Whether surgical or medical, the sterilization of a pet can be decided to limit overpopulation and / or to preserve its health. In ferrets, the patterns differ depending on whether it is male or female, and in the latter, sterilization can be vital. It is therefore a subject to be taken very seriously when deciding to adopt these mustelids. Let’s see in detail the possible solutions to neuter a ferret and sterilize a ferret, their benefits and possible side effects.
Sexual maturity in ferrets: what danger for the female?
It is at the age of 7 to 10 months that these mustelids become sexually mature. In females, the onset of puberty is marked by the first heat, a period that can easily be detected by reddening and edema in the vulva. If his breeder wishes have ferrets, it is recommended to wait until the little female is 18 months old to breed her. On the other hand, if he does not want his mustelids to reproduce, he must have his ferret neutered and his ferret sterilized.
Except if the female is dedicated to reproduction, her sterilization is absolutely essential for medical reasons. It should indeed be noted thatin the absence of coupling, the estrus period continues, this means that the heat does not stop. The body then produces too much estrogen. We are talking aboutMyelosuppression.
It’s about a incurable pathology, specific to the ferret, fatal in the majority of cases due to the toxicity of estrogen produced in excess. These hormones attack the bone marrow. The consequences are very serious since it causes a drop in the production of platelets, leukocytes and red blood cells (white blood cells and red blood cells), in other words cells of the bone marrow. This inevitably leads to a weakened immune system. The ferret is then very exposed to bacterial infections and viral diseases of all kinds.
A ferret with aplastic anemia presents the symptoms following: hair loss, loss of appetite, general weakness, lethargy. In the slightest doubt, it is urgent to consult a veterinarian.
Ferret castration: surgery or implant?
The surgical castration of the male ferret is a final act. It will never be able to reproduce again. Its owner must be aware of this when choosing the means to sterilize his pet. The operation, performed under anesthesia, consists of removing the ferret’s testicles. While this act is not a problem in many other animals, it puts male ferrets at risk of developing adrenal disease. Certain sex hormones are then produced in too large a number – hyperplasia – which can be the cause of a tumor of the adrenal glands, such as adenocarcinoma or adenoma.
Theimplant is a ferret castration solution highly preferable to testicular ablation. Indeed, its effect is reversible, but in addition this solution reduces the risk of adrenal disease. A general anesthesia is not necessary, the placement of the implant is very fast and does not cause any pain. This mode of chemical castration is widely encouraged by veterinarians specializing in NAC. They prefer to reserve surgical castration for very specific cases.
The disadvantage of castration by medical treatment is that during its life, the ferret will have to receive several implants, which represents a significant cost for its breeder. This is why many ferret owners prefer to opt for surgical castration.
Whatever method is chosen, it is found that a castrated ferret retains its dynamism and enthusiasm for the game longer than a whole ferret.
Ferrette sterilization: the solutions
As we have pointed out previously, the sterilization of a ferret is highly recommended for health reasons as long as one does not wish to raise young. There are several ways to do this.
The surgical sterilization, an intervention that can be performed from the age of 6 to 8 months, as is the case in males. It involves the removal of the ovaries and the uterus: this is called theovariohysterectomy. It’s a final solution which many ferret owners opt for. Once sterilized, heat no longer takes place and females are less exposed to the risk of developing a fibroid, or even a malignant tumor, especially uterine. This surgery is common in pets.
Injection of hormones GnRH or HCG must be carried out ten days after the onset of heat. These hormones cause ovulation, estrus stops. But the ferret is not immune to side effects such as: excess nervousness or even aggression, nervous pregnancy (pseudo-gestation), lactation. It is also necessary to renew the injections because their duration of action is relatively short. This solution represents a significant cost for the master.
Progestagen injections that prevent estrus: there is a risk of infection of the uterus (pyometra). It is a technique that can be used before an implant break or before an ovariohysterectomy because it puts an end to heat. It is not the best solution to use alone to sterilize a ferret because in these mustelids, the heat takes place three to four times a year, it involves renewing the injections frequently.
Melatonin implant may suspend hormonal activity. The body produces melatonin during the night period. This sleep hormone, in addition to promoting sleep, has a regulatory action at the level of the secretion of certain sex hormones in particular. In theory, it is considered that implanting melatonin in the ferret could allow its sexual hormonal activity to be put to rest.
For this solution, hindsight is not yet sufficient. It cannot therefore be said that the melatonin implant represents a method of chemical sterilization of the ferret (or of castration in the ferret) sufficiently effective and / or devoid of adverse effects. Moreover, this implant has not yet received a Marketing Authorization.
The budget to be devoted to the castration and sterilization of male and female ferrets is quite high, all the more so if one opts for a chemical method which must be repeated several times during the life of a mustelid. It may therefore be interesting to insure your ferret with an animal health mutual. Depending on the formula chosen, this type of veterinary procedure can be reimbursed, partially or totally, within the limit of an annual reimbursement ceiling. Do not hesitate to use a ferret insurance comparator to receive several offers, free of charge and without obligation. Insuring your ferret in any case allows you to take care of your little companion at a lower cost.