Avatar universal

Anyone else have a wheezing? grunting? ferret?

Hi, we have a 4 yr old female (Frida) who began what we thought was initially snoring. About 6 or 8 months ago we noticed that she had become a rather noisy sleeper. This has progressed to the level that she actually sounds rather like a pig even when she's playing or running around the house. The noise she makes is a cross between grunting and wheezing and it is constant.
Her appetite is perfect and her energy level is very high. I check daily for any abdominal pain or lumps. Her coat has come in shiny though slightly less luxurious than other years. She plays constantly with her brother or spends the day following us around the house which is to say she has always slept considerable less than any ferret I've ever had and is an extremely light sleeper.
Her temp is normal and her eyes are wide and bright. They both get 8 in 1 vitamins daily and I've started Frida on Ferret Lax (1/2 tsp twice weekly) for hair balls since she is constantly cleaning her brother.
The biggest problem is that we live in an isolated part of northern Italy and we have tried all 3 of the vets who claim to have had 'some' experience with 'wild, undomesticated animals' such as ferrets. I can't even write about some of the things our other ferrets had done to them.
So all that said: My original question is if anyone else has had a ferret like this? Or are we overlooking something that could be a serious problem such as cardiomyopathy even though she seems healthy in all other aspects.
The ferrets have the run of the house but it is very cold in this region and the floors are all marble. Their beds all have loads of wool sweaters and sheep skins but the floors are ice cold which, theoretically, could cause congestion perhaps?
Any comments or suggestions would be gladly read.
Thanks, Jill
5 Responses
228686 tn?1211554707
It could be a hairball problem. Is your ferret shedding excessively? Or the brother? That could definitely be the cause.

Vaseline works great for hairballs and blockages also but is a petroleum product. It is 100% safe for your ferret to eat and they seem to really enjoy it. :)

With the laxative, give it for about a week to make sure she is hairball free.

Otherwise, ferrets tend to get lethargic when sick. I'd think a long term low level respitory infection would keep her from being bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Avatar universal
Thanks Savas,
We are thinking along the same lines about her activity level. Though we did have one little guy who had gotten a tumor and at the end was always up and about but I believe from the pain. He also lost weight rapidly which Frida hasn't done.

We are keeping her under close watch regardless.
Again thanks for your comment.
228686 tn?1211554707
Good to hear it. Let us know how it turns out one way or another.

My favorite ferret experience is when a friend put his over-amped ferret into a round trash can. It would then run swiftly around the bottom until it actually began to defy gravity and run around the inside of the bin, circling all the way to the rim. :)

Go ferret!!!!
Avatar universal
Hey Tedeschi, My 3 1/2 year old ferret Jet has the same symptoms. Some days are worse than others, but on bad days I call him "piggy" because he sounds like he is grunting. His chest crackles, and he also coughs/ snores. Otherwise he is playful, active, with a healthy appetite and beautiful coat. I'm in Canada, so I have access to a few ferret-savvy vets. I have spent hundreds of dollars getting a diagnosis. After a x-rays, the vet confirmed asthma. He recommended getting a humidifier to moisten the air. Jet also has an inhaler (like for humans). It's actually designed for cats but it works for ferrets as well. He was on Ventilin, but I find he needs something stronger, as he is still wheezy. I'm going to be paying the vet a visit in two weeks to get a prescription of something stronger --steroids or just a stronger medication. The vet also told me the asthma could also be worsened by allergies! It looks like you and I are some of the few people in the world with asthmatic ferrets! (It's not that rare - another vet told me her bunny has asthma). Hope this helps!

Avatar universal
the comment about the asthma i was pretty sure my ferret had this as she sounded like what i sounded like before i got my inhalor but i never thought it could actually be... its reassured me a little as i just lost one of my ferrets who started of with a cough and ended up being water on the lungs
thanks know i can see what my vet can do about it
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