Monday, March 24, 2014

Did You Know That Ferrets Get Colds


I just got over a bad cold. The kind where your head feels like it is going to explode. What many people don’t realize is that ferrets can and do get/give human colds. They can also give it back to the human if precautions are not taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

The precautions are the same ones you would take to prevent other family members from getting your cold. Hand washing is the number one thing you can do. I also have hand sanitizer in every room so that I can use it frequently before and after touching my fur babies. I also tend to wear a mask as not to breathe too many germs on them. The ideal situation would be for someone else to take care of them until I was well over my cold but ideal isn’t always possible.

Colds can last anywhere from seven to ten days and that does not include the time it takes to incubate. So your ferret may already be headed to having his/her own cold before you even see signs of your own cold.

So how do you know if your ferret has a cold? Pretty much the same way you know you have one. Runny nose/eyes, sneezing, sleeping more than normal, not wanting to play, and eating less. Treating a ferret with a cold is pretty much the same routine you do for yourself. Lots of fluids, a soup called Duck Soup (not made from ducks), warm bed and as long as they are eating and drinking well there should be no need to see the vet. However, if a ferret has stopped taking fluids/eating for more than 24hrs or has diarrhea you need to at least call the vet and ask questions to determine if medical treatment is needed. Dehydration is major concern as it can happen quickly and can lead to death if not treated immediately.

The same can be said for the flu. Did you know that the ferret was used to create the flu vaccine? The ferret's body system works similar to the human body. The ferret is also susceptible the Swine flu and can be fatal if not treated quickly enough. The swine flu can be fatal to the ferret if it is not managed well.

It should also be said that if a ferret already has an underlying issue such as Adrenal Disease or Insulinoma the cold/flu needs to be addressed ASAP as these diseases lower the immune system and the simple cold is not so simple in these ferrets.

Have a Chittering Good Day,


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