Posted: January 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EST
Q: I have an 8-week-old ferret. One of his eyes had a film over it. The gunk from it kept his eye closed when he woke. I opened his eye and washed it with water. Is there an eye solution I can put on his eye to make it better? Also, he has a few fleas. What can I put on him to make them go away?
A: It sounds like your ferret needs to visit a doctor right away. First, ferrets should not have discharge in their eyes. If it does not get better with simply wiping the eyes with a moistened, very soft cloth, this is a problem that your veterinarian should see. There are bacteria that can cause infections in the eye that are only cured with specific antibiotic ointments that you cannot buy over the counter.
Also, a young ferret should not have fleas. Even only a few fleas on a young ferret can cause anemia, which can lead to a further weakening of his health. You need to be very careful about which medications you use to treat fleas in a young ferret. Medications that are safe in adult ferrets can be dangerous to very young ferrets. Also, products used in the environment to kill the flea eggs can be deadly to young ferrets.
So for both the eye film and the fleas, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible for your little guy. And he is due for rabies and distemper vaccines very soon.