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Ferret hair loss

Ferret Hair Loss

It is common for ferrets to shed its warm and fluffy winter coat during spring time and to grow a new and much sleeker one.

It may lose weight during this period and slowly gain it back during fall in preparation for winter. This kind of ferret hair shedding is perfectly natural and owners need not be worried. In a twenty four hour day, the number of light hours can significantly affect a ferret’s coat and cause ferret hair loss.

The ferret responds to the light period, otherwise known as photoperiod and the hormones released may be one of the many ferret hair loss causes. Occasionally they may shed their coat almost overnight leaving just the skin and they may continue this way for weeks till the new coat starts growing. Some ferret hair shedding is confined to the guard hair or long surface hair leaving patches of hair on the skin.

This is, however, normal and the new coat will come up from the undercoat.

Sometimes ferret hair loss is confined to the tail and the condition is called tail alopecia. The condition may leave the tail with sparse hair, blackheads and a scaly bristly appearance. Ferret hair loss treatments will require a veterinary prescription along with proper nutrition. In most cases, the hair will grow back and shed again every spring. Make sure that your ferret is eating a well balanced diet that is high in animal protein and fat but low in fiber content and you can consult your veterinarian over any dietary supplements. Another ferret hair loss cause is a hormonal imbalance and this condition manifests itself by a thinning of hairs around the tail region and the insides of the leg. Barring the head and the tip of the tail, it may gradually lose most of its hair and the loss of hair could be due to a prolonged period of outside heat or in extreme case, adrenal gland tumors. If your ferret, whether male or female has been spayed and displays this kind of hair loss, a visit to the veterinarian is extremely important as it may indicate a serious health condition. If the ferret has undergone any kind of medical treatment or surgery in the past and its hair has been clipped, it may not grow back fast depending on its sensitivity to photoperiod. The area may remain hairless for weeks, but will grow back in due course.

  Submitted on May 10, 2010