Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Although it could be something simple such as hairballs or upper respiratory infection, some ferrets tend to suffer from cardiomyopathy – an enlarged heart.

For this reason i strongly advice taking him to the vet in order to get it checked as soon as possible.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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Wheezing. This is a high-pitched noise often compared to whistling and is caused by narrowing of the airways. This is rarely normal in ferrets and can be a symptom of foreign material in the airways or conditions such as allergic airway disease.
Labored breathing, coughing, wheezing, and respiratory crackles are signs associated with diseases involving the lower respiratory tract. A healthy ferret should have cold, slightly wet nose and should have a resting respiratory rate around 35 breaths per minute.
A Cold: If your ferret has a runny nose or is coughing or sneezing, they most likely have a common cold. Simply give your ferret extra fluid. If its health doesn`t improve in a few days, call your vet.
If a ferret has contracted an infection in the upper respiratory tract, common symptoms can include sneezing, nasal and ocular discharged, along with open mouth breathing. A ferret suffering from lower respiratory infection will display symptoms such as respiratory crackles, wheezing, coughing and labored breathing.
Coughing is fairly common among ferrets, or at least as much as it is in other animals. Formally defined as forceful exhalations of air through the glottis or mouth and throat, a cough may be brought on by a variety of factors, either automatic or inspired.
Most ferrets with bacterial pneumonia respond to antibiotic therapy and supportive care. In some cases that recover from Mycoplasma infection, ferrets become chronic carriers and may have recurring episodes of coughing.

If it is determined that your ferret has a simple common cold, you can help him get over his illness by giving him lots of fluids. You will want to prevent him from becoming dehydrated and may want to try giving him some rehydrating drinks made for children.

It is important for ferrets to take in nutrients when they are sick to avoid additional complications. A popular choice is baby food. Remember that ferrets need a meat-based diet, and choose a baby food accordingly. Serve the food barely warm using fingers, a spoon, or syringe.
If your furry buddy seems listless, tired, or withdrawn, he may not be feeling well. Ferrets sometimes look dazed when they are sick, and they may grind their teeth. Pawing at the mouth is another red flag, as is excessive drooling.
Hairballs are often associated with cats, but ferrets can also have hairballs, which form when the ferret grooms himself and ingests a large amount of hair. Although hairballs can occur at any time, ferrets are more likely to groom themselves during the fall and spring, because that`s when their hair begins to shed.
Ferrets prefer cooler weather, and even enjoy the snow! However, again, if its too cold and snowy, your ferret could get chilled.
Signs of infection can include nasal discharge, difficulty breathing, increased respiratory rate, loss of appetite, lethargy, discolouration of the mucous membranes, and fever.
Ferrets also like to chew on soft or plastic objects such as foam, pencil erasers, rubber bands, buttons, and other objects commonly found around the home. These objects can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage. An intestinal blockage can be fatal and usually requires emergency surgery.
Most healthy adult ferrets recover within 7 to 14 days with proper care. Nutritional support and fluids, either oral or injectable, will be needed in most cases. Sometimes, your veterinarian may also prescribe cough suppressants, decongestants, and/or antibiotics.
Ferrets prefer an environmental temperature of between 60-75°F (15-23°C), and when the central heating is switched on, many homes will exceed this temperature, which can make living conditions uncomfortable for the ferret.
Pesticides such as ant bait, fly/wasp spray, slug pellets and rat poison can cause death in ferrets, as can alcohol, paint, spirits, petrol, varnish, glue and batteries. Phenols are extremely hazardous to ferrets so do not use a phenol based cleaner to clean your ferrets` accommodation.
Ferrets can be infected with influenza A and B viruses (human flu), just like people. People can spread flu to ferrets, and it`s possible that ferrets may be able to spread flu to people. If you have a pet ferret at home, you should: Get a yearly flu vaccine.
There are many reasons why your ferret could be experiencing a runny nose, sneezing, and gagging. Some causes, such as allergies or a common cold, are minor, while others, such as cancerous tumors or the canine distemper virus, are life-threatening.
Other causes can be due to poor health; a ferret may have a low body temperature if it has been unwell for a long period of time with severe infection or in cases of advanced diarrhea. A cold, draughty, wet environment can cause a ferret to be hypothermic.
Bacterial pneumonia is relatively uncommon in ferrets, but when present, should be considered a serious, life-threatening disease. Causing an inflammation of the lungs, it usually occurs secondary to viral infection or aspiration of foreign material.
Ferrets love the companionship of other ferrets for comfort and play. Ferrets don`t cope well living alone and should be kept in pairs or groups. You`ll often find them having an impromptu play, charging around their enclosure and springing at each other.
The animals most commonly affected with streptococcosis are horses, guinea pigs, swine, dogs, cats, and fish. Less frequently disease can occur in monkeys, cattle, sheep, goats, ferrets, and poultry.
Ferrets can be very emotional at times. You may be surprised to find your ferret is prone to depression. Like humans, ferrets will grieve the loss of a friend, either human or animal. Sad ferrets may spend time in areas their buddy used to frequent.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Hello! My beloved ferret is doing a sort of half-cough/wheeze, but only in her sleep. Time for a vet trip?
ANSWER : A. Although it could be something simple such as hairballs or upper respiratory infection, some ferrets tend to suffer from cardiomyopathy – an enlarged heart.

