Q: I have a 9-week-old ferret. He was fine for a couple of days, and now he has diarrhea. I’m hoping it’s because of the food. Is there anything I can give him that will clear him up?
A: A 9-week-old ferret with diarrhea is in extremely serious condition. Ferrets that young do not have any nutritional or fluid reserves and can die within a few days due to diarrhea.
The causes for diarrhea in a ferret this young may be different than in an older ferret. A 9-week-old ferret with diarrhea should be considered an emergency and be seen by a veterinarian right away.
At the veterinary hospital, fluids and nutrients can be replaced. Fluids will be given by the intravenous route, and nutrients may be given that way too.
In a ferret this young, I would be concerned about infectious diseases, including canine distemper virus infection. Other possible causes I would be worried about are viruses that attack young ferrets, a severe bacterial overgrowth and parasites.