One common thing among ferret owners is that they battle with foul smells, which ferrets are known for. If you notice that your ferrets poop smell so bad like rotten eggs, they are likely sick and they require urgent medical attention. Your ferret may likely be suffering from a viral infection known as Epizootic Carrtahal Enteritis (ECE).
However, taking proper care of your ferrets by making sure the house is clean of any poop and that the cage is constantly cleaned will help in getting rid of any foul smell before it becomes a regular odour in your house.
In this article, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about why ferrets’ poop smells so bad. Before we jump into the main topic discussion of this article, I’d like to say that the smell of your ferret’s poop depends on the kind of food they eat, you heard me correctly. Also, you have to always watch your ferret poop, I know it’s kind of absurd but it’s your pet we are talking about here. Doing this helps you to know when there’s a change in the smell and texture of the poop. It will help in identifying any sickness on time.
Why Does My Ferrets Poop Smell So Bad?
When your ferrets’ poop smells so bad like rotten eggs, it could be a sign that your ferret is sick. And in most cases when this happens, the ferrets are diagnosed with a viral infection known as Epizootic Carrtahal Enteritis (ECE).
Epizootic Carrtahal Enteritis is one sickness that’s common among ferrets. A highly contagious disease that spreads just by your ferret physically contacting an infected household pet or ferret, which could be a result of bringing home a new pet or ferret. Also, this sickness is known as the Green Shine Disease because it’s characterised by greenish diarrhoea that gets fatal within a space of a few days if not properly handled.
Having ferrets as pets in your house means you will be dealing with their poop. And to be able to care for them, you have to be good at observing the colour and texture of your ferrets’ poop. Normally, a ferret’s poop has a texture similar to that of toothpaste, however, this still depends on the kind of food they eat. For instance, if they are fed with dry ferret food, and you see a change in their poop, is a sign you should consider feeding them with wet and digestible food
Signs And Symptoms Of Epizootic Carrtahal Enteritis
The first sign of a ferret suffering from Epizootic Carrtahal Enteritis is greenish diarrhoea and this could start within 2 – 4 days from the day he got infected with the disease. Next, you will start noticing your ferret losing weight within the first week.
Besides, this greenish diarrhoea smells so bad that you won’t waste any time taking your ferret to the vet. Fortunately, the illness can be treated, and it has been proven that the younger ferrets recover faster than the adult ones.
Bear in mind that this disease can be deadly, so don’t hesitate in taking your ferret to the vet any time you spot any of the following signs:
1. Seedy ferret poop
We have established one fact, which is, that the normal texture of your ferret poop should look exactly like toothpaste. However, it changes depending on the kind of food your ferret eats.
A question has always come up whenever the poop of a ferret is discussed and that’s; “what if my ferret poop looks grainy?”
Well, several experts have tried to explain this seedy ferret poop. Some experts believe that it could be as a result of no change in the ferret’s diet, indicating that the seedy poop is showing that your ferret is stressed. And stress has been proved to be one of the causes of grainy ferret poop, although it’s not a major cause. While other experts are saying that seedy poop could be a sign of a medical problem, it has also been proven that gastrointestinal disease is likely the cause of seedy poop.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal disease in ferrets
We always recommend that you watch your ferret closely if their poop is seedy, you will probably notice other symptoms of the gastrointestinal disease such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight lose
When you notice any of the above symptoms take your ferret to the vet for treatment. And if your ferret poop is seedy because of stress, then check the living conditions of your ferret. Also, have in mind that new ferrets can be stressed as a result of their new environment – so try and make the cage comfortable for them to help reduce the stress level.
2. Straining to poop
The movement of the bowel is meant to be a normal and easy process for every organism. However, some reasons could cause your ferret to be experiencing constipation. And this brings serious difficulties in bowel movement and also pain.
When your ferret struggles to poop, it’s painful, which can cause the ferret to cry out loudly. This causes some ferrets to get scared of going to their litter box to poop because of the pain. This shouldn’t be ignored, especially if it’s accompanied by bloody stool.
What can cause your ferret to experience constipation
Constipation can be caused by dry ferret food and it can be a result of chronic diseases such as gastrointestinal sickness and ulcers. This is possible because gastrointestinal illness is likely to cause inflammatory bowel disease that makes it difficult and painful for ferrets to poop.
Also, constipation can likely be a result of your ferret suffering from internal trauma of the colon, which leads to bloody stool. If this is happening, then it’s time to visit the vet for a proper checkup to cure your ferret of difficulty in pooping.
What Can I Do To Get Rid Of Ferret Poop Smell?
Besides, getting rid of your ferret poop small means you’ll also be dealing with the unique smell of the ferret. At times, the smell will be so strong when the cage is not cleaned regularly, which is why emptying the litter box should be done daily. It will make their cage clean as well as get rid of the smell from the house and your ferrets will look healthy. Probably in your house, there are two or more ferrets, keep their litter boxes separate and cleaned, and be sure they don’t come in contact with each other’s poop. It’s a way of preventing the spread of diseases among them.
We have established the fact that the kind of food your ferrets eat will make their poop smell so bad. Moreover, you should also know that ferrets have a unique odour, it becomes stronger when they feel a bit threatened. However, this smell dies off after a while, it can make you and everyone in the house uncomfortable. This has made a lot of ferret owners have the anal glands of their ferrets removed surgically to reduce the foul smell.
Steps in getting rid of ferret poop smell
When your ferrets are healthy you won’t need to worry yourself about their health but how to get rid of the poop smell. To achieve this follow these steps:
1. Train your ferret on how to use a litter box
The first thing you do when you bring home your ferret, train it on how to use the litter box. Fortunately, it’s not a difficult task to train your ferret on how to use a litter box since ferrets are known to be intelligent animals. So you have to observe the place they choose to poop and then install the litter tray there. This will help you know their preferred place, then put a little of their waste in this litter, this will let them know that’s where to poop.
However, bear in mind that this will take some days before your ferret can master the art of using this tray. And once they master how to master it, reward your ferret with a treat. Next, ensure that this litter tray is kept clean, it’s an easy way to get rid of the smell of their poop from the house. Besides, keeping your ferret in a neat and conducive environment helps in protecting them from contracting any sickness.
2. Clean the cage weekly
Find time from your busy schedule to adequately care for your ferret. Always clean the cage with disinfectants and rinse with water. Also, make sure you change the beddings and litter box regularly. With this proper clean-up, your ferrets will enjoy a clean environment and the spread of contagious diseases will be minimised.
3. Clean the food and water bowls every few days
Ferrets are your pets so you have to make sure that they stay in a clean and healthy cage. Including their food and water bowls should be washed every 2 days. Dirty and messy food bowls can contribute to the smell in your house and besides, it’s not hygienic for your ferret to eat from such bowls.
4. Buy an air purifier
Purchasing an air purifier for ferret smell will help to get rid of the smell from the house. Ensure that the air purifier does not produce a lot of heat because it will affect your ferret. Place the air purifier above the cage so that the smell can get rid off immediately as it’s oozing out from the cage.
Ferret poop smells so bad, however, smelling like rotten eggs is not a good one but rather an indication that your ferret is not healthy. This is why you have to be observant to know when there are changes in texture, colour, and smell of the ferret poop. You have to be proactive because some of the sicknesses behind this problem can be fatal if not handled early.