KNOW THEIR NEEDS BEFORE YOU ADOPT: The most heartbreaking thing to hear is that a ferret (or any animal) was turned into a shelter or put down because their owner felt their life wasn't worth the time or expense. When they need us the most, some folks find it easy to turn their back on them leaving the burden many times, up to a shelter to pay the expense. Shelters such as ours, rely on donations. Unfortunately, the cost of running a shelter is much greater than the donations received. Please make sure before bringing any pet into your home that you have the resources to tend to their needs emotionally and financially. If you cannot supply both, please reconsider bringing any pet into your home. They are a member of your family, and deserve to be treated as such.
HOW DO I LEARN ABOUT FERRETS: it cannot be stressed enough that before you decide to acquire a ferret, you should read books, visit shelters, talk to current ferret owner, etc. All too often a ferret (or other pet) owner, decides they no longer want them and they are abandoned, set loose outside (which is a death sentence), or gives them away.
TIME AND CARE: Unfortunately, there are way too many shelters out there that are overcrowded with animals from owners who decide they don't want them, don't want to pay their medical bills, or just don't have the time to care for them. NO pet should be acquired UNLESS you are going to take on the full responsibility of owning and caring for them for life.
VACCINES: A baby ferret will need a distemper inoculation at about 8 weeks of age a booster at 11-12 weeks, and a final booster at 14-16 weeks. then they will need a yearly vaccination. The yearly rabies shot should be given at 12-13 weeks of age. (two weeks between the distemper shots). These shots are not a luxury, they are a necessity.
SIZES: Full grown female ferrets will range on average between 1-2 lbs, while the male will range from 2-4 lbs. You can expect your ferret to live about 9 years, while retaining their activeness most of their lives. It is also important to note that ferrets are susceptible to certain illnesses as they age which will require medical intervention, most notable: Adrenal Disease and Insulinoma. So as a responsible pet owner you should be prepared for these expenses as well.
ROUTINE CHECKS: there are certain tests that you should plan on having done on a routine basis at least annually: a blood glucose test, and an adrenal panel. Both tests will be able to assist you in identifying the early stages of Insulinoma and adrenal disease, and perhaps provide you with more treatment options. While a CBC and chemistry panel does provide a wealth of information, its main purpose is to identify and monitor a problem already going on. They are a snapshot of that moment in time, with several variables influencing the outcome. They really cannot be used as a means of measurement as the blood glucose and adrenal panel can.
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