==> Spring is here, and so are fleas!
Ferrets are naturally itchy creatures - but that
doesn't mean they have fleas. Read this article
by Mary to learn more about fleas.
Anyone who has had a problem with fleas knows that
they can be a nightmare. But for ferrets it isn't
just a matter of being uncomfortable (although fleas
certainly do make them uncomfortable). Because they
are small, ferrets can become severely anemic if they
suffer from multiple fleabites. Therefore, it is
essential that you address flea problems immediately.
Ferrets most often affected by fleas are those that
live in a home with a dog or a cat. But if you take
your ferret out for walks, your ferret is also at
risk. Any animal that visits your home can bring
fleas, as well.
Fleas seek heat. Because of their high body
temperature, ferrets attract fleas more readily than
dogs or cats do. Our friend Shirley Hertzog of
WarmFuzzy Ferret Rescue in Fleetwood, PA, says she
has seen fleas literally jump from a cat to a ferret
standing nearby. This means that if you have a dog or
cat you need to check your ferrets for fleas even if
the ferret never goes outside and even if the dog or
cat doesn't have fleas. If you haven't done so yet,
talk with your veterinarian about flea prevention for
all the furry friends in your home.
Check with your veterinarian before using any of the
newer non-prescription flea prevention products on
the market that are labeled for dogs and cats.
Prescription products such as Advantage, Frontline,
or Program are not labeled for ferrets, but many
ferret owners have used these products with no
problem. Talk with your veterinarian about your
If you don't have a dog or cat and you don't take
your ferret out for walks, it is still a good idea to
check your ferret occasionally for signs of fleas. You
may not need to take preventive steps, but you will
need to know what to do if your ferret gets fleas.
There are now flea products (shampoos and sprays) on
the market specifically designed for ferrets. If you
are unable to find a ferret-specific product, you can
use one that is safe for kittens. Products with
rotenone or pyrethrin are all right, but keep in mind
that ferrets may lick sprays or powders when they
groom themselves or each other, so use caution with
these products. Do not use flea dips or flea collars
on your ferret, regardless of whether they are safe
for kittens. Do not use products that contain
organo-phosphates on your ferret.
Because multiple fleabites can cause anemia in
ferrets, observe your ferret closely if he has fleas
or has had fleas. If he doesn't seem to be feeling
quite right, bring him to your veterinarian. Signs of
anemia include weakness, tiredness, and lack of
appetite. If your ferret is anemic, your veterinarian
can prescribe treatment.
-- This article originally appeared in Modern Ferret
Magazine issue #23. To learn a lot about ferrets,
order a Super Monster Pack Modern Ferret back-
issues. It's over 1,000 pages of great information.
Be prepared to fight ferret fleas!
Get the tools you need!