How To Comfort a Dying Ferret

How To Comfort a Dying Ferret

Ferrets send indicators that assist in caring for them throughout their lives. Ferret owners just need to learn to read and comprehend the indications. The ferrets’ bodies undergo modifications as they get older. 

Comforting your ferret is important and you need to do the following in order to have a perfect send-off for your pet. You need to take your ferret to the vet, give them water and food, talk to them nicely and ensure that they are comfortable in their last days.

In this article, you will learn how best you can treat your ferret, the signs that your ferret is about to die and how best you can spend the last days with your pet.

What Are the Signs That My Ferret Would Inevitably Die?

Being aware of signals that your ferret is unwell or dying will help you emotionally prepare and provide you with the opportunity to bring your ferret to the veterinarian as soon as possible if treatment is possible. 

Although many of these symptoms might be entirely normal or indicate ailments that are easily treated, it is always best to be cautious and get your ferret checked out by a veterinarian if you observe any of the following alarming signs. The following signs will let you know that your ferret is nearing its end.

Lack Of Appetite

Ferrets lose most or all of their appetite as they near the end of their lives. When this occurs, you must pay close attention to their water consumption.

Ferrets may begin to drink less as they begin to slow down their feeding, which may lead to dehydration. You should contact your veterinarian if your ferret has gone many days without eating or only 24 hours without drinking.


When ferrets grow ill or begin to exhibit symptoms of age, they become frail and stop moving about as much. If your ferret becomes drowsy, you should take him to the veterinarian right away.

It might simply be a symptom of regular aging, but it’s always better to discover it early if it’s an indication of anything more serious.


Vomiting is normal in most animals, but it might be a sign of more severe disease if it occurs often. Drooling, rubbing their faces against things, and working their paws against their lips are all signs that your ferret is nearing the end of his life.

Difficulty In Breathing

Respiratory issues are frequent in ferrets, and they become more prevalent as your ferret gets older. You may see your ferret heave, sneeze, pant, cough, wheeze, etc., as he approaches the end of his life.

Pale or blue gums might also indicate a shortage of oxygen.

Diarrhea, Blood in Stool, No Feces

Any unhealthy or unusual bowel motions, such as diarrhea, strange smells, black stools, blood in the stool, or no bowel movements at all, might indicate serious health issues. In some cases, these health issues may be totally treated with a simple medicine, but they can also be more severe or even deadly in others.


Seizures and tremors are frequent signs of a range of ailments that affect animals as they get older or approach the end of their life. They may accompany other symptoms such as a continual tilting of the head, fast eye movement, loss of coordination, or semi-paralysis as evidence of neurological disorders.

Even if the underlying illness can’t be fixed, the symptoms may often be managed to keep your ferret happy and relaxed for as long as possible.


It is generally an indication of distemper when a ferret has pus coming from his eyes or nose or a lot of discharge. If your ferret is displaying symptoms of distemper, you should seek medical attention right once since distemper is a lethal illness for ferrets.

Dull Fur/Skin Problems

Your ferret’s dull hair or skin issues are frequently signs that he’s becoming older and approaching the end of his life. Hair loss is more common in older ferrets.

While this might be a symptom of natural aging, it’s best to be cautious and get your ferret examined by a veterinarian.

Loss Of Weight

Losing weight in your ferret might indicate that he is becoming older. While it is usual for ferrets to gain and lose weight throughout the year, any significant and rapid weight loss (particularly if other symptoms accompany it on this list) should be taken seriously.

How Do You Make Your Dying Ferret Comfortable?

Ferrets are often lively, curious animals that like exploring their surroundings. A ferret’s life might be cut short due to various diseases or injuries. 

When you know your ferret is dying and only has a few days to live, it’s critical to make the time you have left with them as pleasant as possible. 

The following are some recommendations for how to best comfort your pet and help them pass away quietly during this tough time:

Make Your Ferret Comfortable

Make sure the ferret’s cage has plenty of clean, fresh blankets to cozy up with. Make their cage as warm and inviting as possible. You want them to feel at ease in the place where they will spend their last days.

Ensure that they have access to clean water and food (you might want to try a bone broth if they are not eating). Because getting in and out of a litter box may be challenging for them at this time, you may want to try using puppy pads instead or placing the litter in one of the sides (without the litter box) to make it as simple as possible for them to go to the toilet.

They may also have feces issues, causing them to create a mess on their butts; be sure to remove any excrement off their fur and keep them clean. During their last hours, you want to ensure that they are as warm and comfortable as possible. 

They will most likely want to be as near to you as possible as they pass. If they look hungry, feed them from your hand and continue to speak softly to them. Wrap them in a warm blanket.

Give them water and food.

It is possible that your ferret may lose interest in food and water. If they seem to be hungry or thirsty, though, you should feed them from your hand.

Perhaps a little amount of baby food or a few droplets of water from your palm can do the trick. This may make it easier for them to pass through. 

In case they have a dry mouth, offer them some water from your fingertip, but don’t push them to drink it. 

In certain cases, the ferret’s jaw may tighten just before death, rendering them unable to drink or eat anything until they die. It’s simply a portion of their body that’s shutting down.

