Ferrets are playful, curious, and relatively docile—characteristics that have made them increasingly popular as pets. Because of their curious nature, unique biology, and increased average lifespan due to improved care, ferrets are prone to specific diseases and conditions that can be debilitating.

1 Adrenal Gland Hyperplasia or Neoplasia

Adrenal gland hyperplasia or neoplasia most often affects middle- aged ferrets, particularly those between 3 and 4 years of age.1,2 Affected ferrets frequently display symmetrical hair loss (Figure 1), which usually begins on the back and/or tail. Spayed ferrets can have vulvar enlargement. Male ferrets can develop prostatomegaly and secondary dysuria, stranguria, anuria, and/or urinary obstruction. Male and female ferrets may display increased sexual behavior or aggression. The cause is unclear; early spaying and neutering, increased period of exposure to light, and genetics have been suggested.1-3


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