Diabetes Mellitus in Ferrets


Diabetes Mellitus translates to “sweet urine” as in Greek the words mean “to flow” and “honey”.
Diabetes Mellitus in ferrets is caused by an inadequate production of insulin. It is rarely a primary problem but can be a secondary problem related to the removal of insulinomas, especially where numerous tumor nodules are found in the pancreas.

Affected ferrets show the following symptoms:

frequent piddling, with large volumes of urine
excessive thirst
abnormally high levels of glucose
loss of body condition

If your ferret has been diagnosed with this, it can be treated with injectable insulin twice a day.


You can read more on Diabetes Mellitus in Ferrets on these sites …

Diabetes Mellitus in Ferrets (PetMD)

Diabetes in Ferrets (WagWalking.com)

Histopathologic lesions of diabetes mellitus in a domestic ferret (The Canadian Veterinary Journal) (Technical paper)

Insulin glargine treatment of a ferret with diabetes mellitus by Laurie Hess, DVM, DABVP (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association)

Diabetes Mellitus (Sugar Diabetes) (LBAH) – this is about dogs/cats but since the symptoms in ferrets are the same, it might be useful to some

You can download a pdf called “Diabetes In Ferrets – Know the signs, treatment and prognosis for ferrets with diabetes” by Sandra Mitchell, DVM, DABVP HERE.



(Last updated November 2019)


DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this page is not meant to replace seeing a veterinarian if you think your ferret is ill. It’s only meant to supply general information on a particular illness which was obtained either from personal experience with my sick ferrets, or from books and/or the Internet.

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