Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It us fairly common for ferrets to suffer from hyperadrenocorticism. I would recommend having a check up with your vet and a blood test.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

The most common cause of alopecia in ferrets is adrenal disease, which is a serious condition that requires surgical treatment. Other causes include allergic reactions, bacterial infections, parasitic infections, immune disorders, and an unbalanced diet.
The most common causes of weight loss in ferrets are stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal disorders, liver disease, poisoning, and cancer. Stomach ulcers occur when the lining of the stomach is damaged and stomach acid prevents the wound from properly healing.
Stomach ulcers, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, tumors and poisoning are all common reasons for weight loss in ferrets.
Clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease or obstruction typically include lethargy, weakness, reluctance to move, and ferrets will commonly refuse to eat or eat less than usual, may lose weight, and may develop diarrhea. If you detect any one or more of these signs bring your ferret to a veterinarian immediately.
Flea infestation is a common problem in pet ferrets. Itching is the most common sign of flea infestation, with hair loss around the top of the neck and down the back occurring with heavy infestations.
Causes of Loss of Appetite in Ferrets

There are several main causes of a loss of appetite: liver or kidney problems, poisoning, a viral or bacterial infection or direct damage to the gastrointestinal tract.

Ferrets over three years of age that are showing signs of lethargy (lack of energy) or trouble walking may be exhibiting signs of low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia). This condition is brought on by excess insulin excretion by a cancerous growth of the pancreas, commonly known as an insulinoma.
Sad ferrets may spend time in areas their buddy used to frequent. They may also slouch, flatten themselves out, and sigh. Unlike sick ferrets, sad ferrets won`t squint. Ferrets are quite inquisitive, charming, and frisky little pets.
Feed Your Ferret More

So, choose the best kibble or a raw meat diet and use that 5-10% rule for their food intake. The food should be rich in proteins and fat and avoid fibers and sugar at all costs. Since you want to fatten up your ferret, make sure you are closer to the 10% than you are at the 5%.

Commonly, ferrets with insulinoma experience gradually progressive weakness and lethargy over weeks to months. Excessive salivation, pawing at the mouth, and weakness of the hind limbs are also frequently observed. Signs may be intermittent, with periods of normal activity in between periods of lethargy.
Therapeutic options for treating insulinoma in ferrets include medical or surgical management or, sometimes, both. The choice of therapy depends on severity of the disease, clinical signs, preexisting disease, and owner preferences and finances.
Here we provide a normative weight dataset for the healthy female ferret and demonstrate that ferrets show predictable and stereotypical seasonal fluctuations in weight, with most animals gaining around 0.89% of their average body weight per week in winter and losing around 0.65% of their weight per week in summer.
Even an ill animal will show signs of comfort being held quietly in your lap. An extremely ill ferret will be unresponsive – will not pick up their head, or may even try to move away as if your touch was too tiring for them. When death is rapidly approaching, you may find your ferret collapsed, taking deep breaths.
Some causes of alopecia may require environmental (husbandry, diet) changes only. Parasitic, bacterial or fungal infections will require medications to be administered/applied to your ferret to eliminate the cause. Internal causes, eg hormonal, may require long-term medication or even surgery.
Fungal infection of the skin, hair, and nails (dermatophytosis) in ferrets is a cutaneous infection that grows in the keratinized layers of continuously replenishing cellular structures. This rare form of fungal infection is caused by the isolated organisms Microsporum canis and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
Ferrets have a very high metabolic rate, and a short digestive tract. This means they process their food very quickly, and need to eat little and often.
You can feed your ferret twice a day. A little in the morning and a little at night. Don`t overfeed them because they will eat just out of boredom. And just like us put on a lot of weight, and that`s not healthy for them in the end.
If the jill does not ovulate, she`ll continue to produce oestrogen (she`ll stay in season until they`re mated). But, remaining in season can cause severe health problems for a jill. It can cause alopecia (hair loss) and even death from oestrogen-associated anaemia (deficiency in red blood cells).
In ferrets diagnosed with adrenal disease, the portion of the adrenal gland that produces sex hormones goes haywire and generates excessive amounts of hormones. Although veterinarians are not sure why ferrets develop adrenal disease, Sadar says excessive light exposure, genetics and early neutering may play a role.
Initial symptoms of Addison`s disease can include: overwhelming exhaustion and lack of energy. loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss.
Ferrets with dental disease may try to fill themselves up on water, if eating is too painful; the ferret will drink excessively in an attempt to feel full, which in turn will lead to increased urination. These ferrets will lose weight, condition and appear miserable.
Ferrets may display abnormal behavior, such as intraspecific and interspecific aggression, house soiling, stereotypies, and absence of play behavior. When awake, healthy young ferrets exhibit constant motor activity. 8 With age, they become calmer and more prone to rest on their owners` lap.
Remember, ferrets feel pain in the same way we do and changes in their behaviour can be early signs of illness or pain.
Although ferrets are generally more tolerant of cold than hot weather whether or not you keep them inside or outside, they will require some special care and considerations throughout the colder months of the year, to ensure they remain happy and healthy.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Why does my dog eat grass?
ANSWER : A. As another user mentioned, dogs can eat grass when they want to vomit. Sometimes, when a dog has an upset tummy, they will eat grass. If you notice your dog eating grass frantically, you can assume vomiting will shortly follow. Grass does not digest and pass normally. If your dog eats too much grass, it can cause serious issues with pooping. Your dogs poop can end up all tangled inside of her, and it can need veterinary assistance to remove it. The same goes for celery, so avoid feeding celery to your dog.

