How to Tell If Your Ferret Has a Blockage [Answered]

Ferrets are small and quiet and they are fun to have as pets. But they can be sick at times.

The most frequent cause of ferrets’ blockage is swallowing the things that they are not supposed to. As a result, they get blockage inside of their body.

Are you wondering how to tell if your ferret has a blockage?

Common symptoms of blockage are lethargic behavior, anorexia, and difficulties in urination. The common blockages for ferrets are gastrointestinal obstruction and urinary tract obstruction. Well, these can be treated but you must be sincere and take guidance from vets immediately.

If you have pet ferrets and you want to ensure awareness and safety for your ferret, then this article is for you. Continue reading to get knowledge about ferret blockage. 

Why Do Ferrets Face Blockage?

Why Do Ferrets Face Blockage

Urinary Tract Obstruction is the reason behind a ferret’s blockage. Well, from the name you can understand that the blockage hinders the flow of urine.

As a result,  the owner has to be careful about the ferret’s regular urination. And also needs to be aware of the situation. 

The reason behind this urinary obstruction can be cysts, urinary tract stones, and inflammation in the urethra. Or it can be the reason for a tumor too.

Another reason can be gastrointestinal obstruction in ferrets. Therefore, ferrets kept as pets are prone to developing gastric and duodenal ulcers.

However,  the vet will know and dictate the cause behind your ferret’s urinary tract obstruction.

Signs & Symptoms

First of all, you need to be aware of the fact that you must consult a vet about your ferrets. Because you never know what’s happening inside your ferret’s body. 

Once you notice anything unusual or can track what is happening, you must consult a vet.

If your ferret went through a trauma recently or had surgery, mention that to your vet. Now let’s look into the disease-specific symptoms-

Signs & Symptoms of Urinary Tract Obstruction

Notice when your ferret is having problems at the time of urination. You need to observe other symptoms like if the urine is cloudy. If the discharge of urination is slow, or if the ferret is having pain or not.

Also, you will notice vomiting and lethargic behavior from your ferret. Then, your ferret will lose its appetite.

However, some pet owners don’t understand if their ferrets are having problems with urination or not.  Because they misunderstood this with ferret defecation.

Well,  the vets will do the diagnosis for your ferret’s urinary tract obstruction. Ultrasound will be needed to diagnose any tumors, stones, or cysts in your ferrets. This is in order to know the reason behind the urinary obstruction.

Whether your ferret has tumors in its urinary system, your vet will have to obtain a tissue sample. This is to evaluate if it is cancerous. 

Signs & Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Obstruction

In any ferret of any age, anorexia, and lethargy are the most common symptoms of gastrointestinal blockage. A long-term blockage might lead to dramatic weight loss. 

To know if your ferret is going through a gastrointestinal obstruction, you will observe some symptoms.

Ferrets can swallow unusual objects too. Sponge and rubber chunks, such as those found on the inside of shoes, are the most prevalent. Ferrets that are let out of their cages unmonitored are more likely to suffer from gastrointestinal blockage.

In addition, including both young and elderly ferrets, ulcers in the gastrointestinal and duodenal tracts are common. Anorexia, tiredness, teeth chattering, ptyalism, diarrhea, and melena are some of the symptoms.

How Long Can a Ferret Live with a Blockage?

How Long Can a Ferret Live with a Blockage

First of all, don’t hesitate to consult a vet. If you see irregularity, go and check.

Blockages occur when a non – digestible item lodges in your ferret’s digestive system. The item obstructs the intestine, blocking foodstuff or liquid passage.

Initially, pre-blockage excrement can seem like pooping. However, a blockage may cause severe dehydration which is ischemia. And it causes the loss of oxygen and possibly a ruptured intestine can be seen.

A blockage is a crisis. Therefore,  there is no specific answer to “How long can a ferret live with a blockage“. Your ferret may go from “fine” to “on death” within hours.

Treatment to Cure the Blockage

To get treatment for gastrointestinal obstruction,  you need to first recognize the symptoms.

In order to do this, you need to check their appetite level, and also check the feces of your ferret if it looks normal or not. You need to check the mouth area also. If you see any abnormal thing, you have to visit the vet, they will provide you with guidelines.

If your pet needs any surgery to recover, your ferret will need aftercare too. To take care of your ferret, follow the instructions from the vet and provide. Regularly feed antibiotics and antacids that the vet recommends for your ferret.

Also,  try to feed good foods and ensure proper periods of sleep.

Here’re some Ferret foods rich in dietary fibers to keep your ferret from risking blockage:

  1. Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health Small Animal Food For Ferrets
  2. Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 – Starch Free Dry Natural Food for Ferrets

Hopefully, these options will keep your ferret healthy.

A totally clogged urinary system in your ferret is a medical emergency that requires quick attention. Partial disruptions are still severe and should be addressed promptly.

The doctor will give your ferret anti-inflammatories to minimize discomfort and unblock the urethra.

Treatment for tumors, cysts, and stones in ferrets is more difficult.  Most tumors, cysts, and stones need surgery. Some stones may dissolve with antibiotic treatment. 

But you should see the vets see what choices your ferret has. Adrenal gland illness causes certain urinary cysts. To avoid additional difficulties, your ferret’s adrenal gland may need to be medically removed.

That is all!


How frequently should a ferret see the veterinarian?

Ferrets need to be checked by a veterinarian annually. This will keep your ferret healthy. However, if it needs emergency attention, seek help immediately.

Is a ferret able to pass a blockage?

If the substance is digestive and your ferret can pass it.  If the substance is non-digestive, then your ferret will have a difficult time but in some cases, it can pass over time. 

How much cost is needed for surgery to remove a ferret’s obstruction?

Moderate cost because around $1000 for X-rays, hospitalization, and medical therapy for a simple bowel blockage without surgery. Cancer costs from $1,000 to $3,000 on average.


I hope you got all your queries on how to tell if your ferret has a blockage.

Because ferrets tend to swallow non-digestive stuff, they might face obstruction. For that, they need to be kept in proper care and monitoring.

Well, that’s all for today. Take care!

Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan

Ryan Dugan is a dedicated pet care professional who offers top-notch services for a variety of pet species. He has a soft spot for my own feline companion, Sophie. He is passionate about animals He shares his knowledge and experience on his blog to help other pet owners understand and care for their own beloved companions. Whether you need a pet-sitting service or advice on pet care, He is the go-to expert.

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