Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Possible Adrenal Disease - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Ferrets' started by britneyjustinalvin, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. britneyjustinalvin

    britneyjustinalvin PetForums Newbie

    Sep 14, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Hi all. I have a question for them in the know about possible adrenal disease in my ferret, Justin.

    He is a white ferret, but not albino. Has had a bit of a health-riddened past - having to have his tail amputated because of a growth. Has been OK and that happened about a year ago.

    He has recently been sleeping a little more than normal, although he always has slept a lot. I noticed after coming back from work trip that he looks like he is loosing his hair on his back and belly. Took him to the vet to get him checked out and she mentioned it might be adrenal disease. Also he has had various bouts of regular diarrhea over the last few months. Its not unusual for him to have runny poo.

    Also noticed that he has had black ears recently. because of his colour his ears always look black, but seem to be a little bit worse.

    To make sure I was issued with antibiotics to give him twice a day. Since giving him them he seems to be up more. He has never had a problem with his appetite, always eating and wanting everything. After a few days on the antibiotic some of the black gunk from his ear came out, so I cleaned him up.

    The Vet has taken a stool sample for analysis to see if he has something but said this might not come back with anything.

    Anyone seen something like this before? It seems from talking to my vet is hard to confirm if it is one way or another, and I would rather not get him a implant if it isn't required, already spent quite a bit with the tests and i think it might be excess stress.

    I don't know if having a parasite can explain the change after taking the antibiotic and the hair loss?

    I have a total of three ferrets, the other two are completely fine.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks Guys!
  2. minnow

    minnow PetForums Newbie

    Sep 15, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Hi there

    Sending you and Justin some positive vibes:smile5:

    Hair loss on the back and belly is the first sign of the disease (except for hair loss on the tail) so you were right to have a vet look at him. diarrhea isn't associated with AD (to my knowledge) but could be a sign of Gastrointestinal problems (internal parasites) or possibly stress...If you have him on a raw diet or half n' half his stools will be a bit loose anyways. If they aren't coated with/consisting of mucus or dark black in colour then I'd just monitor the diarrhea and make sure he's getting plenty of fluids :D.

    The things you need to be checking for is continued hair loss with no sign of regrowth over the next few weeks. Also are you weighing him everyday? even non-rapid weight loss is suspicious this time of year (depending on the ferret obviously) so you could keep a record of his day to day weight and watch him after this course of antibiotics to make sure he keeps eating well.

    How old is he? And is he neutered? Have you noticed him itching a lot?

    Obviously you know what his activity levels are, lethargy is a worrying sign if he's normally more active and interested in his food.
    stool samples have a habit of coming back blank even when a ferret does have the disease :(, but they are good for identifying internal parasites and some other illnesses since hair loss and lethargy can be caused by many other diseases, parasites etc. that ferrets can carry.

    Black discharge from the ears is usually associated with ear mites but coz a course of antibiotics seems to have sorted it I'd assume it was an ear infection?? (or possibly just a build up of ear wax). just make sure his ears are cleaned with drops weekly and they should stay clear.

    Sorry for the essay, hope this helps :D

    Jess x
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice