know that the Aleutian disease virus is very contagious in ferrets and is usually caused by parvovirus. However, influenza disease tends to be very prevalent in ferrets. 

 

Symptoms 

 

If your ferret is suffering from upper respiratory infection, it is to exhibit the following symptoms:

 

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal Discharge
  • Difficulty Breathing 
  • Lethargy

 

Treatment 

 

It is a must to get your ferret diagnosed & treated at the nearest veterinarian clinic for your pet’s Well-being. Respiratory disease is very similar to human influenza in ferrets that require immediate treatment. Depending upon the Cause of the respiratory disease, the vet is likely to recommend the following types of supportive therapy:

 

  • Antibiotic Treatment
  • Intravenous (IV) Fluids
  • Nutritional Support

 

In addition to the above treatment option, VCA Hospital also suggests that ferrets suffering from upper respiratory infection may feel very uncomfortable and may be required to be placed in an oxygen tank. However, if you suspect that your ferret isn’t suffering from respiratory disease, let’s take a quick look at the other possible causes of ferrets sneezing a lot. 

 

Inflammation (Like Due to Cryptococcus Induced Sinusitis)

 

Also, inflammation can cause your ferret to sneeze a lot. According to the Northwest Exotic Pet Vet, ferrets are also prone to sinusitis when their sinus passes get infected & inflamed. However, Sneezing is not the only symptom you are likely to notice in your ferret, especially in the case of sinusitis. 

 

Causes

 

If we look at the culprits behind sinusitis in ferrets, we get to know that allergies & infection tend to be the root cause. Sometimes ferrets have also been diagnosed with cryptococcus-induced sinusitis. Other than this, fungal infection may also cause sinusitis in ferret

Symptoms

 

If your ferret suffers from sinusitis, they’re likely to exhibit the following symptoms.

 

  • Decreased Appetite 
  • Open Mouthed Breathing 
  • Noisy Breathing 
  • Nasal Discharge 
  • Of course, Sneezing

 

Treatments

 

Hence, If your ferret is suffering from sinusitis, you must get your pet diagnosed & treated at the emergency veterinary clinic. Depending upon your ferret’s diagnosis and condition, your veterinarian recommends some antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

In addition, if your ferret is suffering from sinusitis or inflammation in the sinus passage, you must maintain proper hydration, nutrition, and hygiene to keep the passage clean. Other than this, if your ferret is suffering from acute maxillary sinusitis, etiology, antimicrobial therapy will be required.

Your veterinarian will likely perform a few additional tests to understand what kind of antibiotic therapy, supportive care & fluids are required. If you’re about the vet bills, consider reading my article on ‘How much do ferret vet bills cost?’ 

 

Ferret Allergies

 

Another reason you are a ferret might be sneezing a lot could be due to allergies. 

 

Causes

 

Yes, ferrets are also known to develop allergies when they come in contact with allergens like dust, pollen, or dandruff. Due to allergens, ferret immune systems may overreact & produce histamines, further causing inflammation & irritation in your pet’s respiratory tract. This will not only lead to Sneezing but also other signs. 

 

Symptoms 

 

Some of the common symptoms of ferrets suffering from allergies are:

 

  • Running Nose 
  • Excessive Scratching 
  • Hair Loss 
  • Itching Nasal or Eye Discharge
  • Eye or Mouth Irritation

 

Treatment

 

If you suspect that your ferret is suffering from allergies, get Your pet diagnosed at the Veterinary clinic. To your knowledge, no specific allergy shots can be given for treating ferret allergies. Depending upon the underlying cause, your veterinarian is likely to recommend some antibiotics & anti-inflammatories.

Depending upon your ferret’s age & condition, they may also require intravenous fluid, nutritional support, and other allergy medications like antihistamines or steroids. Vet mat also recommends you make some environmental changes to avoid allergies. I have seen a few veterinarians giving immunotherapy to ferrets where they exposed the pet to allergens in a controlled way to help them build some tolerance. 

 

Nasal Blockage

 

Another common Culprit that I have found to be the primary cause of constant Sneezing in ferrets is a nasal blockage. If your ferret suffers from a nasal blockage, it will sneeze a lot because of the irritation on the lining of the nose & sinuses. 

