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My Ferret Is Shaking: 5 Reasons & What To Do

My Ferret Is Shaking: 5 Reasons & What To Do

If you are wondering why my ferret is shaking, you are not alone. Ferret shaking can be due to many reasons, and here I will discuss what is normal & what’s not. You will learn five reasons my ferret is shaking, symptoms, and what to do. However, before it tells you the reason behind ferret shaking, you should consider paying attention to your pets’ behavior.

If you suspect that other signs of sickness accompany your ferret shaking, there can be something wrong with their health that requires your and your veterinarian’s attention. Therefore, without wasting time, let’s quickly look at five major reasons my ferret is shaking.

My Ferret Is Shaking: 5 Reasons & What To Do 

Mites

According to the VCA Hospitals, if you notice your ferret shaking its head excessively or scratching itself, it can be a sign of ear mites. You should know that ear mite infestation is common in ferrets, and at an early stage, your pet may not even exhibit any symptoms. Being intensely irritated, a ferret starts shaking their head. 

Symptoms

According to Springer, Ear mites in ferrets tend to be the classical cause of intense irritation in the ear canal, resulting in otitis externa, just like in dogs & cats. Some of the most frequently noticed symptoms of ear mites are as follows: 

  • Infection 
  • Itching 
  • Mucus Like Substance Around Your Pet’s Ear
  • Hair Loss Around Their Neck or Head Areas 
  • Reddish Brown or Blackish Crusting On Your Pet’s Outer Ear

According to the Fortitude Valley Vet Clinic, the ferret may also scab off their ears while emitting a smell. Sometimes, you also find your ferret rubbing its ear on the floor or when walking. Ear Infestation in ferrets tends to be asymptomatic. It is best if you first take a quick look at the ear of your ferret, and if you find dark reddish brown chunky material coming out when your pet shakes its head, there is a huge chance your ferret is suffering from ear mite infestation.

Causes

Talking about the causes of ear mites in pets, your ferret usually gets infested with ear mites when they are outside playing. Leaving your ferrets to play around wooded or grassy areas puts them at huge risk of ear infestation. Even though you keep your ferret ears clean frequently, it’s not uncommon to find ear mites.

Ear infestation also occurs when your pet comes into direct contact with a contaminated object or with an infected animal. Also, not paying attention to grooming your pet properly will lead to poor hygiene, resulting in mites infestation. Additionally, you must pay attention to what type you are feeding your ferret. Not feeding a pet with an appropriate diet formulated for ferrets will cause a weakened immune system, obviously due to nutrient deficiency.

Treatment 

When it comes to treatment, you first need to contact your Veterinarian. They may ask you to get them a wax sample from your ferret’s ear so they can quickly examine it under a microscope to find an infestation. After properly diagnosing your ferret and determining the severity of the Infestation, they will use specific products.

However, it is worth noting that no ferret-specific drugs can help you manage ear mites. However, the Veterinarian will likely recommend products specifically designed for cats & dogs. Many topical, oral, and systematic agents can be used to treat ear mites in ferrets.

Even one old remedy, Like baby oil, can help you prevent year-night ferrets or treat them at an early stage. According to the National Institute of Health, advocate® Spot On is a safe _ and effective treatment for ear mite Infestation in ferrets. But the dosage & frequency will depend upon your ferret’s age, health condition, as well as severity of Infestation. So, first, consult with the veterinarians.

Unprovoked Aggression

Another reason why your ferret might be shaking a lot could be due to unprovoked aggression. And if this is the case, it is a clear sign that your ferret is scared or doesn’t trust you. According to Animal Wise, aggressive ferrets can also bite you, especially if your ferret shaking is accompanied by hissing. It may also be their way of expressing pain or discomfort. 

Causes

Talking about the causes, the National Institute of Health suggests that familiarity, sex, & neutering status tend to be the important determinants of aggression in a ferret. Also, your ferrets May have unprovoked aggression due to the following reasons or factors:

  • Over stimulation 
  • Dominance 
  • Medical Conditions like Brain, Tumour, or Seizure 
  • Boredom 
  • Fear

Symptoms

As per UGA, if your ferret exhibits the following symptoms, it means your pet is suffering from unprovoked aggression, resulting in a lot of shaking.

  1. Screaming 
  2. Defecating 
  3. Urinating 
  4. Defensive Posture
  5. Biting Hissing 
  6. Fleeing 
  7. Tail Arching 
  8. Clenched First
  9. Shaking 

What To Do?

Talking about what you can do first depends upon the neutering status of your ferret. The first thing you need to ensure is your ferret’s neutering status, which will reduce their smell and aggression. Like any other pet, you should also consider giving your ferret a private hiding place to cope.

