Village Vets Centre Liverpool 0151 428 8600 0151 428 8600
Village Vets  Centre Liverpool    0151 428 8600   0151 428 8600

Ferret Information

Ferrets, the domesticated form of the polecat, are a popular pet throughout the UK due to their friendly, affectionate and inquisitive nature. They are not suited to everyone as they investigate using their mouths and tend to bite objects as they explore. They're known for being highly intelligent escape artists if their housing is not secure! It is extremely important that they are given plenty of free time to roam outside of their housing to explore in a safe, escape-proof area. Some people even choose to walk them on a harness. We are members of the British Veterinary Zoological Society, a specialist veterinary division representing all of the ferret specialists across the country. We attend twice yearly conferences to keep on top of the very latest developments in the field - you can be assured that we give the very best ferret service possible.

 

We strongly advise clients to obtain pet insurance as diagnosis and treatment can be expensive, especially when unexpected. Consider using a specialist exotics insurance company such as https://www.exoticdirect.co.uk/. Visit our Insurance page for more information.

 

For advice on signs of diseases that may need immediate attention, please look at our emergency page. If you are housing your ferret outdoors, please be aware of some of the seasonal problems you might experience.

 

Interested in joining social networking for pets? Join MyPetOnline launched by MSD, a manufacturer of veterinary medicines.Upload photos of your pets and share stories with owners from across the world, hear interesting pet-related news and stories, read celebrity blogs, enter competitions and keep up to date with the very latest pet health advice. All of this and it's completely free to join!

 

Sign up, free of charge here.

Ferret Neutering

Female ferrets that have not been neutered are known as 'Jills,' males are known as 'Hobs.' Ferrets may be neutered for a variety of reasons depending upon personal circumstances:

 

  • To decrease their strong smell
  • To prevent unwanted or accidental pregnancy
  • For health reasons:
    • Jills will not come out of season unless they are mated with a male ferret
    • If not mated, she will eventually die from problems with her blood cells and immune system due to her fluctuating hormones.
    • It is VERY important that this is addressed as soon as possible.

 

Prevention is far better than any cure and there are a number of ways to achieve this:

  • Mate Jills whenever they are in season with a male which has not been neutered.
    • This will result in many baby ferrets which can be difficult to find homes for.
  • Mate Jills with a vasectomised male (a 'hobble') to bring them out of season.
    • As long as the male has been vasectomised successfully, the Jill will not get pregnant.
    • If you have several ferrets this is likely to be the most cost-effective method.
  • Give the Jill a hormone injection before she comes into season (sometimes called a 'Jill Jab').
    • Once the hormone bottle is opened it must be disposed of within 12 hours.
    • This can be expensive as you will have to pay the price for a full bottle even if you only need a small amount as we cannot use it elsewhere (e.g. 0.4ml from a 10ml bottle).
  • Surgically sterilise the Jill by removing her ovaries ('spaying').
    • Once done there is no chance of pregnancy or problems with seasons.
    • However, Jills are then at risk of developing a problem with their adrenal glands.
    • Indoor ferrets are particulalry at risk of this condition.
    • Outdoor ferrets are much less likely to suffer from this condition, but it is still possible.
  • Place a hormone implant into the Jill once every 4 years.
    • This is the safest option as it only involves a brief anaesthetic and prevents the risk of adrenal disease later on. 
    • The manufacturers sell implants in boxes of two so it is cheaper if you have two Jills done at once. 
    • The price of this procedure may vary, please ring us for an estimate.

Ferret Nutrition

Ferrets are naturally carnivores so they require a lot of fat and protein in their diet. Commercial ferret biscuits are formulated to provide them with a complete balanced diet and they should not need any additional food. Some owners choose to give their ferret the odd meat or malt paste treat to keep them entertained. We stock a range of veterinary recommended ferret diets.

 

Some people opt for raw-meat diets, especially if they own a lot of working ferrets. In this case, extreme care must be taken to make sure that the meat is free from infections or parasites and will provide the ferrets with all of their nutrients.

Ferret Vaccination

There are many different opinions on whether ferrets should be vaccinated, when and which product should be used. There are no vaccines currently in the UK licensed for use in ferrets and rare side effects have been reported after vaccine use. We consider each ferret as an individual and weigh-up the likely risks of the ferret catching diseases with the most appropriate course of action.

 

The disease of most concern in ferrets is distemper which they can catch from dogs with the disease. Given that the majority of dogs are vaccinated against this disease and the last case of distemper known to us in Liverpool occurred in 1992 we consider the risks to ferrets very, very low. It is for this reason that we do not routinely vaccinate against it.

Ferret Passports (PETS Travel Scheme)

If you are considering taking your pet ferret abroad (for a holiday or due to relocation) you might be required to get a pet passport. For more information see: https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad

Contact

Opening Hours

Monday        09.00 - 18.00

Tuesday       09.00 - 18.00

Wednesday   09.00 - 18.00

Thursday      09.00 - 18.00

Friday           09.00 - 18.00

Saturday       09.00 - 12.00

Village Vets Centre Ltd

65 Quarry St  

Liverpool

L25 6EZ


Tel.: 0151 428 8600

 

In case of emergency, please call:

Tel.: 0151 428 8600

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© Village Vets Centre Ltd 2014