Welcome to our series on Common Ferret Illnesses, and specifically our deep-dive into a serious ferret illness called ECE. In this article, you will learn what this disease is, the most common symptoms, and which ferrets are most at risk. We will also provide an overview on what steps you will want to take to help your ferret recover. What is ECE? ECE is a common and life-threatening illness in ferrets. ECE stands for Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis and it is caused by an extremely contagious viral infection. This illness is described as an inflammation of the intestinal lining that if left untreated can cause liver damage and death. Many in the ferret community call this “the green slime” disease. Read on to learn why. Symptoms of ECE Source: Holistic Ferret One of the biggest tell-tale signs of this illness is the presence of slimy, green or yellow poop. Though this is not the only reason for a ferret to produce green poop, it is a very serious one. According to another great resource, Holistic Ferret: “a few green stools, especially if they are formed, are not particularly concerning. However, if the stool is green and slimy or watery, and the green slimy stools persist, your ferret may have ECE and needs to be seen by a vet immediately.” Symptoms: green or yellow slimy diarrheaseedy pooplack of energyexcessive weight lossvomitingpain symptoms (grinding teeth, watery eyes)ulcerscoma What Ferrets are Most at Risk? Ferrets that share the same home as a ferret with ECE are most likely to catch it. If you suspect a ferret may have the symptoms above, quarantine them immediately. ECE is most likely to affect young and elderly ferrets the hardest – or ferrets that are currently battling other illnesses – because their bodies are weaker. How Do You Treat ECE in Ferrets? Once you suspect ECE, you need to take your ferret straight to the vet for diagnosis. You don’t want this disease getting worse (and it will, fast). Some ailments do not require going the vet but I assure you that this one certainly does! Follow the exact medical protocol your vet provides. They will probably prescribe medications to ease your ferret’s symptoms (ECE is viral so an antibiotic will not work. However, one may be prescribed to prevent a secondary infection). You must keep your ferret hydrated and fed during the entire illness. This can literally mean the difference between life and death. Sadly, there is no vaccine or cure for ECE at this time.