Ferret Preventative Health


Ferret


At the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Sydney, we provide health checks, vaccinations and general information for the care of your pet ferret. Ferrets have a life span of 6-9 years.

Many diseases can be detected early with a good physical examination. In fact, it is recommended that older ferrets should have health checks every 6 months. Cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases are common in the older ferret and these can be detected early in the course of the disease.



Image courtesy of NSW Ferret Society.

Basic Health Care

Ferrets are obligate carnivores which mean they live purely on animal protein. Their diet is thus very specialised. Our capable veterinarians will be able to advise you on the right dietary needs for your ferret, including dental health in relation to diet.

A full physical exam, including a dental exam is performed during a health check.

We are also able to advise you on the following during the consultation:
  • Control of gastrointestinal parasites
  • Control of heartworm in the ferret
  • Housing and bedding
  • Socialisation
  • Handling
  • Toilet training
  • Exercising your ferret
  • How to ferret-proof your house
  • Flea and tick prevention
  • Any other health problems

Many products used for the control of parasites are available at reception. Please ask our reception staff.

We also offer in house laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging (thoracic imaging, ultrasound and also CT or MRI imaging) for our ferret patients, and have chemotherapy facilities available for the management of cancer.

Vaccinations


Ferrets can be vaccinated according to the following regime:

 Age  Number of vaccinations needed
 <12 weeks old  2 vaccines required
 >12 weeks old  1 vaccine required

An annual booster vaccination is then recommended.

De-sexing Ferrets

Neutering pet ferrets is performed routinely and there are valid reasons for the procedure.

Female ferrets –
Female ferrets need to be de-sexed if they are not bred. Once in season, the female ferrets have a high oestrogen (hormone) level in their body. If she remains in heat for 4 weeks, she develops bone marrow suppression and a marked anaemia. If her heat period continues, she can die from anaemia.

It is our recommendation that all female ferrets are de-sexed if not bred. There are injections available to terminate the heat period. If you wish to breed your ferret, this may be an option. We do not, however, recommend breeding unless you have experience in managing this difficult phase.

Male ferrets –
Male ferrets are often neutered to remove the strong odour. Neutering the male ferret also can reduce aggression displayed by the territorial male.

Our veterinarians perform de-sexing operations on a regular basis and generally recommend that ferrets are desexed at 6 months of age.

De-scenting Ferrets

You may have read about this procedure frequently in the management of ferrets. De-scenting ferrets involves the removal of the anal glands. This procedure is unnecessary as the scent of the ferret originates from the secretions of the fur, not the anal glands. This procedure is NOT recommended in Australia.

Contact

Please Contact Us if you have any questions or if you would like to book a health check for your ferret!