Kit Health Checks
Bringing your new kit (ferret baby) home is an exciting and rewarding experience. However, there are a lot of things to consider and our aim is to help you ensure that your new kit has the best start in life and develops into a happy, healthy grown-up ferret.
At your first health check, our veterinarian will perform a full physical exam. This health check involves examining your kit’s eyes, nose, ears, mouth and teeth, skin, listening to his heart and lungs, and feeling his abdomen. Our veterinarian will also discuss all aspects of care including feeding, behaviour and training.
During the health check your veterinarian will discuss preventative care such as vaccinations, neutering and parasite control.
As you see, these kit health checks contain a lot of information for the veterinarian in one consultation!
Regular Health Checks
Regular six-monthly health check-ups are important for the long term health and welfare of your ferret. Vaccines are important to prevent disease, as as we’ve already mentioned ferrets are very susceptible to distemper, which is also a common disease in dogs.
Undertaking routine examinations allow us to take a pro-active role in preventative health care – we may spot health problems earlier, allowing us to take appropriate treatment or preventative action. Once your ferret comes in for his annual vaccinations, we can carry out a full physical exam, and we even include a free urinalysis. When you visit the surgery, this is an ideal opportunity to discuss any queries or concerns you may have about your ferret’s health. Please bring in a fresh urine sample (or one that has been refrigerated) in a clean container, preferably the first sample of the morning.
We know that problems can occur at any time, so of course we are able to perform health examinations at times other than the annual vaccination. We often recommend more frequent check-ups for pets with chronic problems (e.g. heart disease, arthritis). If your pet is on an ongoing medication, then it will require more regular check-ups to allow us to monitor both the levels and the type of medication prescribed.
Older Ferret Health Checks
Ferrets are usually considered old or ‘geriatric’ from 3-4 years of age, although as with humans, this may be earlier or later dependent on their species or gender. Geriatric pets require closer attention than their younger counterparts, and it is important that we check your animal is checked regularly in order to detect problems early. For older ferrets, we recommend a health check every 6 months.
When elderly animals begin slowing down we often put this down to age changes. However, it can be due to an underlying medical condition. If detected early these conditions are often treatable which ultimately improves an animal’s quality of life. Some commonly seen problems in older animals include: dental disease, arthritis, heart conditions, and kidney failure and liver problems.
At the ‘Older Ferrets Health Check’ as well as performing a full physical exam, we may advise a urine test and blood tests as part of the health exam.
Even if the health check reveals nothing untoward the information we gather will help in the future if concerns for your pet’s health are raised. Knowing what is normal for your pet will help immensely when investigating illness.