Bolton Ferret Welfare

Yarm Ferret Rescue Sept 2009

by Sue Lloyd

A Hammock Saves the Day!

August was hectic; lots of shows, dry weather and two ailing parents. So with three shows in four days, suffering from a bug is my excuse for what happened!

Returning from a show in the Yorkshire Wolds on a Saturday with the car packed to the brim with pet carriers and ferrets, my friend and I stopped in the picturesque market town of Helmsley for fish and chips. At the time it seemed a good idea to put one of the carriers on the car roof. As if having a premonition, I looked at the carrier and said to myself "Don't forget it's up there".

Ten minutes later we drove off. I thought it felt odd being able to see out instead of peering over a stack of carriers! First corner and there was such a bang and a crash. Yes, you've guessed it, we drove off with the carrier on the roof. Luckily no-one was behind us and we weren't going fast.

I leapt out of the car before my friend had totally stopped it and rushed to the scene. Two jills peered at me from their hammock which was strung in the now stricken carrier. The hammock had absorbed the impact and the ferrets were, thankfully, totally unharmed.

The pet carrier, a Pet Voyager 100 (a make which I've always found very reliable) suffered breakage on the top edge around the door catch which, I presume, was the point of impact but fortunately damage was limited. We were very lucky.

Moral of the story - please learn from our mistake and take a minute to check things before setting off!

Receptol, the Wonder Drug

I was never keen on jill jabs even when the usual drug, Delvosteron was administered at 0.25mls as opposed to the usually prescribed rate of 0.5mls. This seemed to knock some jills off their feet for the summer; the jills also retained their old coats and often had a bare patch where injected.

For years I puzzled at the condition of a friend's jills, often jabbed twice during summertime. My friend, a retired zoo keeper informed me that his jills were injected subcutaneously with the drug Receptol. These jills had glorious summer coats and they were always on the 'bounce'. Some detective work was required!

Receptol is probably stocked by all vets as it is commonly used on cattle, horses and dogs. It is priced similarly to Delvosteron and one does not have to pay for a whole bottle at a time because it keeps when opened. The dosage rate for a ferret is 0.25mls and the jill needs to be in season when presented for the injection, which will not leave a bare area on the neck.

Once injected the jill will then ovulate, hence the casting of her old coat. As many jills come into season twice a year they will need two injections over the course of a summer.

Do discuss Receptol with your vet; many just use Delvosteron as it was traditional. If you are pleased with Receptol's results write and say so in the newsletter. Also if you do experience a problem with it, spread the word.

(First published Sept 2009))

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