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  #1  
Old 20 December 2012, 02:03 AM
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Icon81 Ferret mating

Comment: I read on the internet (ha ha) that a female ferret will die if
she doesn't find a mate. Is that true?
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  #2  
Old 20 December 2012, 02:10 AM
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It is true. Of course, a female ferret will also die if she does find a mate.
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  #3  
Old 20 December 2012, 03:17 AM
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I actually heard that from a ferret breeder, of all things: you should get female ferrets spayed while they're young because they'll die if they don't find a mate the first time they go into heat. However, most books I've read about keeping ferrets either didn't mention it or said it was false. I had an interest as a teenager, though I never actually got one once I found out how much work it require to ferret-proof your house.

It doesn't make any sense to me at all and I'm still trying to figure out how the idea could have gotten started.
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Old 20 December 2012, 12:18 PM
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I'm finding lots of references (from both ferret care and general vetinary sites) saying that: jills are induced ovulators, so stay in season until they mate; this extended heat causes eventually-fatal aplastic anaemia because higher oestrogen levels suppress bone marrow. Recommendations are spaying if she's old enough, Suprelorin implants if not, mating to a neutered male, or a proligestone injection to bring her out of oestrus. Actual breeding isn't recommended.

That's a lot less vague than 'will die if she doesn't find a mate', but IANAvet, nor a ferret owner. (I like them, and had to emergency-house one for a few days... that was an intact male though, and I can report that neutering them is what you want to do.)
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Old 20 December 2012, 12:34 PM
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As far as I know (my "extensive" knowledge is from having two ferrets previously), it is correct that ferrets should be fixed or bred for their own health. I don't know the biological details, but I think it's similar for other pets and animals. I figure it's safer to just get them altered anyway so you don't end up with accidental babies (though they are adorable!!!).

I miss my ferrets, they are awesome although super stinky. And yes, they got into EVERYTHING. It was worse than baby proofing because they can fit anywhere. I lost my ferret at a friend's apartment - the 3rd level of a house - and we found Zed outside!
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Old 20 December 2012, 05:08 PM
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Not only do they get into everything, they also chew on cords and the like.

And you can get the scent glands removed, can't you?
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Old 20 December 2012, 06:12 PM
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Scent gland removal is illegal here (for all animals; it's considered cosmetic, and thus unnecessary). When I took my temporary ferret to a dedicated rescue, though, they were quite adamant that ferrets can be pleasantly scentless if they are neutered and kept clean. They invited us to sniff one.
The one I found was quite rank, but that was due to him being an intact male who'd been left in the wild for some time, so that was unexpected.
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Old 20 December 2012, 08:57 PM
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Ah. It's quite possible that it's changed in the time since I was looking at getting one, but most of the vets I looked up performed scent gland removal simultaneously with spaying/neutering them.
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Old 22 December 2012, 05:09 AM
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My understanding is that not spaying or mating a ferret jill makes them likely to develop cancer. As for the odor, much of the problem is the litter box. Ferrets themselves have a mild odor even when neutered an de-scented, but the real issue when I lived with a roommate who had ferrets was stinky cage. Also, some ferrets are not good about using a litter box.
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Old 09 January 2013, 10:48 AM
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I'm a bit hazy on the details, but here goes:
Ferrets are induced ovulators, which means females (Jills) won't ovulate unless they mate. If she isn't mated, the jill can develop a severe hyperestogenemia due to persistent estrus. This can cause fatal bone marrow suppression.

Problem is, if you neuter a hob (male) or spay a jill, something can go wrong in the hormonal feedback system, and the ferret can develop hyperadrenocorticism, which in FERRETS mean they develop an excessive amount of sex hormones.

Gotta run now, but I can try to find out about some more details if you guys are interested.

Ouch, spanked by Pudding

Last edited by Dutch Angua; 09 January 2013 at 11:05 AM.
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  #11  
Old 09 January 2013, 12:52 PM
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Yeah, mine were both "de-scented" (many come that way, as someone said, that's done in conjunction with neutering/spaying). But they still just have this musky odor about them. It's very....unique.

After reading the suggestion somewhere, we'd put a bunch of plastic or paper cups on the floor - they would go to every one and tip it over to see what was inside. Apparently it's fun for them. We could not have any floor plants, needless to say, and you'd better be careful where you put your drink!
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Old 09 January 2013, 01:10 PM
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Oh crap so this is just another one of those lies. I was kind of suspicious when that she told me at the bar but that ferret seemed so sincere.
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  #13  
Old 09 January 2013, 01:14 PM
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They are sneaky little buggers. Can't be trusted.
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  #14  
Old 28 January 2013, 06:18 PM
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Ferrets /= Vulcans
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Old 28 January 2013, 08:38 PM
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But they're both pointy!
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  #16  
Old 28 January 2013, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TallGeekyGirl View Post
Ferrets /= Vulcans
You mean there is no pon ferret?

Nick
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