During a ferret’s lifetime there is good chance it will need veterinary care. This may include simple routine care such as vaccinations, flea products and heartworm medications, or far more complicated care for cancer and other diseases that are frequently seen in senior ferrets. Most veterinary medications are quite safe, but there are a few that should be avoided due to side effects and adverse reactions. In addition, most over-the-counter pain products for people are not safe for ferrets, and a few can even be fatal in ferrets.
Pet ferrets should be routinely vaccinated for canine distemper and rabies. Canine distemper is almost 100 percent fatal to unvaccinated ferrets, so vaccinating is necessary to protect against this deadly virus. Currently there is only one USDA-approved vaccine for distemper prevention in ferrets. It is called Purevax Ferret Distemper, and it is manufactured by Merial. This vaccine has a low rate of allergic reactions to it. Most of these allergic reactions are only mild to moderate in severity and can be easily treated with a cortisone injection and subcutaneous fluids. Very rarely a ferret will experience a serious anaphylactic reaction to this vaccine. Such a reaction requires more aggressive treatment with epinephrine, cortisone and intravenous or subcutaneous fluid therapy.
For the full article, pick up the 2012 issue of Ferrets USA or click here to buy the issue.