Desexing (neutering) ferrets

Desexing (speying) your female ferrets is not so much an option but more a necessity to ensure their continuing health. Your pet could die if not speyed.

A female ferret is what is known as an ‘induced ovulator,’ meaning they remain in oestrus (heat) for long periods if not mated. This results in too much oestrogen being produced and the hormone eventually poisons the bone marrow, leading to oestrogen toxicosis and aplastic anaemia.

The symptoms of oestrogen toxicosis are weakness, a refusal to eat, pale gums and haemorrhage. By the time a Jill reaches this stage she is extremely sick and has a poor prognosis, often requiring multiple blood transfusions.

Around 90 per cent of un-speyed females will develop aplastic anaemia unless mated every time they come into heat, which can be twice in one season. Unless you are a breeder it’s unlikely that you will want a permanently pregnant pet. Alternatively, your Jill can be given an expensive hormone injection every time she comes into heat.

Neither of these are satisfactory solutions to what can be a serious health issue for your pets. Fortunately, oestrogen toxicosis and aplastic anaemia are easily prevented by the routine desexing of all female ferrets not intended for breeding.

Male ferrets (Hobs) should also be desexed. Neutering a male ferret will reduce his aggressiveness and substantially reduce that ‘musky’ odour the male gives off when in season.

In both males and females desexing will also make your pets more content and help them get along together.

The surgical procedure is routine and safe. For both males and females we recommend the procedure is carried out before the ferret reaches six months of age.