The other day my boyfriend accidentally left the laundry room door open where we were keeping the trash that was filled with cooked chicken bones. She ate one of the chicken bones lightning fast. We had to induce vomiting by feeding her some hydrogen peroxide. After we had fed her the peroxide, she immediately began frantically eating grass because her tummy was upset.

If there is something lacking in your dogs diet, it could be that your dog is eating grass to make up for it. I am sure that my dogs diet is extremely well balanced (I do not only feed her an air-dried raw food-type diet (Ziwipeak), but a wide variety of safe, healthy foods), so when she eats grass, I know that it is because she has an upset tummy.

That is why I think it is important making sure your dog has a very well balanced diet. If your dog is on a low quality kibble, your dog may be trying to let you know by eating grass (or eating poop).

Q. My pet shows weight loss and has a hard time walking, like he has lost strength in his legs and has no control to maintain balance. What’s wrong?
ANSWER : A. Loss of balance or inability to control the limbs can be caused by a wide range of problems and is usually cause for concern. Damage to the nerves or muscles can cause loss of balance, as well as neurological disease or some illnesses. Having your vet perform a complete examination is needed to determine the exact cause.

Weight loss can refer to the actual loss of fat and weight on your dog, or may also be due to the loss of muscle tone in the body. If there is a problem with one of the limbs, it may be that the weight loss you are seeing is actually loss of muscle in that area. Weight loss can again be caused by a wide range of problems from neurologic disease, illness, parasites or disease. Making an appointment with your vet is best.

Q. My dog is house trained but has started pooping in the house, why is she doing that?
ANSWER : A. It could be the type of food you are feeding. If you are feeding a lower quality kibble, it will be packed with fillers. These fillers will cause your dog to poop more than is necessary, and it can cause your dog to poop indoors because of the excess poop. Finding a higher quality kibble like Taste of the Wild, Orijen, or a high quality food like Ziwipeak, or Honest Kitchen, will help with that issue.

Remember to NEVER scold for accident indoors. The more you scold, the more fearful your dog is of pooping in front of you, the less your dog will want to poop in front of you outdoors, the more he will poop indoors, the more you scold… it’s a vicious cycle.

Have you been cleaning messes with Nature Miracle? Pick up a bottle, and try cleaning with that instead of regular cleaner. It will eliminate the smells deep down (even to your dog), which will discourage him from potting in that spot again.

Maybe he needs to be taken outside more often, and maybe he needs to be kept outside longer each time. He should be allowed at least 10 minutes of roaming outside before he has to come back inside. Allow him 10 minutes every single time you bring him outside, just in case he has to poop. He needs every opportunity you can give him. Bring him outside every hour if he’s full grown, every 40 minutes if he’s an adolescent (6-10 months), and every 30 minutes if he’s a puppy (2-6 months). If you have a doggy door, you should still be bringing your dog outside yourself to encourage him to stay outside longer, and poop. When he does poop outside, you should praise him, and reward him with lots of treats!

