Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Scoop on Ferret Poop

 

The way most of us feel about Mondays it makes this the perfect day for this post.

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You can tell a lot by the leavings of a ferret. It can tell you if they are in good health or if they are sick. Sometimes this can even help you know what your ferret is sick from. The lack of poop can tell you stuff as well.

I won’t lie ferret poop does smell and while the amount may seem small. You have to remember their digestive tract moves stuff from mouth to rear in 3- 4 hours.  That can add up to a lot of piles for just one ferret. I have two now and at one time had nine. Unlike a cat a ferret does not cover their poop with litter.

Poop will change as a ferret grows from kit to senior so knowing what is normal can be critical.

Normal poop has the consistency of toothpaste and will often look like a ribbon of one to two inches of brown toothpaste.

Most ferrets will pee at the same time they poop. You can tell which ferret went. A girl will pee a lot closer to the pile than a boy ferret.

Most ferrets will also do what is called butt drag racing. This is just how they wipe. Ferrets are very fastidious about being clean.

Ferret poop dries quickly and turns into hard pieces that can be easily picked up and thrown away. Great for when accidents happen outside of the litter box or for when you find where they have decided to leave their little presents when they are out playing.

The coloring will also be determined by the type of food a ferret is provided. I feed Marshall’s Ferret Food which gives Manny a light brown and for some reason Marcuz had a more dark chocolate coloring.

By cleaning the litter box daily you will notice any changes that can indicate a problem.

Yellow: Can mean that the food your ferret is eating isn’t being properly digested. There are a number of reasons for this from stress to an infection. Best to make a vet appointment.

Green: Has been associated with Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis (ECE). This is an infection that can be transmitted to other ferrets. But it could also be from the dye used in some treats. 

Black: Can be an indicator of blood in the stool. If it is tarry then you need to be at the vet ASAP as it means there is some kind of internal bleeding going on that may or may not be life threatening.

Any consistency changes in a ferret’s stool need to be watched as well. Just like in humans gastric upset can lead to diarrhea.

Some ferrets will have poop that looks like they have been eating bird seed in them. If you have birds make sure this isn’t the case.

If you don’t have birds or have ruled out that it isn’t the bird’s seed then you need to think about changing your ferret’s food to one that doesn’t contain corn as a first, second, or third ingredient. As they can’t process grain or starches related to grain because they lack a cecum.

That is some of inside info on ferret poop.

 

Have a Chittering Good Day,

 

Jo

6 comments:

Mariodacat said...

Interesting post.

Jo said...

Not the most pleasing of subjects I know but one that needed to be talked about a little bit.

Thanks for reading Mario.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Kat said...

This is good to know. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. My ferret has been acting more sleepy than usual, so i seperated her from her sister so i could make sure she is eating, drinking, and pooping. She pooped almost immediately, and it looks nearly identical to the above picture. I actually feel a little better, but doesnt explain her sudden bout of sleepiness.

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Barry Longden said...

I was surprised how mild and in offensive ferret poo is having previously seen my friends ferret and how the poo looked like dog poo but the smell is so low you can keep ferrets in your bedroom!