Pet Education Ferrets
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Shedding, Controlling Loose Hair & Preventing Hairballs in Ferrets
Veterinarian, Author, Internationally recognized expert on ferrets
Judith A. Bell, DVM, PhD
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A pet ferret licking some laxative from a tubeFerrets require little grooming. They do lick themselves and may develop hairballs in their stomachs during the spring and fall, when they shed their coats.

Hairballs may cause vomiting or even intestinal obstruction. Brushing your ferret with a soft brush or grooming glove (such as those used for grooming cats) helps get rid of loose hair, especially when a fluffy winter coat is being shed.

You can also control the ferret's exposure to loose hair by bathing once a week and frequently changing the bedding in the sleeping area. Some vacuum cleaners have pet-grooming attachments that do not terrorize ferrets the way they do cats, and this is a very efficient way to remove most of the loose hair. Treat ferrets at least once weekly during the shedding period with a malt-based cat or ferret laxative (e.g., Doctors Foster & Smith Hairball Remedy, Laxatone). Ferrets find these products very palatable and cooperate in eating the laxative from the tube.

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