Can ferrets be ultra sensitive to sound?? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Can ferrets be ultra sensitive to sound??

I have a 3 year old female ferret I just received a few weeks ago. Since Saturday, I've been playing with a squeaky toy that she comes running to whenever played with. At first I thought it was cute, but the last few days I've noticed that she makes weird noises when the squeaky toy is ongoing, I guess I would describe it as a whimpering or whining to a chittering sound. Also, she seems to hiss (although she does this quite a lot while playing anyway). I've read these noises can be a sign of excitement, so I didn't really worry too much about them. Also, she licks and bites at my hands and arms alot while making the weird sounds (again, I thought she was excited and trying to play-we've been trying to break her of the habit of biting). She seems to have this reaction to every squeaky toy I've tried, as well as some electronic games I have that have noises in them. I'm beginning to wonder now if they're actually hurting her ears, like she's really sensitive to the sound. Has anyone heard of this or had any experience with this? How do I tell if she's having a good time or if it's hurting her? (I would have thought that if she didn't like it she would go away, not come towards it).
Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Oh! I just thought of something else. Someone I was talking to suggested maybe it was a cold or an ear infection making her hypersensitive to sound. Is this a possibility? I don't really know if she's always like this or not since I just got her a few weeks ago, but like I said I only noticed this problem a few weeks ago. What are some othere signs of ear infection and colds it ferrets so I know what to look for?

Thanks again.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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er... meant to say I only noticed this a few days ago
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 07:51 AM
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the chittering sound & her coming toward you or the sound to me says she is trying to tell you she wants to play. Have you cleaned her ears out recently? does she paw at her ears at all? I would assume that if her ears are bothering her she would either paw at them or rub her head on the floor alot. A sign of a cold would/could be loose stools, excess sleeping, change in eating & drinking. Although don't always rely on these as signs because sometimes they can often hide them well. not to steal peoples quotes but someone on another forum I go to says "when in doubt, check it out" ... it's better to be safer than sorry, maybe call your vet & ask them or bring her in & have hear ears checked for mites?
As for the bitting this can mean many things. What is going on when she bites most often? She is most likely telling you she wants to play or wants something else. Of course you still don't want her biting. Have you tried scruffing her? If so try dragging her on her back (on the floor, couch, bed or whereever you are) about a foot while scruffing her. Eventually she will connect 2 & 2 together & figure out each time she bites she will get dragged. You have to be consistant though.

Good luck & keep us updated!!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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I have not cleaned her ears (I'll have to do that tonight-and compare them to the other ferrets). She doesn't paw at her ears. I haven't seen any symptoms of sickness. We've been in the process of breaking her habit of biting with the scruffing and bitter apple occasionally, that's not really the issue though. She is pretty good about not biting normally now, she usually just licks and sometimes takes a bite, but she is a lot better. When she hears this noise, though, she seems to intently bite my hands and arms (no licking), and she makes the weird sound. It almost seems like a deep groaning or moaning sound... like a little child throwing a tantrum because they didn't get their way. I'm concerned that this might be a sign of a bigger problem or disease- if it's just the way she is, I guess that's ok, I'll just take the squeaky toys away (although that'll be a shame for the dogs)... Also, I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this, and she'll become sensitive to more and more sounds, like if I even have the TV or radio on if it'll hurt her.
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