New to ferrets

Hi I have just got a new baby kit her name is Pixie. Would like to know if she would need to be vaccinated against distemper. When she had her checkup at the vet they were of the opinion that she wouldnt need them. I want what is best for her. Another question is spaying, she suggested the implant. As i have read operations are not a good thing for ferrets. Any advice much appreciated.

I got the distemper vaccine when I first got my ferrets, it was a fortune (which I didn’t mind) but then I was told that if the ferrets weren’t in close contact with dogs all the time I wouldn’t need it. Distemper is generally fatal though so if in doubt go for the jab. I haven’t jabbed my ferrets in five years and touch-wood everything has been fine.

I always opt for spaying personally, they deal with the operation better than a lot of animals and heal up very quickly, the only trouble I can see is the anaesthetic which is always a risk but your girl would need to be knocked out for either option. The implant also isn’t licensed for female ferrets - only males. It has been proven to shrink the females reproductive organs which I personally don’t like the sound of. I feel more comfortable getting all of mine neutered.

I would also recommend vaccination. The one that was proven to work during a big outbreak was Nobivac DHHP - others were less effective. Two ferrets died the town over from me of it and we travel a lot. The virus is present in mink, dogs and foxes and can be carried in on shoes. So for me, not worth risk of not doing. We do a mixture of implanting and surgery. Neither are without consequences. One of my implanted jills got ovarian tumours - she would not have got if spayed. Pyometra is also a risk in an implanted but not spayed jill. The main benefits of implanting rather than spaying are it lowers risk of adrenal and avoids general anaesthetic. The adrenal can be treated if it develops with implant when needed. The anaesthetic risk is pretty low for healthy ferret. 1/2 way house is to implant and then spay once ferret 18 months or older.

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