In domesticated ferrets more than half have evidence of gingivitis, periodontitis and dental decay.
Bacteria implicated in this disease include:
As is similar in other domestic pets, gingivitis in ferrets is an inflammatory disease of the gums leading to premature tooth loss and gum disease that is both painful and detrimental to ferret health.
A significant number of ferrets with gingivitis are prone to chronic kidney injury because of the constant insult by bacterial antigens which are absorbed into the blood and their byproducts deposited in the renal glomerulus.
Concomitant diseases such as tooth resorption, dental caries, stomatitis, or oral tumors are relatively rare in this species. Gingivits is reportedly common in ferrets on anti-seizure medications such as diphenylhydantoin.
Treatment involves anesthesia-based ultrasonic dental cleaning and broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy. A dietary change to fresh carnivore diet will be an effective preventative measure.
- Struillou X et al (2010) Experimental animal models in periodontology: a review. Open Dent J 4:37-47
- Eroshin VV et al (2011) Oral examination results in rescued ferrets: clinical findings. J Vet Dent 28(1):8-15
- Fischer RG & Klinge B (1994) Clinical and histological evaluation of ligature-induced periodontal breakdown in domestic ferrets immunosuppressed by Cyclosporin-A. J Clin Periodontol 21(4):240-249
- Moore PA et al (1979) Diphenylhydantoin induced gingival hyperplasia in ferrets: a precautionary note. J Dent Res 58(8):1812-1814