Q - Can my ferret get fleas, or ticks?
A - Yes, and it can be fatal if left untreated! If you suspect that your ferret has fleas or ticks, consult your veterinarian immediately for treatment.
Worms in ferrets
Q - Can ferrets get worms?
A - Generally, worms are not a problem in ferrets but there are exceptions. Tapeworms are occasionally seen in ferrets. These are carried by fleas, though they are not acquired by the flea's bite. The flea has to be swallowed by the ferret, such as when they chew at the itch the flea bite causes. Tapeworm segments in the ferret's stool will look like white grains of rice and one can often see them wiggling around. Tapeworms are not particularly harmful, but should be treated by your vet.
Ringworm is another problem seen in ferrets and this can actually be transferred to the ferret's human caretaker. Ringworm is not a worm at all, but a fungus. Ringworm can cause patches of hair loss and red or flaky patches of skin. Sometimes the red area will be in the shape of a ring, which is where this condition gets its name. Definitive diagnosis is by a skin scraping and culturing, which takes 7-10 days for the results. Treatment can be topical or via oral medication.
Litter boxes that are not kept clean can result in worms being laid in the ferret's stool by flies or other insects. One may then find these worms and think they came out of the ferret when they actually appeared after the fact. The cure for this is to clean the litter box more frequently.
Other worms may present in ferrets, but they are very uncommon. See your vet if you feel your ferret may have worms. - Mike Janke
A guide to worms in our pets
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