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Ferret and fleas

Sleepy ferret suddenly jumps out of the hammock to scratch here, there, everywhere. Oh well, that is normal behavior in ferrets. Or is it? It usually is, but if you have a cat or a dog who loves to go outside for an adventure I recommend you check your pets for some illegal visitors. If your ferret is scratching more than usual it can mean that he has fleas. Most ferrets are indoor animals but that doesn’t mean they won’t have fleas. Fleas are stubborn and when they pick a host, they won’t leave easily. How to know if you ferret has fleas? How to fight them? Can we prevent them from attacking our ferret? That and much more we will talk about in today’s topic.

What fleas are ferret fleas?

Are there ferret fleas? No, fleas that usually attack your indoor ferret aren’t ferret fleas, they are cat’s fleas. Cat fleas are responsible for sucking the blood of our furballs. If your ferret is outside, there is a chance he’ll get another type of ferret fleas which are more common for wild animals such and rabbits and squirrels. Good thing is that you can get rid of all type of fleas the same way, so that isn’t a problem.

How can I know that my ferret has fleas?

Ferrets are by nature very itchy creatures. They will itch and scratch every day for billion reasons. They are grooming, something is itching them, they feel like it…. You name it, they will make it a reason to scratch. Except that they are incredibly boring, fleas can also cause anemia, so they need to be removed.

How to determine which scratch is flea related?

Yoda scratchCheck your ferret’s fur. The best way to do that is when he is asleep. Luckily for us, they do sleep a lot. 😀 When your ferret has entered the world of dreams, pick him up and put him in your lap.

Start with the back. Slowly go through his fur from the neck all the way to the tail. Be gentle, you don’t want to wake up the beast. 😛 When the back side is over, slowly flip your ferret on his back and repeat with the belly. Chances are that fleas will be hiding in the back and not on the belly, but it is always a good idea to check everything. If there are small black dots in his fur, that means something is wrong. Those black dots are flea droppings. If you can check him from head to toe with patience you will probably find fleas as well.

You can also help yourself with some equipment. There is a comb made for fleas which can help you determine if there are any unwanted fleas on your ferret. Just comb your ferret with that comb and you will find fleas inside the fur. Now that you’ve seen that your ferret has guests it is time to fight them all off.

If you aren’t sure that your ferret has visitors, you can always check with your veterinarian. They are here for you and don’t hesitate to ask them whatever you want.

How to rescue ferret from ferret fleas?

Frida bathFirst and the best way to do that is to bathe your ferret. Prepare nice warm bath, a ferret shampoo, some toys and here we go. Put your ferret in the bath and start scrubbing. Now that your ferret has endured one shampoo treatment, let him be in the water for few more minutes to drown the rest of the surviving intruders. After the bath, your ferret will be squeaky clean,  almost flea-free and not in a good mood. Fast dry your ferret with a towel and let him free to run around the room.

The second step is to find some flea repellent, we don’t want those nasty bugs to come again anytime soon. Unfortunately, there isn’t one excellent flea repellent made especially for ferrets, but there are few which are doing a great job and are safe for ferrets.

Some of those treatments against ferret fleas:

Advantage which is fast and effective remedies against fleas is made by Bayer. It is safe for ferrets, and the best method to use it is to put it on your ferret in the back of the neck so he can’t lick it. Another great treatment against ferret fleas is Stronghold for kitten and Revolution. Dosage is measured by ferret’s weight and they are also safe for ferrets and effective against fleas.

When fleas lay eggs, they can easily fall of ferret’s fur. That means that eggs can be everywhere. If you really want to stop fleas infestation in your home you have to clean every little corner of it. First thing on your to-do list is definitely ferret’s cage. Remove all blankets and hammocks and put them in the washing machine. Now, take the cage and wash it with the cleanser which can fight against fleas, eggs, and pupae. That cleaner will probably be really strong so do it far from your ferrets. Now that cage is safe and clean, you have to clean the rest of your home.

There are powders against fleas which you can put on the floor of every room and let it sink. After that, vacuum the room so no powder is left on the floor. Now, if there were some eggs on the floor they will be in the vacuum cleaner. They are only removed, not destroyed so remove the vacuum bag and toss it in the trash to completely destroy any chance of fleas infestation in your home. It is easier to toss vacuum bag that to treat your pets against fleas every few months.

Treat every pet that goes outside with medicine against fleas every month (or more, depends on the medicine) Cats and dogs can have collars against fleas, but for a ferret is better to apply it when needed. Fleas are stubborn but we have to be more stubborn and don’t let them near our fuzzies. 🙂

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