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NEUTERING – FERRETS

 

The current protocol has shown that neutering in both male and female ferrets is NOT advisable due to the procedure being proven as a cause of Adrenal Gland Disease (AGD) which is very unpleasant and nearly always results in the euthanasia of the affected ferret at some stage in their life. The younger the animal is neutered the quicker the onset and more severe the signs of AGD.

The most common clinical sign of AGD is progressive hair loss from the tail to the head. Some ferrets are very itchy and they can also have skin thinning. In the later stages weight loss develops, there is a distended appearance to their tummy and they become very weak. This is a condition seen very rarely in entire ferrets or those who have been implanted but in nearly 100{c30ddf26c8e8213cb48863ffab783535ab04d34a51b7feafd4298625679b40f0} of ferrets that have been neutered.

The current recommendation for male ferrets is the implantation of 9.4mg Suprelorin implant as it holds a veterinary license for the chemical neutering of male ferrets. The 4.7mg implants have been used successfully for the chemical neutering of both sexes for many years. The smaller implant will need replacing after 1-2 years but the larger one (only for use in males) may last up to 4 years.

The Suprelorin implants have been shown to not only be effective in preventing the sexual unpleasantness of ferrets (including the smell) but also to prevent adrenal gland disease.

If ferrets are placid and like the taste of ferretone they may be able to be implanted conscious, if not a short sedation may be required for implantation.

An alternative to implantation for females is a Delvosterone injection after the onset of a season. This may need to be repeated and some require up to 3 injections per year.

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