Ferrets are long, silky, fun filled, and cuddly. They can provide endless hours of fun. They can also give you a migraine as you try to pay for the vet bills you didn't think about when you spontaneously purchased that impossibly cute ferret with the incredibly pointed face at the local pet store.
The average lifespan is 7-10 years old with each year equaling ten human years. The temperature of a healthy ferret is between 100 and 104 degrees, with most of them hovering at a comfortable 101.9 degrees. The heart rate of the average ferret is about 225 beats per minute but it can range from 180-250 beats per minute. Ferrets have an average respiration rate of 33-36 breaths per minute. It is important to get to know your pet’s personality, the better you know your ferrets personality the quicker you will be able to recognize any health issues your ferret might have.
The first thing you might learn about your pet ferret is that not only will it love to have your undivided attention it can also catch that twenty-four hour flue you had a few days ago. The ability to catch diseases from their human owners is one of those unique traits that separates ferrets from cats and dogs (cats and dogs cannot catch the flu from humans). Hopefully now that you are armed with that knowledge you will be savvy enough to bring your pet ferret to a veterinarian (preferably one with knowledge and experience with ferrets) before it starts showing flu like symptoms. Ferrets are very sturdy animals when they are healthy but once they get sick they can go down hill fast. It is important your veterinarian sees your pet and prescribes a treatment as soon as possible.
Young ferrets are often fed hard food before they are really ready for it. The hard food can cause your new pet to develop a prolapsed rectum (the rectum is on the outside of the body instead of inside). Oddly enough this is not normally something your local veterinarian needs to see. Normally the rectum returns to its normal position after a few days. Smear a small amount of Preparation-H on the exposed rectum to help keep it moist and keep a close eye on it. Remember that pink is good. As long as the flesh of the prolapsed rectum is a nice healthy looking rosy pink it’s healthy. If the healthy pink color starts to fade take your pet ferret to the vet for a consultation.
Ferrets suffer from a variety of diseases and tumors such as insulinoma, tumors, heart disease, intestinal conditions, and complications involving the liver and intestines and spleen. Many pet ferrets are plagued with multiple issues at the same time. Most diseases commonly found in ferrets will need some type of veterinary care which will often include surgery.
If you are concerned about being flooded with an endless amount of expensive veterinarian bills and you don't know if you will be able to pay them, you may want to consider purchasing animal health insurance for your pet ferret.