Internal Parasites in Ferrets


Although intestinal worms can infect ferrets, they don’t seem to be a major problem for them. The following are the 3 most common intestinal parasites found in ferrets:

Symptoms include:

Weight Loss
Rectal prolapse

Your vet will probably give your ferret a pill or liquid medicine for 10 days and then will check a poop sample to make sure the parasites are no longer there.

Giardia lamblia

Uncommon in ferrets but has been known to occur in ferrets which drink contaminated water or food, especially raw offal.

Guardia is diagnosed by fecal testing. If your ferret is found to have the parasite, the vet will probably give you medicine to give your ferret orally for 10 days to cure it.

Cryptosporidium parvum

Symptoms include:

Profuse watery diarrhea

An infected ferret may not show any symptoms until it gets stressed or its immune system becomes suppressed by another illness. Kits could get cryptosporidium from eating raw offal or from their mother.


You can read more on Internal Parasites in Ferrets here …

Ferrets: Gastrointestinal Disease (scroll down to Parasitic Infections) by Susan Brown, DVM; Katrina D. Ramsell, DVM (Veterinary Partner)

Intestinal Parasites (Coccidia) in Ferrets by PetMD

Giardia spp (VetBook)

Opening a discussion on Coccidia (FHL)

Ferret parasite prevention by Andreas Brieger, DVM, GPCert(ExAP)


There’s a pdf issued by the American Ferret Association called “Zoonotic and Other Diseases Shared Among People, Common Pets, and Ferrets” by William C. Sager, DVM, which you can download HERE.

For those of you who enjoy reading technical papers, or if you want to print it out for your non-ferret-savvy vet, you can download a pdf called “Biliary Coccidiosis in a Ferret (Mustela putorius furo)” by B H Williams, M H Chimes & C H Gardine 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.

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