Here at Blue Ferret Boarding, we take the safety and general health of our fuzzy friends incredibly seriously. That’s why we get our own squirmy worms vaccinated on a regular basis. If you’re a bit unsure about ferret vaccinations, we’ve put together some information below to help keep you informed…
Why are ferret vaccinations important?
Simply put, vaccinations help protect your fuzzy loved ones from serious infectious diseases and passing dangerous lurgies on to other ferrets too.
As with puppies and other domestic animals, ferrets should be kept indoors until they’re vaccinated – just to keep them uber-safe (and for about 7 days after the first vaccination to be sure).
Remember even if your fuzzy is an indoor carpetshark only, they should still be vaccinated as distemper can carry in on shoes and clothes etc.
While there are no ferret-specific vaccines available in the UK at the moment, our little fuzzbutts are generally jabbed with a dog distemper vaccine. There is evidence that it’s effective, but it’s best to check with your vet to see if a vaccination is a good idea for your particular furry friend especially if s/he has medical issues or is a golden oldie.
The main vaccine used up here in the northeast of England is the Nobivac DHP. This is a three-in-one vaccine which shields against Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Canine Parvovirus. For us farents it’s the Canine Distemper which we are interested in, but as we all know all good things come in threes. Just be aware that these vaccines aren’t licensed for ferrets, as very few things are, but on the whole they are perfectly safe. Some vets may ask you to sign a waver to protect themselves (fair enough we say) but that is all.
Is there a risk to my ferrets?
There is always a small risk associated with vaccines (as with us hoomans, too). That risk increases slightly with every vaccination they receive so it’s recommended you stay at the vets for around 20-30 minutes after they’ve been jabbed to make sure they’re fine and dandy to go on about their day. Vaccine reactions are rare and treatable but unpredictable.
At what age should I vaccinate my ferret?
In normal cases, ferrets are given their first vaccination at 12 weeks (aww 🥰). Earlier vaccinations are possible for higher-risk cases. Again check with your vet.
Will I need to keep vaccinating my ferrets after their first jab?
Absolutely. To keep them as safe as possible, yearly boosters are recommended by vets, but we here at Blue Ferret are confident that that the vaccine can protect for up to two years so we require only a biennial vaccination.
Which diseases do ferret vaccinations protect against?
The vaccinations protect the squirmies from ferret distemper which is a contagious disease of dogs and ferrets caused by a virus. It is very serious, nasty and can be fatal. Thankfully, due to the availability of a reliable vaccine, it is now a very rare condition in the UK.
What are the symptoms of ferret distemper?
Who can vaccinate my ferret?
Speak to your usual vet about getting your ferret vaccinated – if they can’t do it themselves, they’ll be able to advise you who can.
How much is it?
Ferret vaccinations start from £47.25 Support is available to pay for this if you’re on certain state benefits.
My ferret is from a rescue centre - will I still need to get them vaccinated?
More often than not, if you adopt a ferret (awesome work, by the way!) they’ll already be vaccinated. Always check with the charity you’re adopting from and make sure to take their vaccination documents home with you too.
What documentation do I need?
Most vaccinated fuzzbutts receive vaccination cards which you’ll need to keep. Take these with you when you take your ferrets for their annual booster jab and keep a note of the important dates on your calendar so you don’t miss the next one! If you are not issued with a record card, ask the vet if they can provide one or ask for a little letter with the proof of vaccination which includes which vaccine, which ferret, which vet and when!