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NFWS Mission Statement
  1. To promote the well-being of ferrets through articles written and published by the NFWS, veterinarians and ferret specialists world wide
  2. Offer/provide advice on a variety of ferret subjects from common illnesses, nutrition, sanitation, interaction, ferret safety and the advisability of breeding.
  3. Promote the on-going liaison with veterinarians and all medical organisations and agents associated within the 'ferret world' with the aim of raising the general awareness of ferret health and ferret needs.
  4. Advise and educate ferret owners, clubs etc., on their basic responsibilities towards ferrets on such diverse subjects as when considering breeding ferrets and when working ferrets in vermin control. The list is large!
  5. To promote confidence in ferret owners to approach the NFWS and/or veterinarians to seek advice when their ferret's health and behaviour causes concern.

Ferret Castration

John R. Dinsdale, BVMS MRCVS

Castration in the ferret as in other pet species is a simple procedure with very few problems surgically or anaesthetically to any modern veterinary surgery equipped to deal with small pets. The operation itself is simple and the pet ferret can return home the same day to the owner with minimal aftercare. One or maybe two sutures will need to be taken out about ten days later.

Once the ferret has been castrated he will generally be even more amenable as a pet than he was before, he will of course not be able to get any female ferrets pregnant and will have fewer male tendencies, which is all to the good in the pet situation.

From the disease point of view there will be fewer bouts of fighting and aggression between neutered animals and thus less injuries and stress associated with establishing a pecking order. The ferret should therefore require less attention from your veterinary surgeon and should remain healthier for longer.

There is some suggestion that neutered males also have a less pungent odour to them than entire males perhaps another good reason, however, ferrets kept in a clean environment and having the occasional bath really do not have an offensive smell anyway in our experience.

Certainly we would recommend that all male pet ferrets be neutered early on in life to ensure that they have the longest and happiest life available to them. It generally seems to be the male owners of male ferrets that are least keen to have the operation, it is up to them to put their ferret first and give them the advantage of a happier life as a pet. If anyone requires further information on the procedure they should contact their local veterinary surgeon or have a chat to one of the senior members of the well established and well run Ferret clubs or Welfare groups who fully endorse the procedure and will have first hand experience of it and its beneficial effects on their pets.

(First published in the July, 1997 Issue No. 42 NFWS News)