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When Do Ferrets Shed: 10 FAQs Answered

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If you have a ferret, then this article is for you! We answer 10 FAQs about when do ferrets shed. How much do they shed? Why does it happen? And more importantly, what can be done to help your pet stay comfortable while it sheds its fur coat?

Read on to find out the answers and get tips for helping your furry friend through this process.

First Off

It is normal that, your ferret sheds. That is something happening to almost all mammals (with fur). Just as we change our clothes from summer to winter, do animals “change” their fur. Shedding in Ferrets is also referred to as “molting.”

Ferrets are no exception. The amount of shedding that a ferret does will depend on the season, food (to some extent), and hormones.

1 When Do Ferrets Shed?

Ferrets shed in spring and fall.

“Because they shed each year in the spring and fall, hairballs may develop. Hairballs can cause vomiting, decreased appetite, or intestinal blockage. Use a soft brush to comb the fur. Loose hair can be controlled by changing bedding once a week. If your ferret is shedding a lot, you can treat it weekly with a malt-based cat or ferret laxative.

However, many of these contain large amounts of sugar. Your veterinarian can recommend appropriate brands.”

says expert James K. Morrisey, DVM, DABVP (Avian) over at MSD Manual (https://www.msdvetmanual.com/all-other-pets/ferrets/routine-health-care-for-ferrets)

2 How Much Do Ferrets Shed?

No two ferrets are the same. The amount of shedding will vary from ferret to ferret. There are also differences when it comes to age. Younger ferrets will shed more than older ferrets.

The amount of shedding also depends on the type and length (or thickness) of fur and how much time is spent outside in cold weather or hot sun-and even if they’re an indoor/outdoor pet! Some people believe a diet rich in protein may have an influence too.

3 How Long Do Ferrets Shed?

Ferrets shed for a few weeks in spring and fall. The fur that they shed is not just hair but also skin cells and oil from their glands which helps keep them clean!

The shedding process can be triggered by stress or changes in the environment, like when you bring home new furniture (which could cause allergies). It’s important during this time to be extra cautious with their diet.

Well, actually, your ferret is losing hair all year round. But not in such significant numbers as through shedding times.

Fun Fact: Ferrets have different kinds of fur types. The undercoat is the soft, downy fur that’s closest to your ferret. The guard hairs are what you see on top of their coat, and they’re much thicker than the undercoat – more sturdy. Guard hairs, protect them from sunburn or cold weather, and also help keep dirt away!

4 What Can You Do if Your Ferret Sheds?

The first thing you can do is brush your pet regularly, which will help eliminate the loose hair.

Also: be sure that they have a healthy diet with plenty of protein, provide them an environment where their skin does not experience extreme temperatures and make sure they get plenty of exercises.

5 Are Ferrets Seasonal Shedder?

The time of year when ferret’s skin cells and oil glands produce more fur is springtime (March-May) or fall/autumn months(September – November). They also go through the process in winter as well which can be triggered by stress.

6 Is Your Ferret Shedding More than Normal?

Certain health issues could lead to an increase in the amount of shedding. Normal shedding is about a quarter of an inch per day.

If you notice your ferret shedding more than this, you should take a closer look and consult with your vet.

7 What are the Reasons for Excessive Shedding:

  • Allergies to food, dust, or other substances can cause an allergic reaction that leads your ferret’s skin cells and oil glands to produce more fur than usual, which will result in excessive hair loss daily.
  • Alopecia: Mostly spayed or neutered ferrets – a condition where the hair falls out from an area of skin.
  • Ferrets could lose fur if they are stressed more than usual.
  • Hormonal changes: Ferrets can experience hormonal fluctuations that lead to shedding. Ex. puberty, or pregnancy
  • Adrenal disease: This is a condition where the adrenals produce too much of certain hormones due to a tumor. Hairloss typically starting at the base of the tail
  • Hypothyroidism: Hypo means low, and thyroid refers to thyroxine, which regulates metabolism in humans. In ferrets, this can lead to shedding, not regulating their body temperature, or maintaining normal energy levels.
  • In general: weakened immune system

Always, always check with your veterinarian. Never rely on the info you find on the internet!!

8 What is the Stud Tail

A “stud tail” is when a ferret’s fur falls out at the base of its tails. This can be due to hormonal changes (or adrenal disease) and usually happens to unneutered hobs during the breeding season.

The best way to determine whether your ferret is experiencing a hormone imbalance is to conduct bloodwork and/or an ultrasound.

In some cases, the enlarged adrenal gland may also be present, in which case medication can be prescribed for this condition.

9 The Reasons why Female Ferrets Shed Exessive Hair

Hyperestrogenism is a condition where female ferrets have too much estrogen in their bodies. This can lead to hair loss, which usually starts at the base of the tail and progresses up towards the head.

Treatment for hormonal imbalance could be that Hormones are given by injection to block the stimulation of sex hormones by the adrenal. A newer technique in treating hair loss involves inserting a tiny hormone-blocking implant under the skin.

10 Could Too much Light be an Issue?

The amount of light pet ferrets are exposed to. In the wild, ferrets spend a lot of their time burrowing underground and experience about eight hours a day. 

In a house, they may be in rooms where it’s bright 16 hours a day. This abnormal light-to-dark ratio messes with their hormones and could lead to shedding.

Conclusion

Ferrets shed each year in spring and fall. It is natural for ferrets to shed their fur.

Ferret owners should brush and groom the pet regularly and provide a healthy diet to maintain good health during shedding periods of time.

If you notice that your ferret loses more hair than usual, it is important to take him or her for a checkup over at your vet.

The veterinarian will conduct several tests to determine if there is a medical condition that needs to be addressed.

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