Ferret With Strange Behavior

What could cause a ferret to jump, flinch and act confused?

Q: I have a dark-eyed-white ferret named Aly. She needed a home so I took her in. She plays with my other two ferrets and bonded very well. But she acts differently. I think she may be deaf, because she doesn’t react to sounds like the others. When I pick her up, she jumps like she didn’t know I was around her. She flinches like I’m going to hit her if my hand goes near her. She gets confused very easily. If I change food or water bowls to a different spot in the cage, she doesn’t eat because she acts like she can’t find it until I show it to her — and still she won’t eat. Do you think she was abused in the past or she has a problem?
A: It is certainly worth a vet check to see if your ferret is deaf or has any other issues that may be causing her trouble. Ferrets, like most animals, like a certain about of predictability and routine. She may simply have a limited experience with changes and close contact with people, so thankfully she does well with the other ferrets. It may be worth having your vet check her eyesight, too!

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