Do Ferrets Need to Go to the Vet?
When you have a pet, there are some obvious expenses that come with its ownership. Food, water, bedding, snacks, and toys are good examples of things you need to consider, just to name a few. One cost that is sometimes overlooked with small animals is veterinary visits. Let’s discuss why vet trips are a good idea for your ferret and what to expect when you go.
One unfortunate misconception about small animals that many people have is that they do not need to see a vet. In fact, there is even a shortage of vets who know how to treat such pets. It is truly saddening, considering most small animals are prone to an assortment of illnesses and disorders that are entirely treatable, for the most part, but quite uncomfortable if left unchecked.
To keep it short, going to the vet will help keep your pet happy, healthy, and comfortable. This is especially vital since small animals cannot yelp in pain or bark and hiss like dogs and cats. They are harder to read and generally less familiar to most people, making it easy to miss the signs that something is wrong.
Additionally, preventative care will help increase your pet’s lifespan significantly and ensure they are not harboring any illnesses that could be transmitted to your other pets. This is especially true in rats and other animals who like to snuggle together or otherwise be in close quarters since infectious diseases can wipe out an entire population of animals if not treated and taken seriously.
In general, a vet trip for a small animal will vary depending on where you live. Larger cities with more veterinary options will likely have more professionals who are comfortable working with such animals, lowering the cost of treatment. Likewise, smaller areas with less vets will likely be more expensive since there is no need for competitive pricing in such a setting.
In general, vaccines will be relatively inexpensive for the most part. Each will cost around fifteen or twenty dollars and most need to be administered yearly to be adequately effective against the illnesses they are meant to prevent.
Spaying and neutering is something to look into having done if you do not plan to breed your pet. This procedure is safe and helps prevent unwanted litters and mating related injuries while preventing prolonged heat in females, which can be fatal if not otherwise remedied.
Spaying costs land somewhere on the spectrum that exists between seventy five and one hundred dollars. If you wish to also have your pet descended, as well, you can expect to pay around one hundred and twenty five to two hundred and seventy dollars, collectively for both procedures.
Similarly, neutering costs between forty five and eighty dollars. If you want to have your pet descented, you can expect to pay around one hundred to two hundred and forty dollars. Spaying is always more expensive since it is a more difficult procedure and more invasive, requiring more healing time and monitoring.
Ferrets are generally healthy creatures but the species is plagued by some serious health problems. For starters, prolonged heat occurs when a female ferret enters into heat but does not get to mate. If not remedied, this disorder can be fatal due to the stress it places on your pet’s body.
Ferrets are also prone to tooth decay and other dental issues. A vet will look at their teeth to make sure there are no abscesses or other issues that may be painful or otherwise concerning. If there is an infection present they will offer medication or surgery to drain the site and clear it up.
Other common disorders include adrenal issues, diabetes, and foot problems. A lot of health problems are preventable, especially with proper vet care scheduling and diligent husbandry. Keeping yourself ahead of your pet’s potential health issues is key in keeping them happy and comfortable.
There are only two different vaccines that are universally required for ferrets. These are distemper and rabies. Both conditions can be deadly if contracted and are highly contagious to a degree that a ferret with distemper poses a very real risk to every pet in your household.
Rabies shots are given at twelve to sixteen weeks in one dose. After that, a booster is needed yearly for the shot to remain effective.
The distemper vaccine is initially given in three doses, one at eight weeks, one at eleven weeks, and one at fourteen weeks. Like the rabies vaccine, another dose is required yearly to keep the medication in effect and fully prevent the disorder.
Additionally, there are other vaccines like desexing shots to help treat individual concerns that are prevalent in some ferrets but not all. What your pet needs will vary a bit since they are each individuals.
Do Ferrets Really Need Shots?
This question is debated a good bit in ferret communities. If you listen to your veterinarian, chances are they are going to very seriously attempt to sway you to get your pet vaccinated. This is because even if you have an inside pet, accidents do happen and sometimes your house weasel may escape or come in contact with things that could make him sick.
There are only a couple of vaccines that are universally needed so it is quite a good idea to go ahead and get them done. Treatment for the disorders is more expensive than the initial vaccines so the cost is well worth it, as well.
How Do Ferrets Get Rabies?
For indoor ferrets, rabies is very uncommon but not impossible. Rabies is spread through contact with an infected animal’s saliva and spreads to the nervous system and brain, causing debilitating symptoms that typically are fatal once noticeable.
Rabid animals are more prone to fighting, which leads to the disorder being spread. If one ferret gets rabies, chances are the others in the cage will if the infected pet acts aggressively or if they share water bowls.
Outdoor pets are more prone to the disorder since they come in contact more frequently with wild animals who may or may not have the disease. Raccoons are notorious for having rabies, as are other outdoor mammals, all of which may approach outdoor ferrets to grab a bite of their tasty food.
Rabies is an incredibly serious and highly contagious disorder that can actually transfer over to humans, as well. If you are bitten by a rabid animal, you will have to undergo a series of very painful treatments and will be in for quite a difficult recovery time.
All things considered, it is a good idea to opt for the shot and prevent the risk before it even arrives.
Ferrets are relatively healthy animals but, like any other pet, they do need and deserve regular vet care to help prevent illnesses and provide proactive treatment. Vaccines and other basic wellness treatments can prove to be excellent ways to extend your pet’s life and otherwise keep them happy.