Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis (ECE) in Ferrets


Thank goodness that since the mid-2000 no cases of ECE have been diagnosed in Western Australia or, as far as I am aware, in any other states of Australia.

This disease, which is similar to a disease which affects minks, was first seen in 1993.
ECE damages the intestinal wall lining, causing the animal to be unable to absorb nutrients and water into its system.

Some of the symptoms include:

Loss of appetite
Drastic weight loss
Green, watery diarrhea
Grainy stool
Vomiting (initially clear and watery)

It is highly contagious and can be transmitted easily. Ferrets can also be carriers of this virus without showing signs of any symptoms.

Should your ferret have severe diarrhea, get it to a vet as soon as possible.

If you can’t, get some Pedialyte (an electrolyte solution for babies) and get as much as you can into your ferret by using a clean eye dropper.

As a general rule of thumb, if your ferret weighs 700-800g, make sure it gets 70-80mls of electrolytes every day.


You can read more on ECE in Ferrets on these sites …

ECE: Morbidity and Mortality by Leo V Gates, III, DVM

Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis in Ferrets (WagWalking.com)

Viral Infection (ECE) in Ferrets (PetMD)

Ferret ECE (“Green Mystery Virus”) FAQ (Ferret Central)

Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis – The “Green” Virus (FACT)



There is a pdf by Dr Bruce Williams about ECE from the American Ferret Association which you can download HERE.

If you don’t have a ferret savvy vet then download this pdf HERE — print it out and show it to him to help with his diagnosis.



(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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