In this article, we will be answering the question “why do my ferrets itch all the time“? Although there are a number of possible causes for ferrets itching and biting, they all have their own individual treatment and we will be doing our best to cover them all extensively.
That said, it is totally normal for a ferret to itch, scratch or bite itself when it first wakes up in the morning, this is no cause for concern. If your ferret is prone to taking random naps throughout the day, this behavior is usually repeated then too. Again, it is no cause for concern and is totally normal for your pet.
Why Do My Ferrets Itch All The Time
Fleas are one of, if not the most common cause of ferret skin irritation and scratching. If you suspect that your ferret maybe itching due to fleas you can check the fur and skin around its shoulder blades.
If your ferret does have fleas then it is likely you will either find live fleas in this location or flea bits or red patched instead. You may also see a slight thinning of the hair too.
If fleas are the problem then your ferret’s skin will heal once you get rid of the fleas, once healed the itching will stop. We recommend Bayer Advantage II Flea Prevention. Although it is actually designed for cats, a large number of ferret owners have successfully used the product on their ferret and report excellent results.
Shampoo Irritation Or Too Much Bathing
Another common cause of ferret dry skin is irritation from unsuitable shampoo or too much bathing. The bathing issue is an easy fix, you shouldn’t bath your ferret more than once per month. Ferrets can get a little smelly between baths but there are a number of different sprays available to deal with the smell between baths.
Moving onto shampoos, provided you are washing your ferret no more than once a month, the itching problem is probably due to not rinsing the shampoo off your ferret correctly. Spend more time focusing on washing all the shampoo off your pet during bath time and then dry it thoroughly.
Allergies In Ferrets
Although rare, some ferrets can develop allergies to a specific substance. This usually results in your ferret getting itchy skin whenever your ferret comes into contact with the substance it has an allergy to.
The most common allergy in ferrets is to soy products in their food. Soy is a popular filler substance in many cat or kitten foods. Although many ferret owners choose to feed their pet cat or kitten food we always recommend marshalls ferret food. If you do want to stick with a cat or kitten food then our articles linked below may be helpful, they will remove the threat of soy from your ferret’s diet.
Another allergy in ferrets is to rugs and carpets. If your ferret keeps biting its feet then this may be the problem. If you are unable to keep your ferret in its cage or let it play somewhere else we recommend that you seek veterinary assistance if you suspect your ferret has an allergy to your carpet.
Animal fats are an essential element in your ferret’s diet. If you are feeding your ferrets a sub-par food low in animal fats and high in vegetable protein then they will usually develop itchy skin.
To treat this simply get your ferret onto a high-quality food that contains animal fats. Our post on the ultimate food list for ferrets will be able to offer advice on additional food sources that you are able to feed your ferret to stop the itching.
Although there are a number of expensive supplements on the market that can be used, it is usually much cheaper and healthier for your ferret if you just put it on a good food.
Mange is a common skin disease in pets that is caused by mites. If you keep your pet ferret outside in a cage then it may be susceptible to getting mange. Although rarer, if you have a dog or cat in the house too then mange may be transferred from another pet to your ferret.
There are a number of sprays and creams designed to treat mange but there is little to no feedback on them from ferret owners. If you suspect your ferret may have mange then we advise you consider taking your ferret to your local veterinarian to get prescription medication.
If you have a middle-aged or senior ferret that’s over the age of four or five it may have adrenal problems. If it is losing hair around its hind legs and seems less playful then usual or as if your pet has less energy no matter what you try, it could be due to adrenal problems. Fear not, although this is usually a tumor, it is relatively simple to be fixed with surgery by your local veterinarian.
Cancer is a risk in older ferrets, some cancers can have an effect on their surrounding areas of the tumor making the skin become itchy. Your local veterinarian will be able to offer advice on how best to move forward if your ferret does have cancer. The majority of skin cancers can usually be operated on if you catch it early enough.
The Best Ferret Itch Relief
We have tried to cover the best possible solution for each of the main causes above as we covered them. If your ferret does not fit any of the symptoms above then we recommend that you take your ferret to the vets.
They will be able to do a full examination of your ferret and find out the exact cause of the problem. Additionally, they will be able to offer you the best treatment advice possible as well as issue prescription strength medication if required.
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