As ferrets have poorly developed sweat glands, they are very susceptible to high temperatures.
Never leave your ferret caged in the car with the windows up during the warmer months. Ferrets which are suffering from heat stress will begin to pant with their mouths open. Should they become hotter still, they could develop heatstroke.
- Bright red tongue
- Pale or red gums
- Mucus from the mouth and nose
If left untreated, the ferret could go into shock or, worse still, fall into a coma.
If you see your ferret looking like it is suffering from any of the above signs, make sure you move it to a cool location and get the temperature down gently with cool water.
Do not use cold water as it might make the temperature drop down too quickly. Get your ferret to the vet as soon as possible.
If your ferret is caged indoors and the temperature begins to climb, put a fan near (but not close) to the cage to keep the ferret cool.
If your ferret is kept in an outdoor cage and you are concerned about the weather being warm, you could put water in 2L soft drink bottles, freeze and wrap them securely, then place them in your ferret’s cage.
You could also look at fixing up a sprinkler system which just lets a very fine spray out over the cage. It could be set up with a timer switch so that it comes on once every hour or so for about 10 minutes, just to keep the ferret cool.
You can read more on Heatstroke in Ferrets here …
Heatstroke in Exotic Companion Mammals by Christal Pollock, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice) (LafeberVet)
What Should You Know About Heatstroke? Plenty! by Erika Matulich, PhD
Can my Ferret get Heat Stroke by Katherine Milligan
Recognising Heat Stroke In Ferrets (Pets4Homes)
Keeping Ferrets Cool in Hot Weather by Lianne McLeod, DVM (The Spruce Pets)
There’s a pdf written by Dr Ruth Heller called “Heat Stroke in Ferrets”, which you can download 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.