Your Pet Question:
I just bought a female ferret as a pet. Should I have her spayed as I did my cat?
John LaLonde, Wakefield, QC
The Expert Says:
Spaying a female ferret is mandatory. Female ferrets reach sexual maturity around the age of 4 months and are induced ovulators. That means that once in heat, they will not ovulate unless mating occurs. During breeding season, unless breeding occurs, the ferret will remain in heat for long periods of time and the high levels of female hormones (estrogen) can stop the production of blood cells in the bone marrow, which can result in severe anemia and even death!
Fortunately, the vast majority of pet ferrets sold in Canada have been spayed or neutered before being sold. But ask your vendor to be sure. If not, take her to your veterinarian immediately to have her “fixed,” to ensure you have a happy and healthy ferret.
Dr. Jean Gauvin of Lachine Veterinary Clinic, Quebec, treats a wide array of domestic pets and exotic animals like birds, rabbits, small rodents, ferrets, and reptiles.