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Flea in ferret

Flea in Ferret

Fleas can be defined as tiny but pesky parasites that afflict many breeds of pets.

They can be of different species like Ctenocephalides canis, Pulex irritans, or Ctenocephalides felis and they usually infect animals like dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents and ferrets. The most common type of fleas in ferrets is the Ctenocephalides felis. However, ferrets can acquire different species of fleas too.

The lifecycle of a flea from an egg to an adult takes about 2 weeks, after which the adult fleas live for around three or four months. Adult fleas live on their host mainly in order to acquire blood for food and to lay their eggs. They bite their hosts and suck blood from their wounds, which causes, anemia, allergies, itchiness and hair loss in the animal.

Because they are small animals, the presence of fleas can severely affect and deteriorate ferret health. Some common symptoms of fleas in ferrets are – intense itching, skin redness, the formation of scabs and sores and hair loss.

Getting rid of the fleas can take a while, as effective ferret flea control should be aimed at removing fleas from the environment, not just the animal. Flea collars should be strictly avoided, as they cause skin irritation problems. Several flea control products that can be applied topically are easily available in stores. However, it is important to identify the least toxic way of getting rid of the fleas. Some products are only suitable of cleansing the environment and therefore, such products should never be used on ferrets. However, before using any flee control product it is recommended that you consult a veterinarian. The use of topical flea control can be risky for ferret health, as the chemicals can be absorbed by the animal’s skin, or the ferret could lick the product, therefore ingesting potentially harmful chemicals. Therefore, after using a flea control product on a ferret, it is important to watch it closely, for at least 24 hours. In case you notice any signs like - loss in appetite, depression, lethargy, tremors, diarrhea, seizures, excessive salivation or loss of consciousness, please rinse the product applied, off the ferret immediately, suing a lot of water and a mild soap. Make sure you keep the soap as well as the product away from the ferret’s mouth, eyes and nose. Have a veterinarian check the ferret as soon as possible. 

  Submitted on May 12, 2010