This becomes very important when you have a male ferret who is dominant in his territory. Also, consider watching every move you make with your ferret. Your moves must be firm & expressing what you are doing. If you have recently adopted your ferret from an animal center or breeder, give them time to adapt, and don’t bother them.

Cold / Low Body Temperature

If your ferret is shaking, it can be due to the cold. However, Bishops Stortford Vets suggest that they rarely shiver due to cold. But, if there is absolute freezing in your home or you live in an area with freezing weather, your ferret may catch cold. 

Causes

A chilling environment that consistently makes their fur wet may result in constant shaking. Plus, petMD suggests that your ferret can catch a cold or Flu from people suffering from similar symptoms. If your ferret lives with any person suffering from Flu or cold, your pet may also catch it. 

Symptoms

If your ferret is suffering from a cold, they’re likely to exhibit similar symptoms to humans, which include:

  1. Sneezing 
  2. Coughing 
  3. Wheezing 
  4. Diarrhea 
  5. Loss Of Appetite 
  6. Fever 
  7. Running Nose & Eyes

If your ferret’s body temperature is severely low, it may also become lethargic, and extremities like its limbs & ears will feel cool to the touch.

Treatment 

Since ferrets are very well adapted for winter and their coats keep them warm, they rarely catch colds or Flu. But if your ferret is suffering from a cold, call your Veterinarian to inform them about the situation. According to Pet Assure, the first thing that you need to do is to prevent your pet from becoming dehydrated.

I will highly advise you to consider giving your ferret rehydrating drinks (can be used that are made for children, but only if your Veterinarian suggests or allows it). If your ferrets suffer from a cold, you should help your pet get over the sickness by offering lots of fluids. If there is no improvement in their health, get them to the nearest vet clinic.

Fear Or Anxiety

According to the Morningside Animal Hospitals, ferrets react very strongly to fear. If you notice ferrets shaking a lot while making a hissing sound as landing any unpleasant strength, they are anxious or fearful. Also, a ferret suffering from anxiety or fear about something will constantly look sideways or over its shoulders. Sometimes ferrets also cower down. 

Causes

There can be many potential causes of fear and anxiety. According to the Crossriggs Veterinary Clinics, if there are any changes in your ferret’s social or physical environment, they may become anxious or fearful about it. Also, it is common for ferrets to be fearful of fireworks & loud noises. Other than this, some ferrets are genetically more prone to fear & anxiety than other fellows. Also, if any stranger at your home or relative that your pet is unfamiliar with, they might be fearful or anxious about it.

What To Do

Talking about what you should do, the first thing is to find out what triggers the fear and anxiety in your ferret. I will highly advise keeping your ferret in a safe & secure environment. If your ferret exhibits signs of anxiousness & fear, make sure to remove your pet from the vicinity of whatever has caused this reaction.

If your ferret is outside of its cage, put it back inside. If your ferret suffers from anxiety, you can consider coaxing them into sleep by holding your pet closely. According to EmotionalPetSupports, ferrets also like to be snuggled into their owner’s arms, which is a great way to prevent anxiety, stress, and fear.

You can also consider using positive reinforcement, like rewarding your pet for good behavior to reduce anxiety. As a positive reinforcement, you should consider giving them a healthy treat specifically designed for ferrets, as they are strictly meat eaters with specific nutritional requirements. Lynwood Animal Hospital highly warns of leaving your pet unattended if it is suffering from fever, anxiety, or stress because it may negatively impact the entire experience for your pet, including the ferret.

Normal 

If your ferret has just woken up, they may shiver or tremble. According to the Bishop’s Stortford Vets, it’s normal for ferrets to shake a lot after waking up, especially due to excitement & anticipation. Also, MSD Veterinary Manuals suggest not worrying about your ferret shaking or shivering when they wake up. It is also quite normal to notice ferrets shivering while eating or relaxing as a way to regulate their body temperature, especially in winter. Here’s what is normal:

  • After Sleep & Waking Up 
  • While Eating 
  • When Relaxing
  • Out of Excitement
  • Due To Nervousness)

Conclusion

Unless your ferret limb or ear feels cold to touch, there is nothing to worry about your pet shaking. A ferret shaking after waking up or relaxing is quite common, often due to excitement or to regulate body temperature. I hope you have all the ideas on why my ferret is shaking and whether you should worry about it.

If your ferret consistently shakes its head while relaxing, it can be a sign of your mite’s Infestation that must be treated promptly before it suffers from shock. After reading this article, I hope you are not concerned about your ferret’s shaking. But if you have, let me know down below.

Also, if there is anything I missed to cover in this article, never mind, comment below so we can update this post. To stay updated on ferret care & requirements for their well-being, consider checking my other guides on this website. See you in the next post, till then, take care & goodbye.