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  #11  
Old 04-29-2009, 11:59 AM
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skKi skKi is offline
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Oh neat! That's very interesting. I'll probably never get a ferret, but it's good to know anyhow.
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  #12  
Old 04-29-2009, 12:06 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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I've been researching ferrets as well

Vaccinations are as controversial with ferrets as they are with dogs - many people think that they are over-vaccinated, and/or vaccinated for things that they really don't need to be. I plan on getting a fert (when I'm good and ready) and sticking as close to I can to holistic as possible. Raw fed, natural flea remedies, limited vaccinations, etc.
From what I've red, raw feed helps a lot with their smell as opposed to certain dry foods with not-so-good ingredients. And if your bf is willing, try to encourage him to rescue! There are lots of ferrets in need of homes!

I've been lurking on some great ferret forums You can PM me if you want the links!
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  #13  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:06 PM
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As for vaccinations, I'd at least be sure to get distemper. I don't have my ferrets vaccinated for rabies since I won't allow them near any animals I don't know are safe and do not allow anyone aside from my husband, myself, and my vet to handle any of them.

Ferrets are a lot of fun, but they are also a lot of work and heartache. Most everything has been covered in the other posts, but one thing I didn't see mentioned was the medical costs of keeping ferrets. These little buggers get expensive. They are prone to tumors, and have short life spans (5-7ish years). Aside from any vet bills you may rack up from their suicidal tendencies, you are almost guaranteed to encounter a medical disaster or two per ferret over it's lifetime.

Sasha (RIP) was adrenal and required monthly shots ($45 a month). Then she got a hairball in her stomach she couldn't pass on her own and needed it surgically removed for about $400 (they can't cough up hairballs like cats can). Then she was diagnosed with insulinoma and required medication every 12 hours for the remainder of her life (this medication wasn't expensive, but the schedule was tedious). My husband and I had to cut our trip to visit my family for xmas short because we had to get back home to give Sasha her meds. Munky is now in the same position with both adrenal and insulinoma. Pipsqueak was just diagnosed as adrenal as well.

Also, some days I have to force myself to set up their play area and let them out to play. They don't have a dedicated room, so that means vacuuming, setting up all the toys and boxes they love to play with, and locking the dogs out of the room until they settle down. Then after playtime is up everything needs to be cleaned up, as well as the poop and urine NEXT to the litter box (they do use the boxes put out sometimes, but many times they'll choose to just potty next to it for some reason).

Don't get me wrong, I adore my ferrets and wouldn't give them up for anything. But they are a HUGE responsibility and will change your life, so I wouldn't recommend getting one until you've researched all the ups and downs.
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  #14  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:17 PM
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TY everyone, this has been very helpful!! Learned alot I didn't know!!

Princess isn't as cat aggressive as I thought. She has killed a kitten before, and well her breed isn't one too be so trusthworthy with smaller animals. But today I let her come close while I held the leash to the apartment cat and she didn't act at all to her, but she was somewhat skittish of her! She barked at the cat and the cat showed some claws and she backed down and didn't bother with the cat at all. But still gotta take a lot into consideration before jumping into owning a ferret.
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  #15  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:23 PM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labyrinth View Post
Ferrets are a lot of fun, but they are also a lot of work and heartache. Most everything has been covered in the other posts, but one thing I didn't see mentioned was the medical costs of keeping ferrets. These little buggers get expensive. They are prone to tumors, and have short life spans (5-7ish years). Aside from any vet bills you may rack up from their suicidal tendencies, you are almost guaranteed to encounter a medical disaster or two per ferret over it's lifetime.
That is 100% spot-on.

Ferrets are highly prone to cancer, adrenal disease and Green Slime disease. Be sure to research all three before getting a ferret. I had three ferrets. I lost Krillin at age 3 to leukemia, Goku at age 5 to a severe case of green slime, and Trunks at age 8 or 9 (can't remember exactly) to a combination of old age and adrenal disease.

Adrenal disease is treatable or even curable with surgery, but can be costly to take care of. Cancer is bad for ferrets: they don't have the same quality of cancer treatment for ferrets as they do for dogs and cats. Green slime (named for the odd greenish tint it gives to the ferret poo) is kind of like the ferret version of the flu. Most get over it quickly and without an issue. But for some few ferrets, it can cause complications including paralysis, which is what happened to Goku.

