How Do I Know If My Ferret Is In Heat?


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Your favorite ferrets

Ferrets are usually domesticated by Europeans. They have been in this planet for long and are often termed as polecats. Since the ancient times, they are used for hunting purposes, especially to catch rabbits.

Understanding their characteristics is important to realize if they are in heat:

1. They are mostly categorized by their physical appearance. They are found in a wide variety of colors like albino, brown, and much more. Initially they all are of white color, later they develop color in accordance to their genes.

2. They have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years.

3. Ferrets are sexually dimorphic. Male ferrets are called hobs, while females are known as jills. Each of them possesses a distinguished reproductive organ. They attain their sexual maturity after 5 to 6 months.

4. Their ears start functioning after 34 days of their birth.

The male and female ferrets are also characteristically different. A male ferret is comparatively larger than a female one. This is in reference to their size. In the matter of weight, the maximum difference between each of their weight can be up to 1 kg. In addition to this, a male ferret smells to have a pungent odor as compared to the female ferret.

Realizing that your ferret is in heat

From the fact of ferret in heat, a male remains to be more aggressive towards humans or towards other male ferrets. A male ferret tends to be in heat when they are ready for the process of mating. A male ferret is also sometimes harmful for the female ferret as they may cause bleeding through their teeth during the mating process. Ffemale ferrets remain in heat from the time they attain sexual maturity. They attain so at the age of 4 to 6 months. They are also termed as “seasonal polyestrus”.

A ferret is in heat especially when a female one suffers from a condition of aplastic anemia. For continuously remaining in that heat cycle a female ferret ought to produce high volume of estrogen hormone, a hormone which is a necessity for the process. Any such thing in high amount is harmful for your ferret and so is this hormone specifically. The hormonal affects the bloodstream directly and brings a halt to the bone marrow functioning. The condition causes aplastic anemia which is a serious condition for these living creatures. A severe case of such anemia can be life threatening to your ferret and so you got to be careful about them. So, now you know when your ferret tends to be in heat.

While in heat, if in case they mate, the off springs are also at risk of mortality. This is due to their mother ferret that reproduces them. Such female ferrets in heat are often treated by veterinary doctors to monitor them and for their betterment.

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How can you know if your ferret is under heat?

A male ferret’s aggressive behavior can let its owner sense its heat period, whereas in a female ferret, it is often physically evident. When a ferret is in heat and especially a female one, it is clearly is noticeable. Their vagina swells up and looks like a chickpea in appearance at its tail. The condition is also followed by a swollen vulva.

Sometimes the heat in ferret makes aplastic anemia more difficult to handle. They become susceptible to a variety of diseases and infections. In this case, white blood cells are also targeted which kills their immune system to fight against disease and infections.

Therefore, it becomes a troublesome activity for the owner to handle them. It is difficult for inexperienced ones to take care of them. When they are in heat, sanitization is essential by spraying them on a regular basis. On a brief note, they need to be neutralized against the action of germs.

A need of prevention

After knowing when and how they can be in heat, it is important to understand the preventive measures. There are some alternatives that can be used for calling off the heat in ferrets. Many veterinarians or ferret breeders take alternatives for reducing the heat in them.

· Some ferrets are bred with their respective inmates. The process is natural and often used to call off the heat in ferrets. While breeding them, their health and heat is being regulated by the veterinarians or their respective keepers.

· Another way to keep heat controlled in them is by keeping their light cycles under administration.

Now, the question arises how is it done?

Well the step is simple and can prevent heat periods of ferret as far as one year.

The manipulation of light cycles is bought about by keeping a close on their photo periods. Observe when and for how long is your ferret is under light conditions. For example, if your ferret is subjected to 7 hours of light a day, then it is regulated accordingly. The results depend on their exposure to light, intensity of light, bright light, and way more than this. From a study report, it has been observed that a ferret maintained under nine hours of photo period brings about a change in heat cycle of most female ferrets.

Another option one can adopt for their pet is by opting for injectable hormones. A ferret under heat cycle is injected with some hormones that nullify the increased estrogen hormone level. The injection of hormone intake is not totally reliable. It may differ for each ferret. A ferret undergoing this way of treatment should be monitored by keeping a check on its intake of food. A cross-check must be made for the injectable drugs that the ferrets are administered with.

Any other method

Is there any surgical method? As a matter of fact, a veterinarian will be able to operate the ferrets. They are monitored with their oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, activity in their system, pulse rate, etc.

Before entering through the uterus, which is a complex process, the veterinarian needs to make an incision through the urinary tract, fat and spleen. The entire procedure needs to be kept clean. Later they are subjected to painkillers.

It is important for you to know how and when your ferret can be in heat. If you see any such symptom, rush to the veterinarian at the earliest.

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