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Older, Ill Ferret And Young, Intact Ferret

Is it a good idea to adopt a young, intact ferret that needs rescuing if you already have an older ferret that’s sick?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: May 1, 2012, 5 a.m. PDT

Q: I have a 5-year-old male ferret, and I recently was told about a ferret that is living in a cage, is never held and has no company. I want to rescue him. The problem is that my ferret is 5, and he has Cushing’s disease. I'm not sure he can take the young ferret’s energy. Another issue is that I heard the young ferret isn't fixed. I can get him fixed, but I think he has already started his heat by the sounds of it. He is 11 months old and has started acting really aggressive due to lack of contact with humans and other ferrets. Is he too old to get fixed? Would getting this ferret be too much for my 5-year-old ferret?

A: Your 11-month-old ferret is certainly not too old to be neutered, and you should see a behavior difference once that is done.

I don't know your existing ferret to be able to judge if the younger ferret will be too much for him to handle. I am often stunned at how well ferrets adapt to a new ferret in the family, even when there is an age difference. You could always adopt the new ferret and allow them to live together (after quarantine and the neuter) and see how each ferret acts. Keep in mind that the new ferret will probably learn a lot about how to act from your existing ferret, but you will have to be very patient and restrained if the new ferret is biting at hands.

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