Vaccinations in Ferrets

Ferrets are susceptible to a variety of viral diseases that can cause serious illness and death.

Distemper, the same virus that causes the disease in dogs, is a very serious disease that almost always causes death in unvaccinated ferrets. Even ferrets that never go outside should have distemper vaccinations. Contact with an infected dog or ferret is not the only way your ferret can be infected.  You can bring the deadly virus into your home indirectly on clothes, shoes, or other items after being in close proximity to where an infected animal has been.  

Most ferrets receive an initial vaccination by the breeder when they are under 6 weeks old. We recommend 2 additional vaccinations at 3 to 4 week intervals unless the ferret has not received any vaccinations and then 3 are recommended. After finishing their kit series of distemper vaccinations, all ferrets should receive a booster vaccination 1 year later. The vacciantion is labled to be given annually after that. Some research has shown that some ferrets may not need vaccinations every year after their first year booster.  We will explore your ferret's risk factors and tailor a program just for it.

Rabies is a fatal virus infection that is easily spread by saliva.  It is a public health hazard since it can be transmitted to people by saliva.  Fortunately it is extremely rare in ferrets and is readily prevented by vaccinations. Rabies vaccinations are not required by law for ferrets in Arizona.

Some ferrets have allergic reactions to their vaccinations.  We recommend close monitoring of the ferret for 30 minutes following a vaccination.  We encourage you to spend at least 30 minutes at Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital after your ferret's vaccination so we may treat your ferret should an allergic reaction develop.  If your ferret has a severe reaction, we'll discuss what options are appropriate for it in the future.