Friday, July 10, 2009

Preventing Fleas and Ear Mites

Ferrets are susceptible to both fleas and ear mites, especially during the increasingly warm summer months.
Let's cover nasty fleas first!.
At The Ferret Inn, we have rescued ferrets infested with fleas who were extremely anemic and needed blood transfusions to save their life. Fleas literally feed off of an animals blood and flesh, leaving a two pound animal defenseless. Fleas can also carry tapeworms to your ferrets.
At The Ferret Inn, we use a flea preventative once a month called FrontLine spray. Our vet also recommends using a product called Revolution. Both of these products can be properly dosed and obtained from your ferret knowledgeable veterinarian.
Revolution can also prevent heartworms (yes, ferrets can also get heartworms from mosquitoes), and ear mites.
Ear Mites are a common pest with ferrets and can lead to ear problems if left untreated. Your ferret does not have to go outside to come in contact with either ear mites! They can live in ferret bedding, carpeting, furniture, etc. The best thing is to use a monthly preventative. We use a product called Ivermectin, which can be obtained and properly dosed be your ferret knowledgeable vet.
How can you tell if your ferret has fleas, tapeworms, or ear mites? Fleas can result in an extra itchy ferret and you should regularly use a flea comb to comb through your ferrets hair if you suspect fleas. Fleas also leave behind 'flea dirt" which looks like little tiny speckles of black in the ferrets hair close to the skin. As for ear mites, the ear wax of a ferret tends to become very dark ,almost blackish. Ear mites can be detected by a qualified vet who will do a swab sample and run it under a microscope. The presence of tapeworms, and other GI parasites can only be confirmed through a fecal sample at your vets office. Even so, it can take multiple samples for proper detection.
NEVER assume that a common dog or cat flea product can be used on a ferret. Some can be highly toxic or fatal.


thesilly said...

Great information.
It also important for people to remember that even ferrets who stay inside can get fleas or bitten my mosquitoes if/when the get in the house or some in on our shoes.