Fleas are serious business. If your ferret gets them and you do not treat the situation as soon as possible your pet could develop flea-induced anemia and die. First, you need to de-flea your ferret. Use a flea shampoo made specifically for cats or ferrets. Starting at the head, shampoo the ferret from head to toe, including the tail. Do not get shampoo in the eyes or nose. Next, using a flea comb, work the shampoo through the fur. The shampoo must remain on for five minutes to be effective. Finally, rinse and towel dry as you would after bath, then check the coat again and pick off any remaining fleas.
Do not use products that are made for dogs only. They are too strong, toxic and possibly fatal for ferrets. Do not use flea shampoo on ferrets under 12 weeks of age. Flea powders can be used. Read label directions carefully and use with caution.
Do not use flea sprays, flea collars or flea dips on ferrets. They too, can be fatal! Do not put your ferret back into his environment until you have done everything mentioned above.
Next, de-flea your ferret's cage. Remove everything from your pet's cage and wash thoroughly. Spray with a flea spray designed for cats and let dry. Wash all bedding, toys, dishes and water bottles (machine-dry bedding on maximum possible heat setting). Empty the litter pan, wash and disinfect it, then add new litter. Do not forget to de-flea pet carriers.
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De-flea all other animals living with you. De-flea your home, including basements and garage. All children and pets should be removed from the home before treatment. After treatment, the home should not be occupied until the insecticide has dried and the house has been well ventilated. You can use sprays if you decide to treat your home. A hand-held sprayer should be used to treat under furniture, carpeting, along baseboards, floor cracks, closets, bathrooms, etc. Foggers also can be used: 6 oz. for small rooms, 12 oz. for larger rooms.
- Clinical Medicine and Surgery. E.V. Hillyer, K.E. Quesenberry, eds.
- Ehrhart, N., et al., Pancreatic beta cell tumor in ferrets: 20 Cases (1986-1994). JAVMA
- Erdman, S.E., et al., Clinical and pathologic findings in ferrets with lymphoma: 60 cases (1982-1994). JAVMA
- Fox, J. Biology and Diseases of the Ferret