But they are happy, joyful little buggers to have. I would love to have another someday. I have never seen a ferret in a bad mood--they have a joie de vive that I haven't seen in any other animal. Just be aware that they come with a cost.
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  #16  
Old 04-29-2009, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juicy View Post
TY everyone, this has been very helpful!! Learned alot I didn't know!!

Princess isn't as cat aggressive as I thought. She has killed a kitten before, and well her breed isn't one too be so trusthworthy with smaller animals. But today I let her come close while I held the leash to the apartment cat and she didn't act at all to her, but she was somewhat skittish of her! She barked at the cat and the cat showed some claws and she backed down and didn't bother with the cat at all. But still gotta take a lot into consideration before jumping into owning a ferret.
If you do decide to get a ferret, make sure you never leave it unattended with your dog. This really goes for any dog regardless of whether they show aggression towards small animals or not. Abby absolutely loves the ferrets. So much that she wants to take her 42 pound body and pounce on their little 3 pound bodies in play. She means well, she just doesn't understand her size. You may be able to let her sniff them, but you'd have to take her out of the room or crate her if she got overly excited. I've heard too many horror stories of ferrets being killed because they were left alone with the gentlest of dogs for even just a minute.

Another thing to add, is that the ferrets will antagonize the dog. They love to play, and they'll pretty much attack anything to try to get it to play. It's pretty amusing when a 3 pound ferret tackles a 56 pound dog, but that just shows you how fearless they can be. They won't be wary of your dog at all, so that's just another reason to never leave them alone with a dog.
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  #17  
Old 04-29-2009, 08:19 PM
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MericoX MericoX is offline
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I would also make sure they are legal in your state as well, and that you don't need an exotics license.
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  #18  
Old 04-30-2009, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labyrinth View Post
If you do decide to get a ferret, make sure you never leave it unattended with your dog. This really goes for any dog regardless of whether they show aggression towards small animals or not. Abby absolutely loves the ferrets. So much that she wants to take her 42 pound body and pounce on their little 3 pound bodies in play. She means well, she just doesn't understand her size. You may be able to let her sniff them, but you'd have to take her out of the room or crate her if she got overly excited. I've heard too many horror stories of ferrets being killed because they were left alone with the gentlest of dogs for even just a minute.

Another thing to add, is that the ferrets will antagonize the dog. They love to play, and they'll pretty much attack anything to try to get it to play. It's pretty amusing when a 3 pound ferret tackles a 56 pound dog, but that just shows you how fearless they can be. They won't be wary of your dog at all, so that's just another reason to never leave them alone with a dog.
Thanks. I've been working with Princess with the cats outside. I get them two feet close, no issues, they just look at each other and I give them treats after.

They sell ferrets here in pet stores, so I'm pretty sure they're legal. Heck its South Florida, you can get a ring-tail lemur in a pet store with just a class two permit I think.
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  #19  
Old 04-30-2009, 11:11 AM
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AllieMackie AllieMackie is offline
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Good responses! Sorry I didn't find this thread earlier.

Juicy, regarding the ferret smell, the biggest thing you can do to reduce the smell is wash the ferrets' bedding every week. The oils in the skin that Foxywench mentioned get rubbed off onto the bedding, and then the bedding smells more than the ferrets.

I have two ferrets, and I wash their bedding once a week. They've been bathed twice since I got them in September, and that's only because they got poop on them (it was a gross long story). I wash their bedding weekly, and use a dry bath conditioner once every two weeks. The dry bath helps keep their fur clean, shiny and odorless while maintaining the natural oils in the skin.

I get lots of comments from friends about how surprised they are that my ferrets don't smell, so I think my advice works.

Hope that helps!

They're quite handy if you need holes dug in your garden, too.
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  #20  
Old 05-01-2009, 11:14 AM
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I absolutely LOVE them. I have never owned one because they were illegal in CA when I lived there and when I moved to NM I couldn't because my mom does not like them... I almost rescued a bonded pair a couple years ago, but my fiance and I ended up breaking up before I signed the paperwork and I had to move in with my Grandma who said absolutely no pets. I will get a few eventually... maybe not now... but one day...
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