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For Ferrets Only
Ask Angela


Sneezing, Coughing and Biting:


 

QUESTION:
I have had my ferret for a few days now. I have noticed that it coughs and sneezes allot, mainly when it is going to sleep in the hammock or just waking up. Is this normal? I am also having a huge problem with it wanting to bite. It will lick us 3-6 times then bite, not hard all the time. I am afraid of it drawing blood on me or the kids. What can I do to prevent this behavior problem. Any help would be appreciated.

ANSWER:
What kind of litter are you using and do you have any wood shavings in the cage. Wood shavings can cause some repertory problems so you will need to remove them if you are using them.

If the ferret is playing in the litter and it has some dust in it then this will cause some sneezing and coughing! Where did you get the ferret from, what kind of bedding or litter was being used where you purchased the ferret?

Another concern would be if the other ferrets at the pet shop have colds or coughs, this could be 'kennel cough' and you will need to see a veterinarian about it. If the cough continues and it is not being caused by any of the things I mentioned then please go to a vet familiar with ferrets for a check up, as soon as possible.

The biting of a baby ferret is natural as this is the way it plays with its siblings. Ferrets are predators and therefore they practice how to bite their prey when they play with each other. It is unacceptable play with us and you will need to be firm but loving in correcting the ferret. NEVER hit the ferret, but loudly and firmly say NO and do not allow him to lick you and then bite. If he is too playful, divert his attention with some toys and let him play until he is tired, then try holding him and cuddling him, do not do it when he is excited. If he gets really wild, then put him back in the cage until he calms down.

There is absolutely no need for a ferret to draw blood and if you find this should happen, it would be good for you to contact a local ferret shelter for some advice on the correct way of handling the ferret. Just as you would train a puppy or a kitten, is the same thing you will need to do for the ferret.

 




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