Ferrets are very prone to eating things that they cannot digest. Toys that ferrets can chew pieces off of should always be avoided and ferrets should NEVER be allowed access to ANYTHING RUBBER. Even if your ferret has NEVER chewed a day in their life, they might one day decide to try it out of nowhere. NEVER ASSUME YOUR FERRET WILL NOT CHEW!!!! The original creator of HFF, Guili, lost her ferret at the age of 7-8 to a blockage – her ferret had never once demonstrated any desire to chew on stuff she shouldn’t. Our very own administrator, Sherry, also lost her ferret Judge to a similar situation. Judge had never once showed any inclination to chew, and then one day at the age of 7 decided to give it a try and ate a piece of his Skinnez toy.
Blockages are caused when an indigestible object becomes lodged in the intestinal tract of your ferret. The object causes a bowel obstruction, preventing any food or fluids from passing the blocked point. Your ferret may seem to be pooping initially, but that is simply the feces that were in the gut ahead of the blockage. A blockage can cause ischemia (lack of oxygen and blood flow) of the inets times, severe dehydration, and can even result in a perforated bowel. A BLOCKAGE IS AN EMERGENCY. Your ferret can go from “okay” to On-Death’s-Doorstep in a matter of hours.
Some blockages can be passed with the help of the Blockage Protocol. However, if your ferret starts vomiting, particularly if they vomit the food, pumpkin, vaseline that you give them during the protocol OR if they vomit after drinking water YOUR FERRET’S LIFE IS IN DANGER.
DO NOT WAIT. GET TO THE VET IMMEDIATELY – THE LONGER YOU WAIT, THE LESS CHANCE YOUR FERRET HAS OF SURVIVING SURGERY, MUCH LESS THE NIGHT.
Signs of a Blockage:
- Straining to poop
- Repeatedly going to the litter box without producing any poop
- Grinding teeth (a very non-specific indication of nausea or pain): Video of Tooth Grinding
- Rubbing/Clawing at face
- Lethargy, difficult to rouse, floppy ferret
- Hacking, retching, spitting
- Running to hide (often while hacking/vomiting)
- Panting (a non-specific sign of pain)
- Squinting eyes (a non-specific sign of pain)