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Q: About my ferrets

March 24, 2008 | By Cassandra | 4 answers | Expired: 2448 days ago

Cassandra

I got three ferrets from petco and my friend told me since they chemically decent them that thety will get cancer and die earlier than they should and i would like to know if this is true?

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Danewillow
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Apr 04, 2008

We've adopted, over the years, 7 ferrets. Currently, we have three that are younger (<3 years) and healthy. The other four weren't so healthy. Skittles had adrenal gland disease and had the surgery to remove one gland. She did well after that until dying of (we think) insulinoma. Guiness, a male, once had a swelling on his, um, male part that was quite the puzzle for our vet until he figured out he probably had some female parts and this was a symptom of adrenal gland disease (and he tested positive for it). We went with the shots for him and they helped until he developed a urinary obstruction and enlarged spleen, at which point we had him put to sleep. Mango (our only non-Marshall ferret) was pretty healthy until he had insulinoma and gradually declined until he died. Daisy came to us very small and thin. She didn't eat and was in pretty bad shape so we took her to the vet. They tested her for common things and couldn't figure her out. There really didn't seem to be anything medically "wrong" with her. We decided to have her put to sleep. All of our ferrets died before they were 6 years old. Our vet, very experienced in ferret medicine, always says a ferret that doesn't have adrenal gland disease, insulinoma, or some kind of tumor just hasn't been diagnosed yet. I'd highly recommend you get the book "Ferrets for Dummies." I'm not implying anything here, it's a good book. We refer to ours often. In the future you might consider adopting a ferret. There are a lot in rescues!

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Sharon L.
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Mar 25, 2008

The other farm is Path Valley Ferret Farms. Their ferrets are alot healthier however they are wicked mean and drew blood on all of the employees at the store i work at. They were not playing at all. It is my understanding that marshalls ferrets are prone to cancer and shortened lifespan because they are spayed/neutered too earlier. Upon further research, descenting a ferret is not necessary at all.

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Percysmom
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Mar 25, 2008

Sorry, I gave you some misinformation in my previous answer. I know Marshall Ferret Farms is one of the two big ferret breeders (I don't know the other one). I checked and they're the ones that usually have a double dot tatooed on the ear. My ferret was from Marshall's. One dot means that the animal is spayed or neutered and two dots indicates that the scent glands have been SURGICALLY removed. Since ferrets are prone to cancer, just make sure you get a vet who knows ferrets and have them checked regularly. There are lots of magazines and books available to help you learn the signs of illness. Also, don't use wood chips in their cage. It's unhealthly for them.

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Percysmom
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Mar 25, 2008

It is true that ferrets in the United States have tendency to get cancer. I lost mine to it. I had not heard that it was due to the descenting process though. I read that it was due to inbreeding. There are only two major "ferret farms" in the U.S. so the gene pool may not be as diverse as it should be. You can tell which one they're from by the tatoos on their ears. One farm uses a single dot on the ear and the other uses two. I've read that people have begun buying ferrets from overseas that are less prone to cancer. Their temperment is a little more hyper though, if that's possible.

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