How do you cool down a ferret?
Can ferrets get heat stroke?
Everything you need to know about hot weather and ferrets you will find in this post. Can ferrets die from heat? What are the signs of having a heat stroke? Those are only a few questions I will answer here. Keep reading and make sure to keep your ferret cool during hot summer weather.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why Are Ferrets Prone To Heat Strokes?
Ferrets can’t sweat like humans and they can’t control their body temperature during summer days. Their sweat glands are underneath their fur and they can’t cool off their body quickly enough due to the thick fur. That is why they can experience heat strokes just like dogs can, they are even more sensitive than dogs when it comes to high temperatures.
What Temp Is Too Hot For Ferrets?
The ideal temperature for a ferret shouldn’t be higher than 70°F which is around 21°C. They can handle higher temperatures, this is only the ideal measure. The temperature you should be concerned about is from 85° to 90°F which is around 26°C to 35°C. You know that those temperatures are hot even for us, let alone a furry creature like a ferret.
That is why you should know how to keep the ferret room cool no matter how hot it is. Now, I know that sometimes you can’t do much when it comes to the room, but you can do something when it comes to smaller spaces like the cage of your ferret or the playpen you have in your ferret room.
What Are The Signs Of Ferret Having A Heat Stroke?
Before we talk about ferret heatstroke prevention, let’s talk about how you can recognize if the temperature in your room is too hot for your ferret. There are signs that can notice in a ferret if he is too hot. They can vary from mild symptoms to severe ones and I will list them all here.
Your Ferret Is Lethargic
We all know that ferrets are energetic animals that love to sleep a lot. So, when you combine a long sleep with a ferret that doesn’t move around you know something is wrong. Make sure your ferret can walk, try to bribe him with treats or a toy. If he doesn’t move, something isn’t right.
Ferret Is Lying Flat On The Floor
I am not talking about the famous “speed bump” ferrets occasionally make that lasts around 10 seconds max. I am talking about lying without moving for a couple of minutes.
Most ferrets that experience hot temperatures will lay on the floor with their legs spread wide. This symptom is usually accompanied by lethargy and shallow breathing, which is our next symptom.
When you notice your ferret has shallow breathing, mouth hanging open with tongue out, you can be sure it is very close to a heat stroke. This behavior can lead to more severe symptoms like foam around their mouth and nose, which can end with a seizure too.
Drooling And Vomiting
Besides foam, your ferret can also drool, even vomit when temperatures are too high. If your ferret is doing one of those three things, it is time to cool him down and do it properly.
If your ferret has opened mouth you can take a close look at his teeth and gums. When a ferret is experiencing a heat stroke, you will see that his gums aren’t red (or pink) as usual. They will be pale, even white and you have to react as soon as possible.
Most ferrets have reddish footpads so this is a symptom you can’t easily recognize. But, if you see that your ferret’s footpads are brighter than usual and he is experiencing any other symptom from the list, you have to cool him down immediately.
How To Cool Down A Ferret With Heat Stroke?
The most important thing you should know before cooling down a ferret with heat stroke is that you shouldn’t do it in one step. If you cool down a ferret quickly, his body can go into shock from the difference in the temperature. That means you have to cool your ferret down slowly, step by step.
Put The Ferret In Colder Room
The first thing you can do is gently pick up the ferret and put him in a colder room. That room can be a bathroom, your room, or any other room with a lower temperature. If you have ceramic tiles in the room, place the ferret on them. Most of the time they are much cooler than carpet or hardwood floors.
Use A Cool Towel
Then, grab a cool towel and start slowly wiping your ferret with it. Don’t use a cold towel, a room temperature water should be just fine for the start. Start with the ferret’s head and slowly continue down the body all the way to the tail. Don’t forget to wipe the front and back legs too. Do this for a couple of minutes, if you feel that the towel is warm, use another one. This is a slow way to bring your ferret’s temperature down.
