Hair loss in people and pets is also known as Alopecia. That is a partial or complete loss of hair in an area where it is normally present. This is a common disorder in ferrets and will often develop starting as early as 3 years old.
Alopecia can be a symptom of an underlying health issue. The type of hair loss, and the way in which it develops, can be an indicator of the cause.
Large and diffused hair loss – This can be due to metabolic conditions or folliculardysplasi, which is a genetic condition.
Patchy hair loss – This can be a result of a bacterial or parasitic infection. It can be sudden or progress slowly.
- Adrenal Disease
- Hormone Imbalnace
- Immune disorders
- Allergic reactions
- Bacterial infections
- Nutritional problems
To diagnose the ferret with alopecia, your veterinarian will first want to rule out other causes for the ferret’s hair loss such as skin cancer and hormone imbalance. Then, depending on the underlying cause, your veterinarian will conduct a series of examinations to confirm the diagnosis. This may include blood and chemistry analysis to test for anemia, infection or hormone and steroid imbalance.
Your vet will need to examine your ferret to identify what is causing the hair loss. A course of treatment will be recommended based on those findings. If it is cancer, then surgery may be needed. However, it could be something as simple as parasites. In which case, you treat the parasites and will usually be given a cream for their skin.
The best prevention is making sure your ferret is healthy. Give them their annual checkup. Make sure to keep up with parasite prevention. Give them a good well balanced diet. Reduce stress and anxiety by playing with them.
If your ferret has hair loss, bring them into the vet for an evaluation.