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About Ferrets

TOP TEN THINGS FERRET OWNERS SHOULD KNOW
#6: CHOOSING YOUR FERRET'S VETERINARIAN

My name is AliceWhen taking a cat or a dog to a vet, most people feel fairly confident that just about any veterinarian will have the knowledge and expertise to accurately diagnose and treat their pet. Unfortunately, this is not the case with ferrets. Even today, veterinary schools and universities do not place much emphasis on teaching veterinary students about ferrets. They aren't seen as being as common as cats and dogs, and some vets I have spoken with have said that the school that they went to only offered comprehensive teaching about ferrets as "elective programs" rather than required teaching.

Do not take your ferret to the vet that has treated your cat for the past ten years simply because you know this vet. When selecting a ferret vet, first call all of the vets in your local area and ask if you may meet with or speak over the phone with the vet him/herself (don't rely on the word of the receptionist.) When you speak with the vet, ask how many ferrets he/she has treated in the past year. Ask if they are familiar with the approved vaccinations for use in ferrets, and make sure they are using Fervac-D or Purevax by Merial for distemper and IMRAB-3 for rabies. Ask if they routinely perform CBCs and blood-sugar levels for ferrets over the age of three or four. Find out how many surgeries have been performed on ferrets in the past year, and how successful these surgeries have been. You should be able to determine simply by talking with the veterinarian if they are knowledgable about ferrets and if they enjoy seeing/treating ferrets. Another excellent method of choosing a veterinarian is to ask other ferret owners in your area what vet they use, and how satisfied they are. Calling your local ferret club or shelter should prove very helpful in finding a vet in your area.

The Pennsylvania Ferret Rescue Associaiton will be happy to recommend a veterinarian in the areas that we serve. Contact your local shelter branch, or visit the Local Branches section of this site.

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