Ferrets can make excellent, fun, and entertaining pets. Just like dogs and cats, ferrets need regular veterinary care. When you first bring home your new ferret, we recommend scheduling an appointment to go over housing and diet recommendations, vaccinations, common medical and behavioral problems seen in ferrets, and wellness diagnostics such as fecal parasite exams. Most ferrets have already been spayed or neutered, de-scented (anal sacs removed) and have had at least one distemper vaccine. If you have a young ferret, we recommend 1 or 2 more distemper vaccines (depending on age) to complete the kit series and continue this vaccination annually. Rabies vaccinations are also recommended. You may have heard that ferrets are prone to having vaccine reactions. While this is true, we take several precautions to prevent reactions. We always administer a diphenhydramine (Benadryl) injection 20 minutes before giving the vaccine. This helps prevent reactions in most ferrets. We also only administer 1 vaccination at a time. This also minimizes reaction risks. In most situations, the benefits of having your ferret protected from deadly diseases outweighs the small risk of vaccination reactions. If you plan on letting your ferret spend time outside, we will also discuss flea and heartworm prevention. If you have other ferrets in your home, we recommend keeping your new ferret separate for 2 weeks. This quarantine period may help prevent the spread of infectious diseases or viruses that your new ferret may have acquired. If you adopted an older ferret (> 3 years old), we will also discuss wellness blood work. There are several chronic conditions that ferrets can acquire as they age. We want to be able to detect any problems early, so the proper treatment can be started as soon as possible to keep your pet happy and healthy. Please check our exotic blog monthly for more information about ferret dental care and common medical problems or diseases seen in this species. You can also schedule an appointment to go over any wellness recommendations specific for your pet.
Exotic Tip of the month: Your ferret’s first visit by Dr. Liz Bellinger
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