Below, Alun shares the key things you need to know and the main questions we are asked about neutering, contraception, and managing the sexual health of ferrets.
When will ferrets come into heat?
Ferrets mate between March and September as the days get longer. Both male and female ferrets reach sexual maturity in their first spring, which means they can be as young as four months old when they first come into heat.
When a jill comes into heat, she produces oestrogen, which reduces the production of red blood cells. This can cause anaemia which if left unmanaged, can be life-threatening. Once a heat cycle has ended, another cycle can start if the female is still within the breeding period. Only mating or the end of the breeding season can end a jill’s heat. So, if you’re not planning on breeding your ferret, Alun advises that it is important to stop your females from cycling.
Neutering males and preventing female ferrets from cycling
Female ferrets can be prevented from cycling by; spaying, mating them, or by giving them hormone injections or implants. Our Vets will discuss the options with you to find the best one for your pet.
Male ferrets can be neutered by being castrated, by having a vasectomy (removing a section of the sperm duct), or they too can have hormone implants.
Which approach is best, surgical or hormonal?
According to Alun, the hormonal route is the most common route but there are pros and cons to both chemical and surgical approaches. The key thing to remember is that you must understand the options and implications for your pet and act early, before your jill first comes into heat. Book an appointment with Alun at our Bromsgrove surgery so our Vets can talk you through the options.