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Treating Worms In Ferrets

A ferret owner is concerned about her ferret getting worms.

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, DABVP
Posted: December 1, 2008, 5 a.m. EST

Q: What is the best way to treat a ferret for worms?
 
A: Worms are internal parasites. They are common in dogs and cats, and almost all puppies and kittens are treated for these parasites. We treat dogs and cats for these parasites because they are very, very common, and some of these parasites can infect people with serious consequences.

We almost never see worms in ferrets. This is due to a number of reasons. Ferrets rarely run around outside, and therefore are not exposed to these parasites. Female dogs and cats can pass these parasites onto their young while still pregnant, but it appears that female ferrets are so rarely infested that we do not see this happening.

But ferrets can get worms, especially ferrets allowed to roam outside and those exposed to areas where dogs and cats have been. We treat ferrets for worms exactly the same as we do dogs and cats, because these are the same parasites. There are both oral and injectable medications. Treatment is usually very safe and very effective.

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