Pets

Ask a vet: How to care for a baby ferret

Author: Canadian Living

Pets

Ask a vet: How to care for a baby ferret

This story was originally titled "Ask a Vet" in the September 2009 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

Question: We just adopted a baby ferret. What vaccinations should she get?

Dr. Marie McKibbin
: Congratulations! Domestic ferrets make wonderful pets. Like dogs and cats, ferrets need regular health care. Your young ferret will need vaccines for rabies and distemper over the course of her life.

Because of ferrets' "distinctive" odour, some owners have them de-scented. This is a major surgical procedure, involving the removal of the ferret's anal sacs ("scent glands"). Often this surgery is performed at the same time the ferret is neutered or spayed. It is important to neuter your pet ferret: neutered males are more docile and have less body odour. More important, female ferrets will die from estrogen-induced anemia unless they are either spayed or bred every time they come in heat. Ferrets are susceptible to fleas, heartworm, human influenza and many other illnesses. Checkups allow your vet to identify health concerns early on. Most small-animal vets will see exotic pets, but do your homework and find a vet who is experienced and knowledgeable in ferret care.



Dr. Marie McKibbin practices at the Owen Sound Veterinary Clinic, Owen Sound, Ont.
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Pets

Ask a vet: How to care for a baby ferret

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