Ferrets can catch influenza from humans so please take care not to go near your ferret if you are suffering from a case of the flu. If you must, then I’d suggest getting a mask from the drugstore/chemist to wear when you’re around them. Also remember to wash your hands before handling your furbabies so that you don’t spread germs that way.
The symptoms of a ferret with flu are similar to a human’s, i.e.
- Blocked nose with discharge
- Decreased appetite
- High fever
If your ferret has the flu, make sure it’s drinking water so that it remains hydrated. However do NOT use human flu medication on your ferret. Keep an eye on it and if the symptoms worsen, contact your vet.
Take care of strep throats too 😮
The Kiss of Death
The kids all knew not to go near our ferrets if they had anything that resembled a cold but one day in the middle of summer, our eldest daughter, Alexia, had a scratchy throat. No other symptoms, just a scratchy throat, so she didn’t think anything of planting a big sloppy kiss on the nose of Mulder, her favorite ferret.
I remember hearing him sound a little wheezy a few days later but since the weather was warm and no one in the family had colds or anything like that, I didn’t pay much attention to it.
I thought that maybe Mulder developed an upper respiratory problem like Chucky, something that sounded more serious than it actually was.
It was only when his breathing sounded very odd a couple of days later that I whisked him down to our vet to get checked out.
It turned out that Alexia had a strep infection and had passed the germs on to Mulder.
He developed pneumonia and, despite medical treatment and 5 days in the hospital, he died. ?
It was tragic, and Alexia felt utterly depressed, thinking that she caused his death.
If you are feeling under the weather, stay away from giving your ferret lots of kisses until you improve!
You can read more about Influenza in Ferrets here …
Ferrets and Influenza by Lianne McLeod, DVM (The Spruce Pets)
Influenza in Ferrets (PetCoach)
Human Influenza Virus in Ferrets (PetMD)
Common Respiratory Issues in Ferrets (Exotic Animal Medicine for the Vet Tech)
There are many ferret owners who are worried about swine flu and how it might affect their ferrets.
Some people say we’re in for a pandemic, others say it’s a storm in a teacup. I have no idea what to think, to be honest, but safe is better than sorry, so here’s an article about how to protect your ferret from that, which we hope is a non-event now (in 2014) …
Ferret Influenza, or Ferret Flu by Dr Susan Muller Esneault
(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.