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Ask The Veterinarian
- Ferrets as pets

Jan asks:

Q. What is your opinion about ferrets as a house pet. My son is getting one for our grandson and it seems to me like he is bringing a wild animal into the house and asking for trouble.

A. I will tell you that they can be quite entertaining and usually come from a Ferret Farm that breeds them specifically for house pets.

One thing is to make sure where the ferret comes from and that he is de-scented or you will regret it immensely. They are mischievous animals that can get themselves into trouble without strict supervision.

They do have several diseases they are prone to:

  • Insulinoma

  • Adrenal tumors

  • Distemper Virus

  • Aplastic anemias (females)

They also tend to eat things they shouldn't and have GI foreign bodies that require surgical intervention. I have done surgery on Ferrets and they are fun patients but they can be difficult to manage post-operatively in the hospital and at home.

My advice? Be wary because they are higher maintenance than a cat or dog.

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