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EXTRA itchy ferret !

Discussion in 'Ferrets' started by ferret whisperer, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. ferret whisperer

    ferret whisperer PetForums Newbie

    Mar 6, 2018
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    Although we know that ferrets are by nature itchy animals I have a female who is not only extra itchy but is losing her fur in patches
    I believe it not to be adrenal related disease because of the pattern of fur loss The vet has ruled out parasites, mites etc and has been treated accordingly I have 17 ferrets and she is the only one with this complaint although they all share the same spaces. Has anyone else known a similar problem I would be very grateful for any positive advice, It grieves me to see her in obvious distress, Many thanks
    The Ferret Whisperer
  2. Babyshoes

    Babyshoes PetForums Senior

    Jul 1, 2016
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    I had a boy with mystery itchiness leading to over grooming & hair loss on his entire back end as far as he could reach, along with painful damage to the skin after the hair was gone.

    After many, many tests & failed or partly successful treatments & a change of vets to find a specialist, spanning around a year, we finally figured it was most likely due to minor nerve damage sustained during a slightly awkward fall off a sofa that had happened over a year previous to showing symptoms. He had had minor back end paralysis for a few days after, but had (apparently) fully recovered. The vet theorised that there was probably a lingering nerve sensation like pins & needles in his spine. She put him on steroids (preds) which helped almost immediately, & once his hair had grown back, we experimented with reducing the dose until the symptoms came back, then she used that to work out the lowest possible maintenance dose which he stayed on for another few years until he passed away from something entirely unconnected. We were aware that the preds long term could have shortened his life, but we couldn't have let him continue as he was, so we prioritised quality over quantity.

    Some of the other treatments which we tried included:
    • Changing washing powder in case of allergy.
    • Oat baths - soothing but for a limited time & need repeating daily if the ferret will tolerate it - something gentle you can use while trying out other treatments. Soak a tied sock full of oats (ordinary porridge oats will do) in a bucket of hot tap water, squeeze as much of the milky stuff as you can out of the sock. When water is right temperature for ferret, dunk body for as long as they will let you. Don't rinse! Dry carefully with a towel.
    • Elimination diet in case of food allergy. Struggled with this one as the fussy bugger wouldn't eat much else. The few days we did manage didn't do anything though.
    • Antiseptic washes, creams etc from vet - limited use but helped with healing when he had scratched raw patches.
    • Regular anti-flea stuff that they all get.
    • With vets approval we even tried some human grade eczema creams, but I was concerned about him licking it off.
    • We did *not* try the implant for suspected adrenal, since it was not in common use at the time, but if I recall they did do the diagnostics to rule it out.
    Also, be aware that adrenal does not always follow the classic pattern, and if it is suspected the implant can be used anyway as it has very few side effects. It is the first line of treatment my specialist uses when there is even a suspicion of adrenal, as it costs about the same as the diagnostics. If it clears up the symptoms, then there's your diagnosis. If symptoms remain, it won't do any harm & you can rule out adrenal, then continue your investigation.

    I hope this helps with ideas. I don't know whereabouts you are, but if you're after a good specialist I can recommend Anne Mclaughlin at Aston Clinton vets. (Near Aylesbury). The new specialist vet they have also seems good, but I've not had a lot of appointments with her yet.
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