Clues To Ferret Pain And Distress

Would you recognize if your ferret was in pain or distress if it wasn’t crying out?

Some general signs of pain and distress in ferrets follow. The list includes many sublte changes in behavior that might indicate a problem. Always consult a ferret-knowledgeable veterinarian if you suspect your ferret is in pain or distress.

Back: arched, stiff, unbending
Bedding area: abnormal locations, open, uncovered
Breathing: panting, shallow, sighing
Conduct: aggressive, biting, hiding
Consciousness: comatose, inattentive, unresponsive
Ears: drooped, laid-back, wiggling
Eating: anorexic, hand-fed, refusing
Environmental interest: non-existent, poor, subdued
Eyes: closed, half-open, squinty
Gait: forced, stiff, stumbling
Grooming: extreme, none, slight
Head: elevated, extended, immobile
Jaws: chewing, clamping, snapping
Movement: hesitant, immobile, slow
Oral: drooling, salivating, slobbering
Posture: awkward, bushy-tailed, collapsed
Slumber: guarded, non-curled, tense
Teeth: clicking, grating, grinding
Temperature: cold, cool, hot
Toilet habits: incontinent, indiscriminate, retained
Touch: avoiding, recoiling, withdrawing
Vocalization: hissing, silence, quiet whimpering
Weakness: feebleness, paralysis, shakiness

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Article Categories:
Critters · Ferrets

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