Bolton Ferret Welfare

Yarm Ferret Rescue - September 2010

by Sue Lloyd

It's the usual state of affairs. Ferrets and more ferrets needing homes. More seem to be simply getting dumped.

August was again the worst month for kits. Boxes and buckets of under-age kits were being sold at the various 'Fur & Feather' auctions. Many of the people wanting rid of their kits were saying that they had simply been 'caught out' when a hob and jill were left together for too long. Was this the result of the long winter and late spring? Remember it is the lengthening hours of daylight that jills respond to, not the end of the cold weather; it's this that brings jills into season.

My vasectomised hobs worked like troopers. Four jills were injected with Receptal as they had health issues which meant that they couldn't go in with the vasectomised hob. Four days after being injected they started to 'dry up' and reduce. This was followed some weeks later by a change into their summer pellage. All these jills retained their happy bounce.

Two unrelated dark polecat jills in this area, only half a mile apart from each other, suffered this summer from the effects of too much oestrogen build-up. Both became unwell and presented with the tell-tale dark areas under the skin. The oldest jill (six years old) lives with a vasectomised hob so is never left in season for long. She was treated by a vet who is used to treating ferrets so the symptoms were caught early and she made a full recovery. The vet recommended spaying.

The other jill (three years old) had been jill-jabbed with Delvosteron to bring her out of season. She'd been jill-jabbed when she was one year old, visited a vasectomised hob when she was two and jill jabbed this year. She became dehydrated and despite being on fluids and antibiotics, she sadly didn't recover.

Please be extra vigilant during the jill season.

(First published September 2010)

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