Q. My 3 month puppy eats his own poop and is also biting what can I do to prevent this
ANSWER : A. When it comes to poop eating, you want to consider a few things. First off, what is his diet like? Maybe something is lacking in his diet that is causing him to want to eat his own poop. This is the most common reason why dogs eat THEIR OWN poop. Try a higher quality kibble like Taste of the Wild, Ziwipeak, Orijen.. and try feeding three meals per day, instead of the more common two meals per day. Remember to gradually switch his kibble. Add a little bit of the new kibble and reduce the old kibble very slowly.. little by little every couple of days until the bowl is mostly new kibble! You should also be cleaning up his poops IMMEDIATELY after he does them.. I mean like, you have a bag in your hand, and you are low enough to scoop it up RIGHT when he finished so he doesn’t have a chance to eat his poop.

When it comes to nipping there are a few things you can do. First, you should yelp as soon as the teeth touch your skin, stand up, cross your arms, and ignore the puppy until he is ignoring you. Once he is off doing his own thing, swoop down and calmly reward him by playing with him WITH A TOY so he doesn’t nip your hands. Whenever you pet him, or interact with him, you should always have a toy on-hand so you can give it to him. This toy should be a soft braided rope toy that YOU own. This means, your puppy is never allowed to have this toy on the floor, and your pup can never “win” tug games with this toy. This is YOUR toy that disappears when you’re finished playing, and reappears when you want to play. If you keep this up, in a weeks time, your puppy will be so excited to see that toy, that as soon as you bring it out, he stops nipping you because he wants to play with the toy. Another thing you can do is have two bags of toys. Bag#1 is full of chew toys/soft toys/squeaky toys/etc. After one week, Bag#1 disappears and out comes Bag#2. Bag#2 has the same types of toys as Bag#1, and it only stays out for one week. This keeps the toys feeling like new to your pup!

Q. My 8mo. puppy eats feces. Wedont scorn him for pottymishaps. He hides feces in his bed.I feed him blue buffalo 2 per day. How do I stop this?
ANSWER : A. A lot of dogs do this, and sometimes it is just because feces tastes good.. sometimes it is due to something lacking in their diet.. but a lot of the time, it’s just fun and tasty. The only way to handle this situation is management. You should be cleaning up your two dogs poops immediately when they happen. Scoop them up, throw them into the woods, or into a can. You cannot give your pup access to the poops.

You could also try adding things to your pups diet. Things like canned pumpkin for dogs (not the pie filling you find in the grocery store, that has way too much sugar in it). Or you could feed your dog raw chews like marrow bones, or beef tendons. You’ll have to add things to his diet in order to find out what is missing from it. If you allow him to continue eating poop, even if there is something lacking in his diet, he will continue eating poop when you’ve solved his diet issue because it will become a LEARNED behavior. This means he will continue eating poop because he learned he CAN eat poop. You could also try feeding him three meals per day. Feed him the same amount of food, but break it up into three feedings per day. This could help him feel a bit more full throughout the day.

Clean up your yard, and clean up after your pups immediately when they eliminate outdoors. Do not scold him, there is no need.. it isn’t his fault.

Read Full Q/A … : R

Q. My pet is overweight, what should I look for in a food?
ANSWER : A. There are many therapeutic food options available. These foods have been formulated to provide the proper nutrients with controlled calories or formulated to alter metabolism, so the pet will lose weight. Using over-the-counter wellness foods is not advised for weight loss. They have not been formulated for weight loss, so while calories can be restricted; nutrients will also be restricted, which could result in deficiencies in important nutrients, such as protein, minerals or vitamins.

There are many options for weight loss foods. There are restricted calories and fat foods; typically calories are replaced with fiber, water or air to give a feeling of fullness. The pet can eat the same amount, but receive fewer calories. There are weight loss foods that alter metabolism. High protein foods have been used successfully to alter metabolism to burn fat. Research has been completed using neutrogenomic technology to alter metabolism in dogs and cats.

Q. My dog is losing weight but still eats a lot. Also his balance is off
ANSWER : A. Loss of balance and weight or loss of muscle tone (which can look like weight loss) may indicate a neurologic or muscular issue is going on. You may also see other symptoms such as dizziness, drooling or even vomiting if your dog is very disoriented. As these problems can be serious, it is best to schedule an exam with your local vet as soon as possible to check for causes of neuro, nerve or muscular issues which could be causing the signs you are seeing. Until then, you may want to limit his activity to prevent accidental injury from loss of balance.