Ferret owners must be the most “anally aware” pet owners on this planet!
Although you shouldn’t get completely paranoid about what your ferret’s poop looks like, it is always good to be aware of what colour, shape and texture it generally is.
Depending on what you feed your ferret, normal poop is usually brown and of a fairly firm consistency – it looks a bit like a squirt of toothpaste!
If you give your ferret a cheap supermarket-bought cat food like Whiskas, you’ll notice that when your ferret poops, it comes out a red color because of the dyes and artificial colors used. If your ferret’s poop looks a bit colorful, perhaps you should think of changing its diet.
However if you notice any of the following, it will mean a trip to the vet with your ferret.
Thin, stringy poop
Could be because of a blockage or hairballs.
Could be caused by a number of things, including ECE, proliferative colitis and lymphoma 🙁
If it’s ECE, it will look and smell like fish glue and include projectile vomiting.
I know when Snoopy had that olive pit in her gut, her poop was a darkish green as well as being stringy. When I took Snoops to the vet (not my regular ferret-knowledgeable one) and showed him a sample of her poop, he misdiagnosed it as a gastric problem so we wasted a couple of vital days of treatment.
Runny yellow / gold diarrhea
The cause could be ECE.
Dark, gassy, sticky poop
If the poop looks almost ‘bubbly’ (from the gases) and very, very dark and sticky then there’s a good chance it’s caused by eosinophilic enteritis. This disease has very vague symptoms and can be misdiagnosed initially as a blockage problem.
Our boy Milo had it last year so you can read more details here.
Black & tarry poop
Could be caused by one of the following:
- gastric ulcers
- helicobacter mustelae gastritis
- proliferative colitis
- aspirin toxicity
- ibuprofen toxicity
- naproxen toxicity
The “grains” are usually undigested fat and starch complexes. If your ferret has grainy poop, you might think about stopping the dry food and putting it on a diet which is bland and easily digestible.
If you see any sign of blood in your ferret’s poop, take it to your vet quick smart!
Straining or no poop
Could be because of a blockage or proliferative colitis.
More information about Ferret Poop can be found on the following sites …
Ferrets with Black, Tarry Feces due to Presence of Blood — Melena in Ferrets (PetMD)
The Complete Scoop On Ferret Poop by Bruce Williams, DVM, DACVP
All three photos are © Ferret Harmony. A wonderful collection of photos to show the different types of poop and what the cause could be!
You can download a pdf by Dr Bruce Williams with information about ferret poop, which also has the poop photos by Ferret Harmony on it, 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.