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For Ferrets Only
Ask Angela


Pregnancy Risk:


 

QUESTION:
In a few days my jill will have her first kits ( she is around 3 years old-i adopted her last year). I want to know what to do if something goes wrong when she's having them, like this: At birth there may be complications, will you be there to make sure mother and babies are okay? We had a ferret named Snowflake who produced 12 babies in her first litter, they were all tangled together in their umbilical cords, what a mess! My husband had to tie thread around the cords of each one, while I held on to the squirming mass of tangled bodies. Then he precariously severed them apart with scissors, a nerve racking job for both of us, a false move would have been deadly! ALL 12 kits survived! It will be ok to cut with a normal scissor? Where do I have to cut? If she tries to eat them should I stop her? Can I take care of them? What can I do to prevent her from getting mastitis?

ANSWER:

You need to provide a box which you can open from the top, to look in and see if all is well. Keep Mama in a very quiet place away from people and just check on her by opening the top and peering in. Normally everything should go well and after she has had them all they will feed from her. She will clean them and eat the placentas so she may not be hungry the next day, but provide her with pureed chicken, soft protein so she can eat quickly and return to her nest.


IF babies are tangled you will tie the cords with thread about 1/4 inch away from belly and then cut on the side away from belly, ordinary scissors will do, but you will need help.


You must put kits back with Mama immediately as they will need her for body heat. If she eats them it would be because something is wrong, leave her alone, this is very rare.


If you take them away you have to provide the babies with heat and feed them every 2 hours even through the night with a kitten replacement milk, you also has to wipe their genitals to stimulate movement or they will die. It is a very difficult thing to do, it is much better to leave them with Mama she will take excellent care of them.

 


QUESTION:
I have a question and I hope that you can answer it regarding ferrets. My future daughter-in-law who is 5 months pregnant has a ferret and she handles it all the time. Is this safe being pregnant? Will it hurt her or the baby? Thanks for your help!

ANSWER:
I am sure you are concerned, I would be with a new baby coming along. However ferrets are just like having a dog or cat, there will be no harm to either as long as precautions are taken.

 

Pregnant women cannot handle the litter bins of cats, but with ferrets there has never been any danger, but she may want to limit handling this chore to a minimum, just incase.

 

Now for the baby, I know lots of people who have ferrets and babies, but they are confined to their separate spaces, just as you would with a dog and a cat, until there can be some interaction, with supervision, between the two.

 

You may have heard stories of ferrets harming, yes, even killing babies, these are true, just as cats have smothered babies and dogs have attacked babies, unfortunately it is the neglect of the parents that has caused this.

 

As long as the ferret is caged and supervised when out of the cage there should not be any problems. Perhaps you should speak to others who have ferrets with babies and young children, to feel more at ease.

 


QUESTION:
I just have a question. I just wanted to know if it was bad to have ferrets around while I was pregnant. I have to 2 month old ferrets that my husband just bought, and well I am 5 months pregnant, and well I have never heard of ferrets being a problem until my mother said that they were a great risk due to their hair, I just wanted to know if there were any risks to my unborn child.

ANSWER:
There are no health risks associated with ferrets, for unborn babies. Nothing in the hair or poop as in cats, however I would be more concerned about them after your baby is born! Are you keeping them in a cage and do they have a room of their own to play? The ferrets will need to be confined to their own space once your baby is born and that does not mean confined to a cage, they need space to run and play. Ferrets can bit e very hard and a helpless baby could become victim to ferret's teeth, especially if the baby is flailing arms and legs, the ferrets may think these limbs are playthings. Also a babies cry could invite trouble. I personally would never have ferrets in the same household as an infant, but that is my opinion after keeping them for 23 years. If you would like other opinions perhaps more favorable than mine, please go to the FERRET HEALTH LIST, there you can ask questions of experts who have ferrets, you can join it from my website, from the LINKS page.

 




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