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My Ferret Is Throwing Up: 5 Reasons Why My Ferret Threw Up

While researching, I learned many people have asked ‘why my ferret threw up.’ Well, ferret vomiting may exhibit different health issues & meaning. Therefore, if you are wondering why my ferret is throwing up, this is the article for you. Here, we will discuss five reasons my ferret is vomiting, their symptoms & possible treatment options.

However, if your ferret is constantly throwing up, it needs immediate vet attention. Hence, make sure to call or consult with a veterinarian and let them know about your pet’s last diet and the condition before your ferret threw up. Returning to the point, let’s learn why my ferret threw up and what you must watch out for.

 

My Ferret Is Throwing Up: 5 Reasons Why My Ferret Threw Up

 

First, you should note that a ferret may also vomit due to indigestion. If this is the case, it might also exhibit any underlying medical conditions that need your attention and a vet’s check-up. Below, I have mentioned five such reasons behind ferret throwing up.

 

Bacterial Infection/Gastrointestinal Disease (Helicobacter Mustelae Gastritis)

 

If your ferret is constantly throwing up, bacterial infection or gastrointestinal disease might occur. You should know that ferrets are constantly throwing up and exhibit helicobacter gastritis, which can be acute or chronic. Helicobacter gastritis could be the culprit if you are a ferret and suffer from nausea or abdominal pain.

 

Causes

 

If you look at the primary cause of Helicobacter gastritis, you will find Helicobacter pylori being the primary culprit. This bacterium affects our ferret by colonizing the gastric mucosa and causes gastritis & peptic ulcers. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these Bacteriums apply rapidly in the mucus layer of our pet’s stomach lining & duodenum. 

 

Symptoms 

 

According to the petMD, if your ferret suffers from helicobacter gastritis, it is likely to exhibit the following symptoms.

 

  1. Anorexia 
  2. Vomiting
  3. Weakness 
  4. Dehydration 
  5. Black Or Bloody stool 
  6. Weight Loss 
  7. Abdominal Pain 

 

In addition, if your ferret is suffering from abdominal pain accompanied by weight loss, it also indicates chronic disease.

 

Treatment

 

Talking about the treatment, the National Institute of Health suggests that your veterinarian recommend triple antimicrobial therapy, which might combine the following:

 

  • Amoxicillin 
  • Metronidazole 
  • Bismuth Subsalicylate

 

Obstructions From Foreign Bodies (Objects Lodged In The Intestinal Tract)

 

According to Petplace, Pet ferrets might be throwing up due to foreign bodies getting lodged in their gastrointestinal tract, intestinal obstruction, or stomach obstruction.

If your ferrets roam freely in your home, they’re more at risk of swallowing foreign objects. According to the Vetorostrenen, ferrets love spending time chewing and shredding everything that is in their range. Therefore, this behavior also promotes the risk of swallowing a solid body in a ferret. Left unattended, this can cause gastrointestinal disease in ferrets, with persistent diarrhea. 

 

Symptoms

 

According to the Antony Animal Hospital, your pet is likely to exhibit the following symptoms:

 

  • Abdominal Pain 
  • Abdominal 
  • Swelling 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Dehydration 
  • Bloating 
  • Lethargy 
  • Loss Of Appetite 
  • Vomiting 
  • Weight Loss
  • Excessive Drooling 

 

Treatment

 

Talking about the treatment, your Veterinarian will first need to detect the foreign body in your ferret intestine using an X-ray. However, if your ferret swallowed a translucent item, your vet may also recommend esophagoscopy. Depending on the location of foreign bodies in your pet’s intestine or stomach & its condition, the vet may administer fluids, electrolytes, And supportive care before the surgical process.

You should note that most of the foreign body ingested & stuck in their gastrointestinal tract requires surgical incision. According to the National Institute of Health, ferrets rarely pass GI foreign bodies unassisted. Therefore, consult the Veterinarian and tell them about your ferret condition and the item ingested (If you know it).

 

Gastric Reflux

 

If your ferret is not vomiting but looks like throwing up, it can be due to gastric reflux. According to the National Institute of Health, a ferret suffering from gastric reflux may not result in vomiting but can be described as coughing or gagging. In addition to gastric reflux, ferrets may also suffer from regurgitation, where the food & liquid from their stomach and backflow into the esophagus. 

 

Causes

 

Talking about the causes, there can be many possible reasons behind gastric reflux or regurgitation in ferrets. However, if your ferret’s lower esophageal sphincter is weakened, it will likely suffer from gastric reflux. Apart from this, a condition called Hiatal hernia may also result in gastric reflux. Other than this, pregnancy, obesity, certain food, or toxic drinks tends to be the reason behind gastric reflux.

 

Symptoms 

 

If your ferret suffers from gastric reflexes, it will likely exhibit the following symptoms.

 

  1. Difficulty in Swallowing 
  2. Chest Pain 
  3. Sour Taste In The Mouth 
  4. Heartburn 
  5. Burning Sensation in the Chest
  6. Choking 
  7. Coughing 
  8. Gagging 
  9. Lethargy

 

Treatment

 

In terms of treatment, a Veterinarian will likely diagnose your ferret with tests like whole-body radiography and a blood test. According to the petMD, if your ferret is suffering from gastric reflexes or regurgitation, it will need ongoing therapy, which might include electrolyte fluid therapy, too. The vet may also recommend some medication that can improve gastric motility. According to the VCA Hospital, veterinarians also considered using Ranitidine time to stimulate the construction of your ferret stomach.

