Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Flu Isn’t Just For Humans

It’s here that wonderful fall season which also brings with it the not so wonderful influenza virus better known as the flu. The flu is no fun for us humans but what many don’t realize is that we can give the flu to others species.

Ferrets are susceptible to all strains of the flu virus, which also includes the swine flu. Unfortunately, there is no flu shot for ferrets. The flu can be transmitted from human to ferret or from ferret to human.

When I have a cold, I take extra precautions to prevent giving it to my ferrets. This includes using hand sanitizer before and after touching any of my fur kids, along with wearing a mask to limit the amount of germs I breathe onto them.

I also monitor them for any flu like symptoms such as:

  • Any discharge from the nose or eyes.
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Fever Normal temperature range is 101-103 degrees
  • Puffy eyes

Sound familiar? Yep they are the same symptoms we get when we get a cold/flu. For many ferrets, having the flu isn’t a big deal but for those with depressed immune systems due to disease or being a senior having the flu can lead to complications such as pneumonia can prove to be fatal.

Any ferret that has stopped eating/drinking for more than a day or two and/or has a weakened immune system needs to be seen by their vet to evaluate and treat the ferret accordingly.

Like humans, most ferrets will recover from their cold/flu in five to fourteen days.

Have a Chittering Good Day,


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