My Ferret Is Suddenly Lethargic-Things You Need to Know

Having a ferret as a pet may be a ton of fun, and they are very active. But one day, you see that your ferret is sluggish and lethargic. And you know something is wrong. Your pet is always weak and exhausted, and you have no idea why.

Why is my ferret suddenly lethargic?

Ferrets can become lethargic because of excessive heat. They can’t survive at higher temperatures. Sudden weight loss can also cause them to be lethargic. Dental diseases are one of the reasons also. Lethargy may be a sign of dying too. You have to consult with vets immediately to avoid danger.  

Check out the whole article for more details.

Why Does a Ferret Become Lethargic?

Why Does a Ferret Become Lethargic

Lethargy is not a disease in and of itself, but rather a symptom of something else.

When something is wrong, ferrets become lethargic. 

Lethargic behaviour is a telltale sign that something more severe is afoot. Normally, ferrets do not make noise when they are unwell. But if they aren’t playing, it can be a clear indication that they are ill, as well.

Ferrets are susceptible to a variety of ailments. So it’s important to keep an eye on their health.

Ferrets, like any other pet, are susceptible to illness, including the common cold and the flu. It may be difficult to detect if your ferret is ill, just like with other pets.

Ferrets are known for their high levels of activity. So you may notice that your ferret is acting weird, more lethargic, or lying around. 

Just like you would if you were feeling under the weather. An ordinary cold or anything more serious could be the cause of this.

Reasons Behind the Lethargic Symptoms

Reasons Behind the Lethargic Symptoms

There are a lot of things that could be wrong. Based on its age, surroundings, and what it consumes might be numerous different things. A few of the more common reasons for lethargic ferret symptoms are:

  • Insulinoma
  • Hypo/Hyperglycemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Stroke heat exhaustion
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dehydration
  • Internal bleeding or injury
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Nephrology
  • Cancer/tumours

These several diseases are also the reason behind ferret illness and hind legs that you should know about. So, as you can see, finding an exotic vet for your ferret is crucial.

Excessive Heat or Temperature

Ferrets are susceptible to heatstroke because their sweat glands are underdeveloped. Panting and a lack of energy are two common symptoms

They get more lethargic when the temperature is more than 30 degrees. Your ferret keeps falling over because of the unbearable temperature.

Ferrets are vulnerable to the effects of the sun’s rays. When it’s too hot or they’ve overexerted themselves, they become lethargic. For excessive heat, your ferret is shaking and can’t walk.


On hot days, dipping your ferrets’ paws in ice-cold water is a great way to keep them cool. They’ll be up and running in no time. Even in extremely cold weather, ferrets may tolerate frozen water bottles, bedding, and water bowls. 

However, do not allow them to lie on damp bedding. Leave them in a cool room at 8 degrees.

Other ideas include adding ice cubes to their water and bathing them in icy water. Take your sweaty ferret inside your home and turn on the air conditioning. You need to cool it down quickly.

It is necessary to take them to the veterinarian if they don’t recover within a few hours.

Weight Loss of the Ferret

Your ferret’s lethargy may worsen if its weight drops suddenly. You might think that “ My ferret is skinny and weak.” Weight loss can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which are temporary. While others may be a sign of more lethargy.

Seasonal weight change, weight loss from a poor diet, connection to potential diseases, or insulinoma cause your ferret is acting sluggish


Although a charming ferret, a skinny ferret will require a lot of effort if you want him to gain weight. Find the reason behind your lethargic ferret not eating.

Feed your pet more! Your ferret’s food intake should be limited to 5 to 10 percent of their body weight. It’s for maintaining a healthy weight

Avoid carbs and sugar in any way, and eat a diet high in protein and fat. The best thing you can do is keep an eye on them and make sure they aren’t overindulging.

Diseased Teeth

If ferrets aren’t properly cared for, they can suffer from dental problems. Unbearable toothache can cause your ferret is acting sluggish and lethargic.


In the same way that dental care is suggested for humans, it is also recommended for your ferrets.

Sign of Dying

When your pet shows signs of even mild lethargy, it may be a sign that something is wrong within. Such as a notable drop in energy or enthusiasm for playing. Then you might ask yourself, “ Is my ferret sick or dying?”

Ferret-handling skills are another indicator of tiredness. A healthy ferret will not tolerate handling. But a sick or dying ferret will, and it will act nearly limp in your hands.


If a ferret appears feeble and is unable to walk around its cage, it should be sent to a veterinarian immediately.

If they are wheezing or moaning as they inhale, they are close to dying. Then it’s time to take a tough decision. You have to choose euthanasia for your beloved pet. 

As soon as you see your ferret acting strangely, losing weight, or having faeces that appear to be of an unusual hue or texture, take them to the vet for an examination.


When ferrets are unwell, what should you feed them?

Pedialyte should be given to the ferret whenever it is ill. Pedialyte should be given to ferrets if they have diarrhoea. This keeps the ferret hydrated and replenishes its electrolyte stores.

What’s the deal with my sad-looking ferret?

Ferrets are very intelligent animals that require a lot of mental activity in order to remain content. Insufficient physical activity or an uninteresting surrounding might lead to depression.

What’s up with my ferret’s gait?

If your ferret has difficulty standing on his hind legs or walks with his legs dragged, he may be suffering from hind limb weakness. Urinary incontinence and defecation incontinence are other possible symptoms.


That’s all about why my ferret is suddenly lethargic in this article. 

Make sure your pet sees the vet every year and keep a close eye on his behaviour for indicators of deterioration. Your ferret can expect to live a healthy 8-year lifespan with adequate care.

Keep an eye out for my next article!

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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