Bathe A Ferret
If you have a ferret who doesn’t mind getting wet, you can prepare a bath. But, don’t use any shampoo, simple water is enough. The water should be cool, but not cold, just like the towel. Gently grab your ferret and place it in the water back legs first.
Slowly place the entire body in the water, but monitor his behavior. If you see that your ferret is struggling, stop the process and simply pour the water down his body. Just like with the step above, everything you do should be slow and gradual so you don’t drive your ferret into shock.
Visit The Veterinarian
If you did everything right, you should see some improvements with your ferret. But, if you see that your ferret is getting better, but not good enough, visit the vet. Do that with a ferret wrapped in a cool towel, preferably in an air-conditioned car. Veterinarians can help with his temperature and give him much-needed fluids for quicker recovery.
What You Shouldn’t Do With A Ferret Heat Stroke?
There are a few things you shouldn’t do in this situation. Most of them have one thing in common; they drop the temperature too quickly or they don’t do it quickly enough.
Don’t Use Air Conditioner For Cooling Your Ferret
Ait conditioners won’t cool your ferret quickly enough so don’t use them for that. You can use them to keep the temperature in the room down, but cooling a ferret with an air conditioner can result only in your ferret catching a cold.
Don’t Toss The Ferret In Cold Water
If you toss the ferret in cold water, he will most likely go into shock. It is dangerous to lower the temperature that quickly and it is something you should avoid at all costs. Also, you have to observe your ferret’s behavior. The moment you notice your ferret is shivering, you have to stop. That means you lowered his temperature too much and that is not the goal of cooling down the ferret.
How To Prevent A Ferret Heat Stroke?
Now that we know what it is and how we can fight it, let’s talk about how to prevent it. Preventing a heat stroke in ferrets is not complicated and you don’t have to spend a fortune for it. All you need are a few things you probably already have at home.
Use Air Conditioners Or Fans For Cooling Room
If you already have a fan or air conditioner in your home, use them. They will keep the temperature in the room lower than outside.
But, make sure that fans have protective mesh and that they are away from your ferret’s reach. Good options are those fans on the ceiling, as long as your ferret can’t reach them.
Move The Cage Away From Sun
Make sure that the sun doesn’t hit the cage in any part of the day. Move it away from the window and, if you can, place a cover over the cage so your ferret can be in dark.
Use Frozen Bottles
You can fill plastic bottles with water and place them in the freezer overnight. Then, when you notice the rise in the temperature, place them around the cage, and in a few places, you know your ferrets love to sleep.
When it becomes too hot, your ferret will come near the bottle to cool down. If you have a ferret how loves to chew on plastic, it is a good idea to place a bottle in a towel so your ferret can’t reach the plastic.
Make A Small Pool
You can grab a pan or any container and place it on the floor. It would be ideal to have one with lower sides, but a high one is as effective. Fill it with water for about an inch and put the towels around it and under it.
Your ferrets can cool down without your intervention that way. If he hates water you can place a treat or two in the water and you will see him hunting the treat in no time. Towels around the container will prevent the mess from spreading around.
Cool Food And Water Bowls
If you use stainless steel water and food bowls, you can place them in the fridge for a couple of minutes. That way your ferret will have cool water and food so they can cool down.
Can Ferrets Die From Heat?
Actually, yes. Ferrets can die from heatstroke. That is why it is important for them to stay in a cool room and if you can’t put them in a cool room, use the methods mentioned above to prevent heat strokes.
Do Ferrets Like The Heat?
Ferrets don’t like the heat because they can’t control their body temperature. A ferret heat stroke is a common issue you as the owner can prevent with a few simple steps.
Can Ferrets Get Heat Stroke?
Yes, ferrets can easily get a heat stroke so you have to make sure the temperature in the room ferret is in doesn’t go higher than 85°F.
Keeping a ferret in a cool environment is essential. Although there are periods when we can’t do that, there are ways to prevent a ferret heat stroke. So, keep your ferrets cool during summer weather and share with us your thoughts on this topic! Subscribe to our newsletter for more useful tips and tricks about ferrets!