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Ferrets USA: Special-Needs Ferrets

Facing challenges together creates a unique bond between ferrets and their owners.

By Julie Fossa

“I’ve never met a ferret I didn’t like.” That’s a pretty bold statement when I’ve had more than 500 ferrets in my life and known hundreds more. Yes, some were easier to love than others, but all weaseled their way into my heart and enriched my life.

Caring for a healthy ferret is challenging. Add a special need, such as biting or a mobility issue, and the stakes go up. What happens when you discover your ferret comes with baggage or develops health issues? Do you have what it takes to care for a special-needs ferret? It may be easier than you think.

Ferrets, being energetic and curious, tend to find themselves in risky situations. In an instant they can experience trauma from a fall or find themselves trapped in impossible places. Some have been victims of intentional or accidental abuse. Even advancing age or illness can require a different approach for care.

Help! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!
Many ferrets with decreased mobility continue to navigate with ease and determination despite the inconvenience of back legs or spines that don’t work quite right. If your ferret is having trouble walking, visit your vet.

“There are three main categories for causes of mobility disorders with ferrets,” said Chad Higgins, DVM, of the Amanda Animal Hospital in Spencerville, Ohio. The categories include disorders involving the musculoskeletal system, the neurological system and, finally, illnesses not normally associated with mobility, such as insulinoma and heart disease.

**For the full article, pick up the 2008 issue of Ferrets USA or click here to buy the issue.**



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