An obese ferret is a ferret in danger. Discover the causes, consequences and ways to combat your ferret's obesity.
How to tell if your ferret is obese
It is sometimes difficult to tell if your ferret is obese because their weight can change so much with the seasons. In the winter, a ferret's weight can increase to the point of plumpness. It is also possible to confuse weight gain with pregnancy or the presence of a tumor in the abdomen. In order to tell, it is recommended to gently touch the thorax of the ferret in order to evaluate the layer of fat that covers the ferret's sides.
If you have any doubts, don't hesitate to go to a vet!
Causes of ferret obesity
Ferret obesity can be boiled down to two main causes: inappropriate diet and a lack of physical exercise. Usually, an obese ferret is used to receiving treats regularly and in a high quantity. For those who do not exercise, the ferret doesn't leave their cage enough and is confined to spaces where they can't expend their energy.
Obese ferrets are also those who are left alone in the house without company. Consequently, they get bored and eat more to compensate for lack of stimulation.
Consequences of ferret obesity
Obesity can cause a ferret to have more fragile joints, allowing them to break more easily. It can also lead to cardiac and liver diseases. Pancreatic tumors, otherwise called insulinoma, can also develop in ferrets who receive too many sugary treats.
How to combat ferret obesity
To begin with, it is important not to see your ferret as a walking dustbin! Many owners think that they are pleasing the ferret in giving them leftovers, sweets, cakes, cold meats... but these foods are very unhealthy for ferrets. Cat food is also not good for ferrets as it is not adapted to their fragile digestion.
In order to get your ferret to exercise more, take your ferret out of their cage more often. Play with them and place toys around the area to allow them to expend their energy. Change these toys regularly as well as their placement so that they discover something new each time!
Weigh your ferret once a week and note the results. Don't hesitate to contact your vet in order to confirm your ferret's diet. They will always be able to tell if your ferret's weight gain is the result of a serious disease.
Have you ever had an obese ferret?
Source photo : Yummypets