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Ferret Preventative Healthcare Plans

Our Preventative Healthcare Plans allow our attending veterinarians to offer a reward program, based on professional services, for completing your exotic pet’s annual preventative exam or applicable screening. Your veterinary team will evaluate your pet’s species-specific requirements, age, medical history, lifestyle, nutritional needs, and condition to create a Health Risk Assessment (HRA)—identifying your pet’s risk for potential diseases. During this evaluation, we can have a family discussion, creating actionable items for best care practices at home or condition monitoring. Our goal? To guard your pet against wear & tear diseases, or infectious diseases and allow us to manage chronic conditions should they occur. We want your exotic pet to live the best life for as long as possible!

Components of The Ferret Preventative Healthcare Plans

  1. Obtain a complete history and perform a thorough annual physical examination—looking for changes in the pet’s body, weight, vitals assessment, behavior, habits, and physical appearance year over year.

  2. Ensure proper dental health, nutrition, and husbandry.

  3. Perform a basic metabolic panel on pet ferrets over 4 years of age (“Aging Ferret Preventative Healthcare Plan”)

  4. Perform additional testing only when needed for select diseases based on the history and current physical exam findings: urinalysis, endocrinology panel, fecal, skin analysis.

  5. Vaccinate safely against dangerous diseases with NOBIVAC® Rabies vaccine and PUREVAX® Ferret Distemper vaccine.

  6. Annual Healthcare Planning (Based on Type, Medical History, or Lifestyle)

Six Month Follow up for Aging Ferrets (>4years old)

  1. Courtesy Physical Exam - Follow Up Exam (Free of Charge)

Pet Ferrets – Healthcare Planning & Care Information

Characteristics: Although technically nocturnal, ferrets easily adjust their schedule to human activity. House ferrets in multilevel cages with solid-bottom flooring. Provide toweling and other items for burrowing and hiding. Ferrets are also commonly litter pan trained. Supervised play should only be limited to ferret-proofed rooms or regions of the home. Annual examinations are recommended until ferrets are 3-4 years old, then biannual exams are recommended. Almost all pet ferrets in the United States are de-scented and surgically sterilized before they enter the market. Exotic veterinarians know to vaccinate ferrets against rabies virus annual according to Indiana state law, with a rabies vaccination labeled for use in ferrets, and canine distemper virus (CDV). Ferrets are exquisitely sensitive to CDV and should never be vaccinated with products intended for use in dogs—therefore we have chosen to use only PUREVAX® Ferret Distemper vaccine special ordered from Merial. Prior to either vaccination we utilize an anti-histamine injection to ensure the very safest vaccination protocol to protect your pet ferret from infectious disease and ensure compliance with state pet ownership laws. A ferret food or high-quality cat food that contains animal-based protein is advised when selecting a ferret food. Kitten food contains higher fat levels than is necessary. Crude protein should be 30-35% and fat content should be 15-20%. Ferrets should NOT be offered sweets nor sugary treats.

Pet Ferrets Can Be At Risk For/Prone to: Adrenocortical disease, Helicobacter gastritis, Human influenza virus, Insulinoma, Lymphoma, Heart Disease/Murmurs, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Fleas, Heartworms.

In addition to healthcare: Plan on continuing to re-assess your pet’s ongoing housing needs, including enclosure sizing and hygiene, and the substrate used in the enclosure. Plan for your pet’s exercise, enrichment, and social activities and do an annual safety evaluation. Prior to introducing new ferrets or new cats and dogs in the home, discuss a safety plan with your veterinarian. Create a parasite plan if your pet ferret is at risk. Discuss with your veterinarian the variety of foods, toys, and treats that are offered over an average day/week/month to keep your pet in shape. We encourage you to discuss your pet’s natural needs and normal behaviors, versus unnatural or unhealthy behaviors to get a greater understanding of your ferret’s development.

Consider the Avid FriendChip Mini Microchip system for your exotic pet if you haven't already selected a microchip service yet—they are designed for the smallest of animals. Peace of mind is well worth this one-time investment.