Talk To Them in A Loving Manner

Communicate with them and express your feelings for them. Inform them that it is OK for them to let go. Sing to them or inform them about the Rainbow Bridge if you think it may help. 

Offer kisses to them and engage in conversation with them. According to popular belief, the hearing is the last sense to fail; thus, they will almost certainly hear what you say when speaking with them. 

In the event that one of my ferrets passes away, remind them that it is OK to let go, that they are safe, and that they will soon be reunited with all of their siblings and sisters over the rainbow bridge.

Take Them to The Vet

If it appears that your ferret is in discomfort, it may be necessary to take them to the veterinarian for evaluation. Your veterinarian may euthanize your ferret in a swift and painless manner.

Make an effort to be in the room with them so that you may calm your ferret as they pass through it.

How best can you spend the last days or week together?

Spoil them with love

Stroke their heads softly as they sleep, allow them to lay in your sweatshirt against your body for warmth, offer them gentle kisses, and remind them how much you love and appreciate them being in your life. 

Allow them to know that you are there for them through the most difficult time of their lives. They are not alone and are adored. Spend as much time as possible with them.

You Might Need to Make a Very Tough Decision

Based on how much pain and suffering your ferret is experiencing, you may need to make a choice to have them put to sleep. If you are unsure, you will need to rely on your own judgment or seek guidance from your veterinarian if necessary. 

While it might be nice to let the ferret die in the comfort of their own home, it can also be kinder to allow them to pass before they experience any more pain or suffering.

Prepare Yourself Emotionally

It will be difficult to see your ferret go through this process. You will sob uncontrollably, your heart will ache, and you will sense the lack of their presence in your life.

One of the most agonizing experiences a person may have is witnessing the death of a cherished family member.

However, it is a privilege to be there with them at the conclusion of their journey. Now it’s your chance to be there for them at the conclusion of their journey, just as they’ve been there for you throughout your life.

What Are the Illnesses That Can Kill Your Ferret?

Ferrets make excellent pets because they are entertaining, lively, and clever. Although they are resistant to many ailments, they are nevertheless susceptible to them and consequently need frequent veterinarian care.

The following are some of the most frequent illnesses to which ferrets are susceptible:

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is very contagious in ferrets, making them high-risk animals. Ferrets infected with the virus die in their entirety. 

Because therapy is ineffective, prevention is essential. For kits from unvaccinated jills, immunization should begin at 4 to 6 weeks of age; for kits from vaccinated jills, vaccination should begin at 6 to 8 weeks of age. 

Vaccination should be repeated every three weeks, and revaccination should be done once per year.

Distressed eating; thick, pus-filled discharge from the eyes and nose; swollen foot pads; rash in the groin and beneath the chin are all symptoms of this condition. Death occurs three and a half weeks after exposure.

Epizootic Catarrhal Enteris

This is a highly infectious and life-threatening illness. ECE is quite contagious in ferrets. Coronavirus has been identified as the cause of this illness. Clothing, cages, and feces are used to disseminate it from ferret to ferret. 

Although there is no vaccination for this virus, prevention is crucial. Avoid taking your ferret to pet shops or ferret shows.

Some of the symptoms are poor appetite, greenish-yellowish foul-smelling feces, weight loss, vomiting, and dehydration.


The majority of parasites that infect dogs and cats (fleas, mange mites, ear mites) also infect pet ferrets. The majority of flea treatments designed for kittens may also be used on ferrets.

Dips and flea collars, on the other hand, are not safe for ferrets and may cause severe sickness and death.

Ferrets do not have intestinal parasites like Coccidia and Giardia (protozoans). The usual worm-like parasites of dogs and cats (hookworms, roundworms) are much less frequent.

A yearly fecal check at the time of immunization is indicated to identify these parasites.

Heat Stroke

Ferrets do not have sweat glands, which puts them in danger in hot temperatures. Temperatures exceeding 90°F are the deadliest, particularly if there is no access to fresh water nearby.

You should always keep an eye on your ferret while you are riding with it in the automobile. 

Even if the exposure duration is limited, the high temperatures that rise inside may be fatal due to the enormous levels of carbon dioxide produced. Making a mist of cold water on your ferret’s fur is a fantastic technique to keep them cool in the summer heat.


In elderly ferrets, insulin-secreting tumors are fairly prevalent. Low blood glucose (sugar) is caused by these tumors, resulting in weakness, sadness, drooling, fainting, behavioral abnormalities, and seizures.

Another prevalent cancer in ferrets is lymphosarcoma, which affects the lymphatic system. Anorexia, weight loss, and tiredness are all symptoms. Although intensive chemotherapy may be beneficial in certain circumstances, the prognosis is frequently grim.

Adrenal tumors are quite prevalent in ferrets older than three years. One or both of the adrenal glands may be affected by this kind of malignancy. Hair loss, a swelling vulva in the female, trouble peeing in the male, and muscular atrophy and anemia are all symptoms of adrenal cancer.

The therapy of choice is surgery. Many of the disorders listed above have supplemental handouts available.


Giving your ferret attention, keeping their temperature in check, cleaning their resting place, pain meds, and enough food and water can all help them be more comfortable while they’re dying. This will ensure that the ferret dies in the most peaceful way.

As explained in the article, you should ensure that you prepare yourself so that you know how to deal with the death of your ferret.

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