Friday, April 13, 2012

Ferret and the Flea




If you have been around pets then you know that fleas can be a part of that life if you aren’t diligent to keep them off of your beloved animals. Ferrets are no exception. Only with ferrets it only takes a few fleas to be fatal as the fleas feed off the ferret’s blood.

There are several species of fleas, which I didn’t know, and depending on a ferret’s environment can be any one or a mixture of them. Ferrets that go outside can attract the fleas from wild animals. But most ferrets get fleas from cats (Ctenocephalides felis species) or dogs (Ctenocephalides canis species) that live with them.

The most common sign that a ferret has fleas is them scratching, chewing, and in some cases hair loss. But those are also signs of the mysterious jump out of a sound sleep and nibble the fur before going back to bed like nothing happened. The hair loss is also associated with Adrenal disease.

Dark colored ferrets like Manny also make it hard to see those pesky biting critters. The best bet is to use a preventative flea control. But there aren’t a lot of flea control options out there. Most flea control products fall under the Minor Species Act of 2004 (MSA). The MSA allows vets to prescribe medications that are designated as dog/cat or other species to those that they will help such as domestic exotics.

For me that means I use kitten advantage, most other flea preventatives are too toxic for ferrets, once a month but unlike the directions say of putting the whole tube on I only need to put a drop or two. With the cost of a single tube being $12 or more this does save me as a tube will last me for 3-4 months.

Before I apply the kitten advantage I give the boys a bath with T-gel. The T-gel has ingredients that stun and stick to the fleas making it easy to wash the little buggers off of the boys. I then follow up with baby shampoo to make sure I have gotten all of the T-gel off.

I then let the boys dry off. If I can ever get a really good video of the boys doing the snake dance I will post it. Once dry it is spa day. They get their teeth and coats brushed, nails clipped, and then a drop of kitten advantage.

Because I live in Western Pennslyvannia the flea season doesn’t last all year round very often. The cold makes the fleas go into a sort of hibernation I suppose or maybe it kills them.

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