Fractured Canines in Ferrets

Summary Information

Diseases / List of Miscellaneous / Metabolic / Multifactorial Diseases / Disease summary
Alternative Names See also:
Disease Agents
  • Fractured teeth are commonly presented in ferrets. (J29.17.w3)
  • This occurs generally from chewing hard objects, such as cage bars, from falling from a height or from play fighting. (J29.17.w3, P120.2008.w2)
Infectious Agent(s) --
Non-infectious Agent(s) --
Physical Agent(s) --
General Description
Clinical signs
In Ferrets
  • Missing tips (usually of the canine teeth). (B602.2.w2, P120.2006.w6)
    • The tooth may be dark. (J213.2.w6)
  • Signs of oral pain such as hypersalivation (J213.2.w6) or discomfort while eating. (B602.2.w2, B602.34.w34a)
  • Often the owners do not see a problem with the tooth until the tooth is dying. (J29.17.w3)
    • Dark colouration indicates the tooth is dead. (B631.23.w23)
Further Information


  • An abscess may be present due to bacterial infection. (P120.2008.w2)
In Ferrets
  • The tooth is usually painful when probed, especially if the probe is cold. (J29.17.w3)
  • If the tooth becomes dark or the ferret shows discomfort while eating, a root canal or tooth extraction is needed. (B602.2.w2)
  • A transilluminator can be used to check if the tooth is still alive. (J29.17.w3)
    • A healthy tooth should be translucent, while a necrotic/nonviable tooth will appear dark. (J29.17.w3)
  • Radiography.
    • An intraoral bisecting angle radiograph is suggested. (B602.34.w34a)
    • Useful x-rays include lateral, lateral open mouth, ventrodorsal, right and left oblique and right and left oblique open mouth. (B631.23.w23)
    • Extraction is required if radiography reveals resorption of tooth roots or alveolar bone. (J213.2.w6)
    • Radiographs can show remnants of tooth that have been left behind. (J29.17.w3)
Basic dental care is similar to that in cats and dogs. (B631.23.w23)
  • No treatment is required if the pulp is not exposed. (J60.11.w1)
  • A superficial pulpectomy may be performed if the pulp is exposed but the fracture is presented straight after the injury and the  tooth is alive. (J29.17.w3, P120.2008.w2)
    • Bur a few millimetres into the pulp. (J29.17.w3, P120.2008.w2)
    • Dry and sterilise, then fill with composite. (J29.17.w3, P120.2008.w2)
    • Note: care must be taken not to over heat the pulp, as this will eventually cause the tooth to die. (J29.17.w3)
    • This procedure can be very difficult due to the small size of the ferret's teeth. (P120.2008.w2)
      • Note: care must be taken, as further damage may be done. (P120.2008.w2)
  • Root canal therapy cab be carried out. (J60.11.w1)
  • Tooth extraction is the alternative treatment. (B602.34.w34a, J60.11.w1)
  • Following the procedure, antibiotics should be given and oral rinsing performed. (J29.17.w3, P120.2008.w2)
Associated Techniques
Host taxa groups /species
Author Bridget Fry BSc, RVN (V.w143)

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