Courtesy of Kim Douglas
Ferrets usually have fully furred, fluffy tails.
Q: I was cuddling my 1.5-year-old male ferret today and noticed the skin of his tail kind of looked scalish and yellowish orange. I know he will wake up from sleeping and always bite his tail. I checked my 2-year-old male ferret, and he has kind of the same thing, but I never see him scratch or bite his tail. Is this something I should be worried about?
In a situation like you describe my first thought is adrenal gland disease, as it is common for the first sign of the disease to be an abnormality involving the tail. Signs include hair loss on the tail accompanied by some flaky skin. For two reasons, though, it would be unusual for this to be adrenal gland disease. These are that you have two ferrets that are showing similar signs and both ferrets are quite young for this disorder.
In addition to a physical examination, your veterinarian can do a number of tests including blood test diagnostics and even skin scrapes and cultures to determine the cause of this problem in your ferrets.