Most, if not all of the information in this article came by way of Dr. Cathy Johnson-Delaney and the Holistic Ferret Forum. I will be referencing Dr. Johnson-Delaney's article which can be found here.
First, let's look at symptoms. Keep in mind, though, that just like humans, ferrets can show different symptoms. Not all of these might apply, or there might be some that only show up occasionally. At the first HINT something is wrong, you should seek advice from a ferret knowledgeable vet. Don't wait. These critters can go into crisis mode in a matter of minutes so it's important to make sure you can get them proper care in a hurry. These articles are NOT meant as a substitute for proper vet care. Better to find out it's nothing than to risk your pet's life.
On to the symptoms. I am going to list the ones I've personally seen in my own ferrets; there are many more possible symptoms listed in Dr. Johnson-Delaney's article above.
- Progressive hair loss. Can manifest anywhere on the body but usually on the back, flanks, tail and/or abdomen. Sometimes it's seasonal.
- Itching. Not your standard flea-type itch; this is more constant.
- Difficulty in urination (males)
- Increase in aggressive behavior. The adrenal boy I had showed an increase in dominance issues. He had to be the alpha in any group and often picked on the smaller ferrets especially.
Again, these are only a few of the possible symptoms. There are many more found in the article as well as some discussion of other endocrine diseases ferrets can develop.
In the next article I'll try to discuss possible treatments for this disease.
Remember! If your ferret is sick, or if you even THINK he's sick, get him to a vet!