Q: We brought home our new ferret, Zoe, last Thursday, and we are getting concerned about her lack of interest in food and, more importantly, water. She is not going to the water bottle spontaneously and drinking. I got her to drink a little by holding her up to the bottle until yesterday, but now she will not drink out of it at all. I forced her to drink water by putting it in a syringe, but this is not a long-term solution. What should I do?
A: First, a visit to the veterinarian is needed to make sure she is healthy. Any number of things could be causing a problem that prevents your ferret from drinking.
Another thing to be aware of is that it doesn’t take a lot of water loss for a ferret to become seriously dehydrated. It is hard to force-feed a ferret enough to make a difference, so dehydrated ferrets usually require IV fluids.
Finally, try offering water in a dish instead of a bottle, but have her checked out by a veterinarian first.