Proliferative Colitis in Ferrets


Proliferative Colitis is also called proliferative bowel disease (PBD). It’s an uncommon disease, thank goodness, which is usually seen in male ferrets under a year of age.

This is caused by bacteria which makes the lining of the large intestine, or the last part of the small intestine, to become very thick which, in turn, interferes with the absorption of nutrients and water.

Some of the symptoms are:

Loss of weight
Reduced appetite
Straining when pooping
Crying or moaning when pooping
Lack of interest in any activity
Dark stool (often with large amounts of green or clear mucous)

If left untreated, the ferret will die ? However it has a good chance of a full recovery when taken to the vet for treatment.


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

Proliferative Colitis in Ferrets (

Proliferative Colitis (

Proliferative colitis (VetBook)



If you’re interested in reading a technical paper called “Proliferative Colitis in Ferrets: Epithelial Dysplasia and Translocation” by J G Fox et al, you can download the pdf 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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