Megaesophagus in Ferrets


This is a relatively rare condition in ferrets, thank goodness ?  It occurs when the esophagus dilates due to the lack of muscular mobility.

When the ferret tries to swallow, the food or liquid won’t go down and causes the esophagus to swell as it fills. This causes the ferret to regurgitate, and you can hear rumblings and gurglings coming from it. The regurgitation can cause food or water to get into the ferret’s lungs and that could cause aspiration pneumonia ?
Because the ferret isn’t getting nourishment, it can become dehydrated and waste away.

If you suspect your ferret has this problem, take it to the vet immediately for treatment.

Some of the symptoms include …

weight loss
difficulty in swallowing
grinding of teeth
bad breath



More information about Megaesophagus in Ferrets can be found on the following sites…

Enlargement of Esophagus in Ferrets (PetMD)

and this explains how ferrets can get pneumonia due to megaesophagus …

Pneumonia from Inhalation of Foreign Matter in Ferrets (PetMD)

Ferrets – Megaesophagus by Cathy Johnson-Delaney, Sarah Pellett (VetStream)

Enlargement of the Esophagus in Ferrets (

Gastrointestinal Diseases in the Ferret (Part IV) 1. Megaesophagus by Katrina D Ramsell PhD, DVM (Northwest Exotic Pet Vet)

Megaesophagus (FerretsForum)



(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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