Deafness in ferrets may be difficult to diagnose. They normally have short attention spans and because they can be stubborn, may not wish to respond to you.
But your ferret should be evaluated for deafness for safety’s sake. If an emergency arises, you need to get your ferret’s attention to save him/her from disaster. As with other deaf pets, you can train your ferret visuals, sign language, vibrations such as stamping your foot. If your ferret doesn’t respond to your verbal biddings, don’t lose patience, help your ferret adjust.
When testing your ferret at home, there are things you should and shouldn’t do.
Don’t use vibrations or anything that can cause them. Test your ferret without other animals or distractions present. Don’t let your ferret see anything you will use for the test. Test your ferret in an area that is familiar and comfortable to him/her.
When your ferret isn’t looking at you, use a noisy toy, whistle, keys, etc. to see if there’s a response. Using different noisemakers each time, try this test for several days.
If after testing, you suspect your ferret may be deaf, make an appointment with your veterinarian for further examinations.
Note: Some deaf ferrets do very well with training. But some, especially those that have been abused, become edgy and fearful and may turn to biting as a defense.