Here is a list of the most essential items to keep on hand for your ferret. We recommend making one BEFORE it’s too late.
We have learned so much from our latest battle with various ferret illnesses (thank you helicobacter) so we prepared a Ferret First Aid kit that we now keep in a “ready to use” state at ALL TIMES!!! If you’re interested in getting yourself a Ferret First Aid Kit as well, check it out.
Our little man went from war dancing with his brothers to dehydrated and motionless in a matter of hours. We couldn’t get him to eat. We couldn’t get him to drink. And our regular vet couldn’t see him for two days (though we took him to the ER in the meantime)! We didn’t know what was wrong and we had no idea if he would make it.
It was so scary. As anyone will tell you, the process from healthy to deathbed is literally that fast with ferrets.
Now, coming out on the other side, I can tell you how much better our month from hell would have been, had we put together a Ferret First Aide Kit before Moose got sick. I can promise you this -we won’t make that mistake again.
The most important factors to keeping your ferret alive:
- Making sure your ferret eats
- Making sure your ferret is hydrated
- Monitoring your ferret’s vital signs (body temperature and blood glucose)
- Monitoring your ferrets fecals
Here are the Essential Items for the Best Ferret First Aid Kit:
- Flavorless Pedialyte
- Baby Food
- Veterinary Q-tips
- Styptic Powder
- Karo Syrup
- Carnivore Care
- Blood Glucose Monitor
- Pureed Pumpkin
- Feeding Syringe
Why You Should Include These Items in Your Ferret First Aid Kit:
1. Vaseline: I can’t tell you how many times Vaseline has avoided a potential obstruction with our boys. Try as you might, you can’t always locate every swallowing hazard with ferrets. This is a quick remedy to give your ferrets a better chance at passing the foreign object on their own. We recommend taking a pea-sized piece on your finger and offering it to your ferret. Vaseline can also be used to coat a rectal thermometer before insertion, as well as used on the ear to promote blood flow before using a blood glucose monitor. This is not to be used as a regular treat as it can damage healthy gut bacteria. 100% Petroleum Jelly.
2. Flavorless Pedialyte: This is a lifesaver when your ferret is sick or dehydrated. When your ferret’s body has an electrolyte imbalance, it doesn’t absorb fluids properly. Flavorless Pedialyte contains Water, Dextrose, Less than 2% of:, Potassium Citrate, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Zinc Gluconate
3. Baby Food: This is useful for ferrets with sore throats and upset stomachs. We do NOT recommend feeding Gerber Baby Food because they use Cornstarch. Instead we recommend Beech Nut Chicken Baby Food (no preservatives or artificial flavoring). We recommend keeping 6-10 on hand, or enough to get your ferret through a month-long illness.
4. Eyedropper: Have you ever had the misfortune of trying to feed a sick ferret medication? They turn up their nose at everything they normally love and you are left worrying how they will make it through the night. Get yourself a feeding eyedropper and save yourself (and your ferret) the unnecessary stress.
5. Q Tips: These can be used for a variety of situations, including ear cleaning and the administering of ointments. We recommend vet-grade Q-tips
6. Styptic Powder: It stops bleeding due to nail clipping accidents or minor cuts. Not recommended for deep cuts.
7. Carnivore Care: This is a high-calorie supplement powder specifically formulated for obligate carnivores. It is calorically dense -it is meant to be used when your ferret experiences weight loss or loss of appetite. Contains whole egg, chicken, and added Taurine and L-Carnitine. Easy to mix with water to feed through syringe or eyedropper.
8. Karo Syrup: It is derived from corn starch and glucose and used in dessert recipes (different than cane sugar or honey). If your ferret goes into a low blood sugar crash, apply Karo Syrup to your ferret’s gums. This will absorb quickly into the blood stream and wake your ferret up. Do not dilute. Karo Syrup is NOT a treat. It is a tool only to be used for a medical emergency.
9. Blood Glucose Monitor: If your ferret is kibble fed, they should not be fasting longer than 2-3 hours. This is especially hard with a sick ferret, and if you aren’t careful they could go into hypoglycemic shock and insulinoma. We use the only Blood Glucose Monitor recommended by our ferret-specific vet, the AlphaTRAK2.
10. Pumpkin Puree is a great item to have on hand in case your ferret ingests a foreign body and needs help passing it. We recommend Gerber Pumpkin because the unit size is smaller than a full can of pumpkin for making pie. Whichever brand you end up purchasing, make sure there is no added sugar.
11. A Thermometer is a vital component to any first aid kit. We recommend purchasing a “fast-read” model because ferrets tend to wiggle when you put something in their butts (go figure)! We recommend lightly coating the thermometer with Vaseline before insertion to make it more comfortable for your ferret.
12. A Feeding Syringe can make the difference between a healthy or a dehydrated ferret, or between a healthy ferret and an underweight seizure risk. This feeding syringe allowed our ferret to put back on the weight he lost during his most recent illness. I will never be without one.
These items will greatly increase your ferret’s chance of survival and a full recovery. The best way to beat an illness is to come prepared. I hope your ferrets never get sick but if they do, I hope you have everything you need to treat your little patient back to good health!
Here is the complete kit we keep in our home.