For this reason i strongly advice taking him to the vet in order to get it checked as soon as possible.

Q. How can I keep my 14 year old Yorkie from snapping at the younger ones?
ANSWER : A. It’s all about management. Do not allow the 7yo’s to interact with your 14yo unsupervised. You should be there each time they interact so you can redirect the 14yo’s attention onto some toys, or onto some treats when the 7yo’s are around. It sounds like you need to help your 14yo make positive associations with being around the younger pups. You should be trying to feed him treats each time he interacts with them, and doesn’t snap at them. Pet and praise him each time he is around them, or any time they are near. As I said, keep the separated when you cannot supervise their interactions because if you aren’t around when he is snapping at them, you could end up with a fight on your hands.

It could also be that they spend too much time together. Imagine spending 100% of your time with somebody, day in and out, doing everything together… including going to the bathroom.. that might bother anybody. I think you should give them more time apart from each other. Take them all on separate walks, separate them to play with them individually, separate them when you take them to potty, separate feeding times in separate rooms, etc. This can help alleviate the stress your older dog is feeling due to living closely with other dogs. You should always be giving individual activities in a houseful of dogs anyway.. when you expect them to get along 100% of the time, that’s when you find trouble.

Q. What antibiotic do we need for a lower urinary tract infection (UTI) for a ferret?
ANSWER : A. If you need to administer an antibiotic for a UTI in your ferret it is best to have your vet prescribe the appropriate medication. Bringing in a sample of your ferret’s urine can check for a UTI first, before giving the medication. Ferrets are much smaller than other pets, so even if they are prescribed a similar medication, it may be in a much different dosage to meet their size. Many vets will now see ferrets without needing to see an exotic or pocket-pet only vet!

Q. My pet is sleeping all day, not eating. What should I do?
ANSWER : A. If your pet has had a sudden change in behavior where they are lethargic (sleeping a lot) and not eating, it may be time for a checkup with your vet. Pets can often begin to sleep more and not want to eat if they are not feeling well, have an illness, or may just have some aging related problems such as arthritis. Having your vet take a look can help. Until you can get to the vet, enticing your pet to eat with some bland foods such as warmed up boiled chicken mixed with plain rice, or plain hamburger or turkey may help. These foods are often smelly and exciting to pets, as well as being gentle on upset stomachs. Eating may also help to give your pet some energy back until seeing the vet.

Q. My dog cracked his nail horizontally, I put neosporine on it with gauze and a sock for no snagging. What should I do and what would a vet cost?
ANSWER : A. It depends on how deep it’s cut and if it’s going to snag on something and rip the entire nail off. It would probably be best to go to the vet now rather than later when a more serious injury occurs. The cost really depends on where you live and what the vet decides to do. I really can’t give much of an estimate other than the initial cost of a sick exam (which also varies from vet to vet). Call the vet and when you make the appointment ask how much a sick exam costs, that will be your initial payment (Amount just to see the vet).

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. My cat, male cat 1.4yrs,salivating most of the times, mainly during sleep. he is sleeping most of the times. appetite normal. sleeping mostly.Plz help
ANSWER : A. Cats and kittens are known to sleep a lot. It is difficult especially with a young kitten to know what is normal. But if he is sleeping more than usual then it may be a problem. Excessive salivation can be a sign of something abnormal in the mouth like a bad tooth or sometimes something is stuck in the roof of the mouth. Excessive salivation may also be related to nausea, so if he has been vomiting or not eating that could be the reason. Also, rarely this can be related to a liver issue. The bottom line is you will need to get him checked out by a veterinarian as soon as you can make an appointment.

Q. My dogs end up awake every morning at 6 am, what can I do to keep them sleep even after wearing them out before bed?
ANSWER : A. It is possible that that is when your pets need to go potty and the longest they can hold it, or it may be they are getting hungry or antsy. If you used to get up at this time, it can sometimes be hard to break the routine as well. Tiring them out at night is one good way of getting them to sleep in longer, as well as letting them go potty immediately before going to sleep so that they have the longest time possible to hold urine and stool. Providing them with a puzzle toy or treat that keeps them occupied in the morning may also help prevent them from disturbing you. Lastly, preventing them access from your bedroom can help you to sleep in longer without having a dog trying to lick you awake!

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