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VACCINATIONS FOR YOUR FERRET

To keep your ferret healthy, you need to ensure she is properly vaccinated. All ferrets will need a series of distemper vaccinations and a rabies vaccination. It is recommended that the first vaccination your ferret should receive is a temporary distemper shot given at 6 weeks of age. Thereafter, your ferret should receive the series of distemper vaccines at 9, 12 and 16 weeks of age and then once per year. Also, a rabies vaccination should be given at 13-16 weeks and then annually after that. Your exotic animal veterinarian should be able to tell you the necessary vaccines and the appropriate schedule for your ferret and your state’s requirements.

If you adopt a ferret or kit from a breeder, pet shop or other organization such as the ASPCA or Humane Society, ask about the vaccinations the ferret has. If you are told she "has all her shots," ask for a copy of the documentation from the vet who gave the shots. If the person selling you the ferret or kit can't produce such a document identifying your new pet, you don't have proof of vaccination and there is no way to test your new pet for this. Ask your vet for a recommendation on starting vaccinations.

Sometimes a pet store, animal shelter or pet rescue operation will host a free or reduced-cost vaccination day. If the person giving the shots is a licensed veterinarian, has experience treating ferrets and you will receive documentation of the shots, you may want to take advantage of this. However, this may not be a good idea if your ferret is not due for her shots or if your ferret is being treated by your regular veterinarian for any illness because the vet may have a treatment program that includes the scheduling of the vaccinations.