Ferrets are increasinly popular pets, and their adorable appearance and antics easily explain why there are so many ferret owners these days. However, the amount of information about natural home remedies for ferrets is not as extensive. Like any other pet, ferrets need the proper living environment to be healthy and well, but can nonetheless become ill, suffer tumors, have gastric ulcers, and can even catch the very same cold or flu that is passed around through the rest of your family!
Overheating and body odor are two typical pet owner complaints or concerns with regard to ferrets. Body odor is generally associated with sex hormones and may be addressed with different bathing options or changes in diet. Overheating can result in serious harm to your ferret's health, so it should be addressed conscientiously.
Natural Cures: Apple cider vinegar added to your ferret's food or water may help to improve its nutrition and keep its fur soft and velvety.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
Apple Cider Vinegar
[QUESTION] 08/06/2009: Connie from Manitowoc, Wisconsin: "Ferret with a tumor... I don't see a section for ferrets. The local animal shelter said ferrets are sensative to some foods and that I shouldn't give it apple cider vinegar without talking to a veterinarian first. The ferret has a nearly dime size tumor on the top of it's nose on the outside. Any suggestions?"Replies
08/16/2009: Parisah1 from Fort Myers, Fl replies: "I just took my ferret in for a large dime sized swelling on the side of her nose from corner of her eye to her nose pad. This turned out to be an abcess filled with infection fluid. It was cut and drained, but not completely. I had to flush the site, fill the area with chlorhexidine flush then gently squeeze it out again along with more gunk from inside the swelling. Did this twice a day for three days until if was almost normal size and finally sealed on its own. Also gave her Clinimyicin drops twice a day and a nonsteroidal pain reliever drops prior to the cleaning.
This is indeed an infection and should be treat by the vet. Total cost was about $170 for all. But since ferrets are very delicate and cant always be treated with cat meds or off the shelf meds, it was necessary to see the vet. Origin of infection may be her bottom canine tooth which seems to rubbing a continuous sore spot on her upper gum. Now that the swelling is down, we can verify this and have the ground down a bit. This is not painful and wont impair any chewing, biting functions, just stops the rubbing. Hope this helps you."
12/03/2009: H from Martinsville, In replies: "There are several other posters on this site using castor oil on tumors."
09/01/2010: Kelly from Cincinnati, Ohio: "Does anyone have any experience w/ natural treatments for ferrets? My friends ferret got overheated and we rushed her to the hospital after fluids and oxygen she was much improved, was given an antibiotic called clavamox but don't use antibiotics myself and am afraid to give them to her (she weighs less than a pound. A friend who raised ferrets said to give her a pinch of salt in her drinking water. I considered yogurt because of probiotics but wasn't sure of milk product for a ferret??? HELP"Replies
09/22/2010: Ferretadvocate from Rancho Cordova, Ca, Usa replies: "As far as pro-biotics are concerned, if your worried about dairy products there is a great bovine probiotic that I have used on ferrets for years, we call if smurf goo. Any large animal feed store will carry it, it is called ProBios. You will want to get the bovine and not the equine due to palatability. You'll know cause the bovine product is blue in color. All you need to give is a pea size amount once or twice a day, sometimes they will only want a lick or two but that is enough. You'll have to refridgerate the ProBios but a single tube ( usually less than $10) will last you for a very very long time. This product is safe for dogs, cats and most importantly ferrets. Good luck. And I have never seen any bad reactions with clavamox in ferrets. But just like any antibiotic you only want to use it if it is really necessary to prevent immunity.
One more word of advise for any heat stroke animals is to immediatly apply rubbing alcohol to the pads of their feet and begin to cool them off with cold water or ice packs, just don't cool them off too fast, take it slow to not shock their system."
08/13/2012: Zathadaddy from Gas Light City, Indiana: "Ferrets are from the weasel family, and include natural musk/scent glands.
When you purchase a ferret for your family, GET A FERRET that either has had all of its current shots and HAS BEEN STERILIZED(no breeding). this will cut down on their need to mark territory as much (marshall farms have the best track record for the best pet "weasels", cleanness and healthy)
Ferrets will use the bathroom only in corner or close spaces; thats what the corner litterbox thing is about.
If you want the nasty ferret duke smell to go away for good, FEED THEM A HIGH QUALITY CAT FOOD like iams- I have worked with, owned, raised and sold these animals. Ferret waste stinks amazingly like the ferret chow they sell bulk and cheap. Eliminate the smell going in, enjoy the benefits of the less smelly litter going out. And buy 2-3 corner litterboxes, cause if one is too full one day, they will find another corner (uggggh) its the food people, not the glands."