Veterinary Services for Ferrets
Tierarztpraxis am Millerntor: We welcome you and your ferret!
Ferrets are very special patients requiring a very special kind of treatment. In particular, you should avoid holding them by the nape of their neck or otherwise forcibly restraining them unless absolutely necessary. With vitamin paste you can get them to do almost anything.
In our veterinary practice we can perform a large number of tests and treatments on your ferret. Our practice is very well equipped, ensuring fast diagnosis and treatment.
We can take X-rays and perform ultrasound examinations at any time. Our laboratory equipment is capable of recording extensive diagnostic parameters. This is very important especially in emergencies in particular, allowing additional – possibly life-saving – measures to be taken as quickly as possible. In our in-house laboratory we can perform blood sugar tests and immediate checks on the most important organ parameters. We also offer additional tests such as urine tests, stool examinations, as well as parasitological tests.
In addition, our veterinary practice offers dental care, wound treatment, neutering, and various soft tissue surgeries. To this end we dispose of a well-equipped operating room including an inhalation anesthesia device.
What should ferret owners watch out for in their pets?
As with all other pets, ferret owners must pay close attention to food and water intake. The amount and frequency of urination and fecal consistency are also important indicators of the health of your ferret. Weigh your pet regularly.
Hair loss, increased fluid intake or a change in behavior may be indicative of disorders of the endocrine system. You should inform your veterinarian of such changes during every visit.
Ferrets are highly susceptible to gingivitis and dental disease. Regular examinations of the oral cavity are therefore essential.
Our veterinary services for ferrets
Our services for ferrets essentially comprise the following:
The annual vaccination provides an opportunity to check the health of the patient during the thorough examination carried out in advance. We work with state-of-the-art vaccines. The vaccination schedule is based on the recommendations of the International Medical Council on Vaccination and is customized to meet the needs of each patient.
Vaccinations for ferrets
For ferrets we recommend good basic immunization, i.e. vaccinations at the age of 8, 12, and 16 weeks as well as a booster one year later. This offers your pet the best protection against various diseases.
We recommend the following schedule:
|8 weeks old||Distemper|
|12 weeks old||Distemper and rabies|
|16 weeks old||Rabies (repeat rabies vaccination should be considered when traveling abroad requires rabies titer determination)|
In subsequent years, your pet should receive an annual booster vaccination. We are happy to assist you in creating an individual vaccination schedule for your pet.
Note: Please schedule your vaccination appointment early, since ferrets need special vaccines.
Additional information can be found in the Leitlinie zur Impfung von Kleintieren (guidelines for the vaccination of small animals) published by the Ständige Impfkommission Vet. (StIKo Vet.; Standing Veterinary Vaccination Committee).
Fecal examinations for worm eggs and coccidia eggs are recommended for young animals or new arrivals in particular. These examinations should also be carried out in the case of gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea in order to then initiate the necessary treatment. We would be happy to advise you in this regard.
The wild form of the ferret – the polecat – is a genuine carnivore. Our domesticated ferrets are able to utilize easily digestible carbohydrates a little better. This means that it is possible to add flakes to meat or fish. However, each serving of food you give your ferret should consist mainly of meat. Vegetables and fruit (watermelon, cucumber, peppers, etc.) are also well-liked.
Energy-rich cat food with a high meat content is another option.
Vitamin paste, cat milk, or vegetable oil are suitable for use as a distraction, for example when cutting the claws.
Many people still believe that female ferrets are sterilized and male ferrets are neutered. That is not correct: both sexes are usually neutered (spayed). Neutering is the surgical removal of the testes or ovaries. Sterilization, however, merely entails the transection of the fallopian tubes or spermatic ducts, which has no influence on the sexual behavior of an animal.
Unneutered male ferrets frequently mark their territory during the rut and emit an extremely strong odor.
To avoid this odor, which can be very unpleasant for the owner, the male ferret should be neutered.
As in female cats, ovulation in unneutered female ferrets is induced through copulation. This means that ovulation occurs only during mating. These animals often develop an extended heat cycle as a result. The animals become emaciated and lose their fur. In addition, the hormonal imbalance leads to anemia and the animals become pale and listless.
This explains why female ferrets should be neutered for health reasons.
The microchip (also known as a transponder) is an electronic means of animal identification. The chip is implanted under the skin on the left side of the neck. Implantation is simple and quick, with no need for anesthesia. The transponder number stored on the chip (every identifier in the world is unique) consists of 15 digits and can be read by all standard readers.
If you are taking your pet on cross-border travel within the EU, you will need what is known as an EU pet passport (the "blue passport"). This is an official document. Your pet must be microchipped before this passport can be issued. Your ferret will also need a current rabies vaccination (protection is only considered effective 30 days after the shot and lasts for 12-36 months depending on the brand; the vaccination cannot be given before your pet is 12 weeks of age).
Different regulations apply outside of the EU (this includes entry into an EU country from a non-EU country). We will gladly provide information about the current regulations in place in your destination country.
Even ferrets are very commonly affected by tartar. These tooth deposits often start appearing when the ferret is still very young. As with dogs and cats, it is important to ensure that neither gingivitis nor extensive tartar build-up develop. Regular examinations of the oral cavity by the owner or a veterinarian are therefore urgently required.
Should inflammation arise nonetheless, it must be treated with antibiotics. Tartar should be removed under sedation and the teeth polished thoroughly afterwards.
Travel regulations for ferrets
Excerpts from the current travel regulations for ferrets can be found here.