The Domestic Ferret

  1. What is the family of ferrets?
  2. What is the scientific name for ferrets?
    Mustela putorius furo
  3. Where were ferrets initially from and what were they used for?
    • Europe
    • used to kill rodents that lived in holes
  4. What are the original two colors of ferrets?
    • Fitch
    • Albino
  5. What happens to the albino ferret's coat and why?
    turns yellow due to the sebaceous glands
  6. What is the most endangered mammal in the United States?
    black footed ferret
  7. What is the male ferret called?
  8. What is the female ferret called?
  9. What is a baby ferret called?
  10. What kind of penis does a male ferret have?
    • "canid" penis
    • "felid" scrotum
  11. What kind of vulva does a female ferret have?
    "canid" vulva
  12. Which is larger, a male ferret or a female ferret?
    male ferret
  13. What is the life span of a ferret?  When are they considered a geriatric?
    • 5 - 9 years
    • geriatric at 4 years
  14. Do ferrets have enlarged anal sacs?
  15. What do ferrets do when they are hot?
    • no sweat glands
    • salivate if hot
  16. What kind of food do you feed a ferret?
    ferret food or high quality cat food
  17. When do ferrets sleep?
    naturally nocturnal, but can adjust to a different sleeping schedule
  18. Are ferrets allowed in all states?
  19. What vaccine do ferrets get?
    • canine distemper but use a ferret approved one
    • rabies
  20. What is the rule about a ferret who is vaccinated for rabies, but bites someone?
    if a ferret is vaccinated for rabies and has never gotten out of the house and bites someone then they are quarantined just like a dog but if they are vaccinated for rabies, but gets loose and the owner doesn't know where is has gone and then bites someone then it will be euthanized and tested for rabies
  21. Where can we collect blood in a ferret?
    • cephalic and saphenous veins
    • jugular vein (hard to due because of the tough skin around the neck)
    • anterior vena cava
    • ventral tail vein close to the body
  22. What is a normal PCV for a ferret?
  23. What is the normal WBC count for a ferret?
    4,000 - 19,000/ul
  24. Describe a ferrets reproductive cycle.
    • seasonally polyestrous
    • march to august
    • long day breeders
  25. How can an unspayed female be a problem?
    a female will continuously cycle until they are bred which causes their estrogen to increase.  a ferret's bone marrow is sensitive to estrogen stimulation and can cause anemia
  26. What does a female ferret look like in heat?
    • vulva enlarges and decreases 2-3 weeks after ovulation
    • no vaginal discharge
  27. How long is the gestation for a ferret?
    42 days
  28. Is pseudopregnancy common in ferrets?
  29. How many are in a ferret's litter?
    average 8 young
  30. When do we wean ferrets?
    at 3 weeks
  31. When do ferrets open up their eyes?
    3 - 4 weeks
  32. When do ferrets return to estrus after giving birth?
    6-8 weeks post partum
  33. Which canine distemper is approved in ferrets?
  34. Is rabies common in ferrets?
    no it is rare
  35. Why is it a problem to give ferrets the canine distemper?
    because the canine distemper is a modified live virus and can cause a ferret to get sick
  36. Which illness can ferret's get from humans?
    • human influenza
    • resembles distemper
  37. What gastrointestinal diseases is common in ferrets?
    • proliferative colitis
    • helicobacter mustelae
  38. What are the clinical signs of helicobacter mustelae?
    • gastritis with ulcers/colic
    • lethargy
    • anorexia
    • emaciation
    • melena
  39. What is green slime disease?
    epizootix coronavirus enteritis in ferrets
  40. What kind of heart problems do ferrets get?
    • cardiomyopathy
    • heartworm disease
  41. What type of cardiomyopathy do ferrets get?  How do we treat it?
    • dilatative and hypertrophic
    • treat as in cats
  42. Why are occult heartworm tests unreliable?
    because you need at least 3 heartworms for it to be a positive test and if a ferret had that many heartworms then it would be dead
  43. How do we diagnose heartworms in ferrets?
    • rads/ultrasound
    • use preventative medications in problem areas
  44. What are the parasitic illnesses that are the most common in ferrets?
    • sarcoptic mange
    • ear mites
    • fleas
  45. What area does sarcoptic mange affect in ferrets?  How do we treat it?
    • may affect only feet
    • treat as in cats
  46. What endocrinopathies affect ferrets?
    • hyperadrenocorticism
    • insulinomas
  47. What is another term for hyperadrenocorticism?
  48. What are the clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets?
    • may only see alopecia
    • or enlarged vulva in spayed females due to elevated estrogen
  49. How do we diagnose hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets?
    diagnose by ultrasound or surgery
  50. What are the clinical signs of insulinoma in ferrets?
    • weakness
    • fainting
  51. How do we treat insulinomas in ferrets?
    • may remove nodule in pancreas or treat with meds
    • ultimately fatal
  52. What are the most common neoplasias in ferrets (other than insulinomas)?
    • lymphosarcoma
    • mast cell tumors on skin
  53. What are the clinical signs of lymphosarcoma in ferrets?
    vague signs (weight loss and/or dyspnea)
  54. Which lymph nodes are affected in lymphosarcoma in ferrets?
    usually only internal nodes
  55. How happens if a ferret has a prolonged estrus cycle?
    anemia in females
  56. How long does it take for a ferret to become anemic when they have a prolonged estrus cycle?
    1 - 2 months
  57. How do we treat anemia caused by a prolonged estrus cycle in ferrets?
    OVH or drugs
  58. How do we know if an enlarged spleen in ferrets is a problem?
    • do a cytology and if there are small lymphocytes and plasma cells than it is just hyperplasia
    • if there are large lymphocytes then it could be lymphoma
    • if there are unrecognizable cells than it could be metastasis from another site
  59. Is chronic nephritis common in ferrets?
    yes, in older ferrets
  60. What do the kidneys look like in chronic nephritis of ferrets?
    kidneys are firm, shrunken, and irregular
  61. What are some other common medical problems in ferrets?
    • eclampsia
    • pyometra
    • IV disk disease
    • urolithiasis
    • ringworm
    • aleutian disease
    • eosinophilic gastroenteritis
    • mastitis
    • dental disease
    • gastric foreign bodies
  62. What are some common surgical procedures for ferrets?
    • castration
    • OVH
    • splenectomy
    • adrenalectomy
    • lumpectomy
Card Set
The Domestic Ferret
Exotic Animals