 

Toxins

 

If all the above causes rule out your ferret, and you are still wondering ‘why my ferret threw up,’ it can also be due to toxins. Many things, including plants, medications, certain foods, and chemicals, can easily poison ferrets. If your ferret is throwing up, it may also exhibit poisoning as a way to get rid of toxins. 

 

Causes

 

Talking about the exact causes, Oathall Vets suggest that ferrets can be poisoned through household cleaners like:

 

  • Bleach
  • Polish
  • Detergent 
  • Bathroom Cleaners 
  • Oven Cleaners. 

 

Hence, if you keep your ferret roaming freely in your home, it is important to keep these items out of reach. In addition, some common foods, including grapes, raisins, currant, and sultanas, can also be poisonous. According to the Winter Park Veterinary Hospital, if your ferret has swallowed the following plants, it might have been poisoned, resulting in constant vomiting to eliminate toxins. 

 

  • Aloe Vera  
  • Azalea 
  • Baby’s Breath 
  • Begonia 
  • Carnation 
  • Castor Bean 
  • Chrysanthemum 

 

Also, the American Ferret Association suggests avoiding pesticides like insect or rodent repellent in your house to avoid accidental poisoning of your ferret.

 

Symptoms

 

According to the RSPCA, if your ferret has ingested toxins accidentally, it will likely exit the following symptoms.

 

  1. Depression  
  2. Vomiting 
  3. Diarrhea 
  4. Weight Loss 
  5. Kidney Failure 
  6. Tremor 
  7. Bleeding From The Gut

 

Treatment 

 

Regarding the treatment, Crossriggs Vet Clinic suggests that your ferret might be required to be hospitalized for proper diagnosis & treatment. Depending upon the severity of the poisoning & your ferret’s condition, your Veterinarian is likely to recommend hospice care to try & stabilize them by giving a few intravenous fluids and medication.

Also, it is not uncommon to find a vet recommending oxygen therapy or Anaesthetics for the treatment. For proper diagnosis, they’re likely to take blood & urine samples for proper testing. A veterinarian will use medication depending on the type of toxin your pet has ingested.

 

Parasites

 

Another common culprit for the question, ‘Why is my ferret throwing up?’ could be parasitic. Even though intestinal worms are pretty rare, they can be found in ferrets. According to the Petplace, studies have found few microscopic parasites in ferrets that can cause vomiting. Such microscopic parasites include:

 

  • Giardia
  • Coccidia 
  • Cryptosporidium 

 

Causes

 

Talking about the causes, each parasite infests your ferret from different areas, which include:

 

  • Giardia: If your ferret likes to play in muddy puddles or water contaminated with Giardia. Also, your ferret may pick up these parasites from other animals in the same household. According to Vets4Pets, if your ferret is used to sharing a water bowl with cats or dogs, it is more at risk of picking up Giardia.
  • Coccidia: The petMD suggests that Coccidiaan intestinal infection with protozoan parasites usually causes coccidia. In addition to that, Vets4Pets says that protozoa, called Emilia, are primarily responsible for Coccidia in ferrets.
  • Cryptosporidium: According to the National Institute of Health, Infected ferrets are considered a potential source of infection. Maybe the mother’s ferret has transmitted these parasites to their offspring, which you have adopted. However, your pet is also likely to catch cryptosporidium from eating uncooked meat of infected animals or from water already contaminated with cryptosporidium.

 

Symptoms 

 

ParasiteSymptoms
GiardiaWatery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, and vomiting.
CoccidiaDiarrhea, often with mucus and blood, abdominal cramps, fever, weight loss, and fatigue.
CryptosporidiumWatery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever.

 

Treatment 

 

As for treatment, the National Institute of Health suggests that no effective therapeutic drug or vaccine available in the market can treat or control cryptosporidium infection in the ferret. However, supportive treatment can be given where a veterinarian will use antibacterial remedies to replace fluids & electrolytes. On the other hand, if your ferret is suffering from Coccidia, the Veterinarian is likely to consider a treatment like:

 

  1. Sulfadimethoxine
  2. Nutritional Support & Fluids
  3. GI Protectants
  4. Broad-spectrum 
  5. Antimicrobials
  6. Amprolium
  7. Ponazuril

 

In the case of Giardia, unfortunately, the MSD Veterinary Manual suggests that no licensed treatment is available. However, your Veterinarian will likely recommend fenbendazole orally at 50 mg/kg for five consecutive days.

 

Note: We don’t recommend any medication to be given to a ferret if it is throwing up without the guidance & observation of a veterinarian. You should consider visiting the Veterinarian first and consult with them regarding the diagnostic diagnosis of why my ferret threw up.

 

Conclusion

 

I hope you have all the ideas around the question, ‘Why is my ferret throwing up?’ and what you should do about it. When you are discussing & consulting with the Veterinarian regarding your ferret vomiting, also let them know what your pet was doing before that and how many times it threw up.

For proper diagnosis, the vet will likely recommend a few diagnostic tests and check up on your pet’s blood & urine. It would be best never to attempt to give your pet any medication or therapy without consulting a veterinarian because you might do more harm than good, especially resulting in deadly consequences.

Consulting with a veterinarian is best as they specialize in ferret care, diagnosis, & treatment with the best course of action. I hope now you know ‘why my ferret threw up’ and what you need to do. So first, call your Veterinarian and tell them about your ferret’s current situation.

If they recommend you visit their clinic with your pet, don’t hesitate to do it. If you find this article helpful, then consider sharing it. Your share will help many people learn about the possible reasons ‘why ferrets throw up’ and what they should do when wondering why their ferret is throwing up. To stay updated with ferret care & requirements for their well-being and healthy & long life, consider checking my other helpful guides on this website. See you in the next post, till then, take care, and goodbye.