Welcome to our series on Common Ferret Illnesses, and specifically our deep-dive into ferret adrenal disease. In this article, you will learn what causes it, the most common symptoms, and which ferrets are most at risk. What is Ferret Adrenal Disease? Ferrets have adrenal glands just like humans. These adrenal glands produce hormones to regulate blood glucose levels. Sex hormones are also produced by these glands. Adrenal Gland Disease occurs when a ferret’s glands start overproducing sex steroids. Symptoms: Hair loss on tail (rat tail)Full body hair loss (if left untreated)Excessive itchinessSwollen vulva in spayed female ferretsHumping other ferretsAggressive behaviorDifficulty peeingAnemia in femalesMuscle thinning Most at Risk: Adrenal gland disease most commonly affects ferrets over 3 years of age. There are several theories as to what causes adrenal gland disease in ferrets. The first is that ferrets that were neutered too early (before puberty) are prone to it. The next theory is that ferrets who cannot find a dark place to sleep during the day are more likely to suffer. Third, some believe that prolonged periods of stress may cause your ferret to develop adrenal gland disease. Do any of these potential risk factors describe your ferret? How Do You Treat Ferret Adrenal Disease? Currently, there is no cure for adrenal gland disease. Your ferret may show no signs of adrenal gland disease until it has greatly progressed. Because the disease is so extremely prevalent in the ferret community, many recommend getting your ferret a Deslorlin implant after 2 years of age, before the disease even has a chance to start. Implants can cost anywhere from $60-200. Surgery is also an option to treat adrenal gland disease but we are personally not as familiar with it. We’d love for you to share your personal experience with this extremely common disease in the comments below. How can you prepare future ferret owners?