Does Your Ferret Have a Rat’s Tail?

I know how scary it can be to worry about hair loss on the tail of a ferret.

The first thing which comes to mind is adrenal disease. However, for the most part, if your ferret has adrenal problems, the hair loss starts at the base of the tail and moves up on either side of the spine.

Rat’s tail is when the tail is bald from the tip up.

I’ve been asked by several readers how to clean up a ferret’s tail as quite often they see blackheads on the skin and there are also scabby areas due to their ferret biting the naked tail as it’s so itchy there.

Well, a member of my forum has given us a great tip. Her ferret got a naked, scabby tail which, as you can imagine, caused a lot of stress and worry. There was the fear of adrenal disease and blood tests, etc, but at the end of it, a ferret vet suggested the hair loss might be caused by an allergy.

He suggested that she gets a tube of Ungvita, a product which is available at any chemist here in Australia and most probably available at any drug store in the States and any pharmacy in England …

It’s a Vitamin A ointment which is for mothers & babies – good for cradlecap, dermatitis, etc – so very safe to use and she was told it wouldn’t harm her ferret if it licked the ointment off her tail.

Before and after photos show the change…

Heartspark's tail before Ungvita
Heartspark’s tail before Ungvita
Heartspark's tail after Ungvita
Heartspark’s tail after Ungvita


(Photos copyright Melissa Baker – used with permission)

So, there you go. If you find your ferret has a ratty looking tail, go and get a tube of Ungvita and put it on its tail daily. It should only take a week for you to see an improvement, with the fur growing back ?

7 thoughts on “Does Your Ferret Have a Rat’s Tail?”

  1. Must get a tube of that ointment thank you for that help. I have one of my 2 ferrets who is getting it now. The other one last year lost her full coat all but her fur on her head remained she was pink all over the rest but it all grew back before the winter set in just as well as was going to crochet her a wee coat for the winter. I’m down to only 2 from having 9 at one stage so these 2 are so precious to me. The one who is getting rat tail has vertigo vet said I thought it was a stroke but no thanks be to God as I thought I was gonna loose him. He’s doing really well still has a bit of a tilt but otherwise brilliant.

  2. I have 2 female ferrets, only 1 has a rat tail problem, I was told to use a solution of 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar & 1 part rubbing alcohol (3%) and apply with a cottonball. I’ve also been told to use Dial liquid soap with warm water. And also it was recommended to use Vaseline or A&D baby ointment. They are both healthy & young approximately 2 years old, 3 months apart in age. The youngest has the rat tail issue. I was also advised that it takes a while to correct the problem. Is any of these treatments something you would recommend or have any knowledge of the results they provide? If so, which treatments, how often should they be given & how should they be applied?

  3. Hi Shawna
    I’m sorry but I haven’t heard of either of those two treatments. The only one I was told about was the Ungvita cream, which I used on my own ferret when he had a rat’s tail and it worked like a dream. It took longer than a week for Spook’s hair to grow back – more like 3 weeks.
    I haven’t heard of A&D baby ointment so googled it … not sure about putting an ointment for diaper rash on your ferret’s tail as I’d be worried that the ferret might lick it off. Vaseline sounds a better option in that it won’t hurt your ferret if it licks it but I’m not sure how it’d help to make your ferret’s fur grow back.
    I also haven’t heard of using the other suggestions you mentioned.
    If you can find Ungvita I’d suggest getting that to use but if you can’t then I guess using a gentle liquid soap and warm water would work.
    Can you see lots of blackheads on your baby’s naked tail?
    Spook didn’t have that many on his tail so I didn’t scrub his tail – just used to put the cream on it daily.
    I’m really sorry that I can’t help you with positive answers but I hope I’ve helped a little bit!
    Hugs to your girls from their new friends down under 🙂

  4. I’m definitely going to try this Ungvita cream on my baby girl’s tail. She’s just barely over a year old. Hate to think she might have adrenal disease. Praying this stuff works.

  5. Oh Gary – I really hope it does help your little girl ?
    I don’t know if you’re interested in supplements but I would recommend that you give her a daily smoothie. This is the recipe ….
    * 150ml/200ml (roughly) of NO LACTOSE milk (please don’t buy Whiskas Pet Milk as that has malt in it and can cause insulinoma over time!)
    * 1 egg yolk
    * 1 capsule Hawaiian Astaxanthin (prick the capsule on an upside down tack and squeeze the liquid into the jar)
    Mix with an electric beater and serve at room temperature.
    Oh – and don’t panic if her poop is red the next day as it’s just caused by the astaxanthin in her system, not blood!!! ?
    I get my supplements from the Aussie branch of – they have fair prices and great customer service.
    I hope you’ll be able to keep your little one in good health for as long as possible ❤
    Big hugs from your little girl’s new buddy down under!

  6. Hello all, reviving the discussion about Ungvita again. Both my girls have rats tails, one worse that the other. The worse one has what we call a paint brush tail – fur only at the top of tail.

    I’m getting a tube of Ungvita and wanted to find out how much and how often I should apply it to the ferrets’ rats tails?

    Thank you

  7. Hi there
    I would just put enough Ungvita to cover the whole tail – not so much that it would look “heavy”, just a light covering. Put it on every day for a week and see how the tail looks. I mentioned that it took my last BEW 3 weeks of Ungvita before his tail looked normal again, so if your girls’ tails haven’t improved in a week, keep going until their tails look normal again!
    Hope it all goes well for both your girls’ tails! ?
    Hugs for your two little treasures ❤

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