If a ferret is having problems urinating, it’s not just painful, it is a very serious problem. The urine fills the bladder, which causes a lot of pain and makes it difficult to urinate or defecate. If there’s pain, the ferret isn’t going to eat or drink enough. Without enough fluids, (whether from urinary tract problems or something else), the kidneys are strained trying to process poisons out of the bloodstream. Enough strain on the kidneys results in them starting to break down and renal failure occurs. Depending upon the ferret’s age and health, this could be as fast as a couple of days. Once an animal is in renal failure, there is nothing to be done.
Of note, if the ferret is having difficulty urinating and enough urine backs up in the bladder, the bladder can rupture. This is an incredibly painful way to die.
Symptoms of urinary tract, bladder or prostate problems are below. If the ferret is showing any of these symptoms, it must be seen by a vet, preferably within 24 hours. It could be as simple as a urinary tract infection, which requires antibiotics from the vet. It could be as serious as several kidney stones, which requires surgery to remove as soon as possible or the stones can block the urethra and keep the ferret from being able to urinate.
- Straining to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Whimpering when urinating
- After urinating, dribbles urine when walking away (indicates there’s still urine in the bladder that’s not being expelled due to pain)
- Urine is a really concentrated yellow color (indicates the ferret has been holding the urine due to pain)
- Urine is a brown color (can indicate the ferret is holding the urine due to pain)
- Not urinating every few hours like normal (indicates the ferret is holding the urine due to pain)
- Urinating large amounts at one time (indicates the ferret has been holding the urine due to pain)
- Frequent defecation (can indicate the prostate is swollen and pressing on the colon)