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For Ferrets Only
Ask Angela


Fixed and Descented?:


 

QUESTION:
I recently bought a ferret from a pet store, I was told that she was fixed and descented. Are there any ways to tell if this is true (my vet said that she can't tell without allot of high dollar test)? I really need to know these things for her health and happiness and mine.

ANSWER:
You could look on her ears to see if she has one or two little blue dots, these are tattoos that show she has been spayed and descented. If she doesn't then you could press around her anus and if you notice a pungent odor similar to onions and gasoline' and you can feel two hard glands, then she most likely has not been descented. However this does not pose a threat to her health as she will only expel the contents of the glands when overly excited or frightened and the odor will dissipate into the air in no time! There is absolutely no reason to descent a ferret unless the glands become impacted, as the musky odor in a ferret is caused by hormones NOT the scent glands!

As far as being spayed you will know by the time she is 4-6 months as she will exhibit a strong smell caused by her hormones and her vulva will swell. You will need to check and if this should occur then you will need to contact your vet to spay her immediately. If not she will develop aplastic anemia and will die within a short time. There is no need to panic, you will notice the changes if you are handling her every day.

 




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