Abnormally Large Kidneys in Ferrets

2 min read

Renomegaly in Ferrets


This is a condition where one or both kidneys become abnormally large, confirmed by abdominal palpation, ultrasounds, or X-rays. It can occur due to the presence of cysts, swelling due to kidney infection, inflammation, or urinary tract obstruction, among other other things. Renomegaly can affect all the ferret's body systems: respiratory, nervous, hormonal, urinary and digestive. Typically, it is seen in middle-aged to older ferrets.


Symptoms and Types


There are occasions when the ferret is asymptomatic, or does not display any signs whatsoever. However, some of the more common symptoms seen in ferrets with renomegaly include:


  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Pale mucous membrane
  • Abdominal pain and distension




The kidneys may become abnormally large as a result of inflammation, infection, or cancer. Renomegaly can also occur due to urinary tract obstruction, formation of cysts in the urinary tract, inflammatory conditions, and blood clots in the kidneys.




In addition to a complete blood profile and a urinalysis, a palpation exam and X-rays may be used to assist your veterinarian in visualizing the abnormality in the kidney size, and thus diagnose your ferret's condition. Aspiration of renal fluid and a biopsy is another procedure often used in ferrets suspected of having renomegaly.