Ferret health

Just like with every other pet, ferrets have their own set of potential health issues and should be examined by a vet regularly. The exact recommendations are annual check-ups up until 5 years of age, and then every 6 months after that. Vaccines are highly recommended, specifically for rabies and distemper. They are also at a pretty high risk for fleas and should always be treated with a monthly preventive. Speak to your veterinarian about the best choice for your ferret.

It is very important for ferrets to be spayed and neutered before reaching sexual maturity, which can be anytime between 6-12 months. This is especially crucial for females because once they are in heat, they stay in heat until mated, which can lead to a few different fatal conditions like pyometra and aplastic anemia. Fortunately, as mentioned earlier, almost all ferrets you find in North America have already been altered at a young age.

It’s also important to note that their ears tend to get quite waxy and they would benefit from a regular ear cleaning every two weeks to a month. Make sure you use pet-friendly ear cleaner. It is also recommended to regularly trim your ferret’s nails every couple of weeks at least, as they can get quite long and sharp and potentially get caught in bedding, carpet, etc. and cause injury. You should ask a veterinarian to show you the proper way to clean your ferret’s ears and trim its nails to prevent any unintentional damage or harm.

Some of the most common conditions we see in ferrets include physical injury, adrenal disease, insulinoma (or pancreatic cancer), skin tumors, human influenza, foreign bodies (or blockages) in the stomach or intestines, epizootic catarrhal enteritis (or “green slime disease”), heart disease, Aleutian disease, and other cancers. If you are concerned your ferret may have a medical condition or would like to learn more about the ones I listed, please call your veterinarian (don’t trust Dr. Google!).

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