Many people not familiar with ferrets find it difficult to determine the sex of a ferret. Unfortunately this includes those working in humane societies and other rescue groups that don’t often deal with ferrets.
Do you know which one is which?
A female’s belly is smooth and the vulva is just under anus. Female ferrets should be spayed(called a Sprite) this is because a female ferret that goes into heat (Known as a Jill) will not come out until she has mated or is brought out by a vet. A ferret that remains in heat for an extended period of time can die from estrogen toxicity. Prolonged estrogen production will cause bone marrow suppression.
“The estrogen stops the bone marrow from making red blood cells (which carry oxygen around the body); white blood cells (which fight disease, cancer and infection) and platelets (which help the blood to clot).” (1)
They are also more prone to mammary cancer.
The male ferret has what appears to be a belly button this is actually his penis. Males should be neutered(called a Gib) this helps with temperament and lessens the musky odor ferrets have. Unneutered males(called Hob) can be overly aggressive with other males and females sometimes resulting in death. Unneutered males can be prone to prostate problems and testicular cancer.
In Pennsylvania ferrets sold in pet stores are both fixed and de-scented. To be a breeder of ferrets you must have a license. I do not know the regulations regarding the policies of selling ferrets in other states.
Disclosure: The pictures are from the Pet Informed website.
I can only hope this helps those unfamilar with ferrets determine the sex of the ferret in his or her care.
Have a Chittering Good Day,
JoCorrections include the correct useage of Gib and Hob.