 

Causes

 

Talking about the causes of nasal blockage in ferrets, If your ferret has accidentally sniffed something small, it might have got stuck in its nose, causing blockage. Also, you should know that tumors may block your ferret nasal passages. 

 

Symptoms

 

  1. Lethargy
  2. Struggling To Breath
  3. Gasping
  4. Sneezing
  5. Wheezing
  6. Loss of Appetite
  7. Coughing 

 

Treatment 

 

Depending upon the severity & the location of the blockage, your ferret may require additional testing. According to the National Institute of Health, Intranasal delivery of 1% pyrilamine in a single dose can help relieve nasal congestion in ferrets.

 

Cold

 

According to the University Animal Clinic, ferrets may also suffer from colds resulting in coughing or sneezing. If you find your ferret constantly having a runny nose, sneezes & coughs, they are most likely to develop a common cold.

 

Causes 

 

If you are living in a region with freezing weather, you may catch a cold or flu. Wood Green Pet Charity recommends pet-safe snuggle pads on your ferret to keep them warm. Ferret living in a cold, drought, and bad environment may also suffer from hypothermia or flu. Also, you should note that ferrets may develop flu from their owners, especially if they’re already sick. Therefore, you should protect your pet from humans suffering from the flu.

 

Symptoms 

 

According to the middle in vets, if your ferret suffers from flu or hypothermia, it will likely exhibit the following symptoms.

 

  1. Coughing
  2. Wheezing
  3. Sneezing 
  4. Runny Nose 
  5. Fever or Diarrhoea 
  6. Face Rubbing 

 

Treatment 

 

Depending on the severity of cold, flu, or hypothermia, a veterinarian will likely recommend clock care for proper recovery. However, make sure your ferret is getting easy & clean access to fresh water. And make sure they are drinking enough. Giving your ferret at least four teaspoons of fluid thrice a day is important to keep them hydrated. If the extra fluid isn’t relieving your ferret or their hold doesn’t seem to improve within a few days, it’s time to call your veterinarian.

 

Is Sneezing Normal In Ferrets?

 

According to the Unusual Pet Vets, ferrets may also sneeze to clear irritants, which is normal as long as you hear it occasionally. Unless your ferret is sneezing excessively, this is quite normal. But I will still advise you to check if something stuck in your ferret might be causing them to sneeze.

 

5 Prevention Tips For Ferret Sneezes

 

  • It would be best to keep your ferret environment clean & free from dust or fumes. You should know that ferrets have quite a sensitive respiratory system, which can easily feel irritated in an unclean environment. Therefore, never mind cleaning your ferret cage, litter box, and toys daily. Also, ensure you are not using any air freshener or scent products around your pet.
  • Another thing that you need to do is to avoid exposing your ferret to any other sick animals that can result in cold or respiratory infections. Also, veterinarians recommend keeping your ferret up to date on their vaccination.
  • Always provide your ferret with a healthy diet to keep their immune system strong & healthy to reduce the chances of allergies and other related illnesses. Hence, stick with the diet specifically formulated for ferrets to meet their nutritional requirement.
  • You can also consider using a humidifier, adding extra moisture to the air, making it less dry. It will further prevent respiratory problems in ferrets, too.
  • You should avoid keeping your ferret in a closed environment all the time. To stay healthy, your ferrets also need some fresh air. Hence, it is recommended to keep their cage in a spacious and well-ventilated area for as long as possible.

 

Conclusion 

 

I hope now you know why my ferret sneezes a lot. Always remember that ferrets are prone to respiratory infections like influenza, sinusitis, etc. Also, colds, nasal blockages, infections, and allergies in their sinus can cause excessive sneezing. It would be best to visit the veterinarian for Sneezingsional testing & checkups on your ferret to stay updated on their health condition.

This will also help you prevent underlying health issues that might cause ferret respiratory infections. Upper respiratory infections like influenza are not good and can be deadly for your ferret if not treated promptly. I hope after reading this article, you have all the ideas about the culprit behind ferrets sneezing a lot.

If your ferret sneezes occasionally, there is nothing to worry about. If you find this article helpful, then consider sharing it. Your share will help many people learn about the possible reason behind ferrets sneezing a lot. To stay updated with ferret care & requirements for their well-being, I will advise you to consider checking my other helpful guides on this website. See you in the next post, till then, take care & goodbye.