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Ferret Health

This simplest answer to this question is yes however the why is somewhat complicated.  According to the American Ferret Association:

Although it is unlikely that an indoor ferret would contract the Rabies Virus, immunization is required for all ferrets. The Rabies Virus vaccine will protect an immunized ferret in case of exposure and the ferret's current vaccine status will support quarantine in the event that it bites a person.

In other words, while ferrets do not typically contract rabies, nor are the generally a carrier of rabies, it is possible for them to do so.  Having your ferret up to date of its rabies vaccinations will allow your vet to only quarantine your ferret when rabies is suspected other than immediately putting them down.   As with all medical decisions, it is best to consult with your vet for the most up to date aspects of vaccinations.

The short answer is no.  Ferrets are strict carnivores and the ferret community has long believed maintainingn a strict diet made up of protein rich meats is the key to a long lasting and active life in ferrets.  When choosing a diet for your ferret(s), always read the ingredients of any kibble or raw food.  Be sure to choose one that is high in chicken or other meat, and is low in additives such as corn or other vegetables.  Treats should be given infrequently.  There are many great articles on the internet on ferret diet if you would like to read more.  Suggestions:

https://www.lovethatpet.com/small-pets/ferrets/foods-bad-for-ferrets/

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=479

Bathing your ferret is only recommended when they are so incredibly filthy that a bath is absolutely necessary. Covered in tar being a good example of absolutely necessary. The reason for this is that ferrets secrete an oil all over their body to hydrate their skin and keep it healthy. When you bathe a ferret, this naturally occurring oil is washed away and the body then kicks up production. If you wash your ferret too often, the oil production goes into overdrive causing the musky odor normally associated with ferrets to become much stronger.

To understand this disease you must first understand a few terms:

  • Glucose(blood sugar), as referred to here is the simple sugar in the blood
  • Islet Cells are clusters of cells on the pancreas which produce a hormone called glucagon
  • Glucagon is the hormone which raises the level of sugar in the blood
  • Insulin is the hormone that lowers that amount of sugar or glucose in the blood

In a healthy ferret or person the blood sugar increases whenever we eat, which informs the body to release more insulin. This balances the blood sugar and insulin within the body. When a ferret has Insulinoma, they develop Islet cell tumors also referred to as Insulinoma;s on the pancreas which continually produce insulin. As a result the blood sugar drops, which can become dangerously low causing lethargy (lack of energy), seizures, even death.

Less commonly known facts

  • The symptoms of insulinoma mimic the symptoms of diabetes (which can be thought of as the opposite of Insulinoma)
  • Insulinomas or Islet tumors may or may not be cancerous
  • The size of the tumor does determine its chance of malignancy
  • Mild insulinoma may be controlled with frequent feedings and a high protein diet
  • There is no science that says a certain blood sugar number means that your ferret will have seizures
  • Insulinoma in ferrets should not always be treated surgically
  • Seizures do not always present with same symptoms in all ferrets
  • Ferrets can get Diabetes (frequently after having anesthetic)

Symptoms

  • Panting
  • Starring
  • Laying with neck curved backwards
  • Drooling
  • Screeching
  • Repeated yawning
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Red pads, nose and gums
  • Clenched teeth

Treatments

  • Dietary - frequent feeding of high protein
  • Steroids
  • Diazoxide
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