Do Ferrets Have Venom

Ferrets are known for their intelligence, curiosity, and playful nature. Ferrets are also known for being extremely friendly and loving pets. However, some people believe that ferrets are dangerous animals. Some people even think that ferrets have venomous bites. But that is far from being true. 

While ferrets do have sharp teeth, they do not have venom! Ferrets are not venomous! 

But as with any animal, ferrets could carry germs. Ferret bites could become seriously infected. Wash your hands after handling any pets. This includes your ferret too. 

Avoid Ferrets Scratches and Bites 

As mentioned above. Ferrets carry germs, and you can get sick if bitten by a ferret. So it’s best to avoid getting scratched or bitten by them.

In the case of unvaccinated ferrets that have come into contact with a rabid animal, ferret bites can become seriously infected or spread rabies. Ferret bites are especially dangerous for young children.

Bites can become infected and lead to a severe illness. The best way to avoid this is to have your ferret vaccinated regularly. 

Getting Bitten by a Ferret

a bigger ferret tiredly looking at the camera

In a rare case of exposure to a rabid animal, rabies is treatable. However, you must see your doctor right away if you or your pet is bitten by an animal that could be carrying the rabies virus. 

Here is what the CDC says about rabies: 

“Rabies virus belongs to the order Mononegavirales, viruses with a nonsegmented, negative-stranded RNA genomes. Within this group, viruses with a distinct “bullet” shape are classified in the Rhabdoviridae family, which includes at least three genera of animal viruses, Lyssavirus, Ephemerovirus, and Vesiculovirus. The genus Lyssavirus includes rabies virus, Lagos bat, Mokola virus, Duvenhage virus, European bat virus 1 & 2 and Australian bat virus.”

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/about.html

You Ferret Must be Vaccinated

There are several diseases your ferret must get vaccinated against. Especially: 

  • Rabies
  • Canine Distemper

Here is what the MSD Veterinary Manual advises: 

“Depending on the vaccine used, ferrets may be vaccinated for rabies and canine distemper every 1–3 years. There are 3 USDA-approved rabies vaccines for ferrets in the US (Defensor 1 or 3, IMRAB® 3, and Nobivac® 1-Rabies). Rabies vaccinations should only be given to ferrets at least 3 months of age. Ferrets should be vaccinated against canine distemper at ~8, 11, and 14 weeks of age. Currently, no canine distemper vaccines are approved for use in ferrets. Because some canine distemper vaccines may cause seroconversion and disease and other severe allergic reactions, most veterinarians only use the Nobivac PuppyDPv vaccine, because this vaccine has been reported to be safe. To prevent vaccine reactions, it is recommended to administer only one vaccine (ie, rabies or distemper) at a time.”

Source: https://www.msdvetmanual.com/exotic-and-laboratory-animals/ferrets/management-of-ferrets

How can you Avoid Ferret Bites or Scratches

As long as your ferrets are young, do not play roughly with them, as they may not be able to control themselves and may bite and scratch you. If you have younger children around, make sure they know how to handle their pets safely – do not let them play unsupervised! 

 If you are approaching a ferret unknown to you, always come slowly and carefully to not scare it or trigger a defensive reaction. 

What To Do if a Ferret has Bitten you

Immediately clean the wound. Wash it with warm soapy water. Find out if the ferret has been vaccinated against rabies. If you are not sure, go and see your doctor. 

If the scratch or bite swells, reddens and becomes warm – go and see medical help! The first thing that comes to mind is that you may be suffering from an infection of some kind. After all, ferrets do carry germs in their mouths which can cause infections. 

Younger kids, older folks, and people with a weak immune system should avoid ferret bites and scratches altogether as a precaution. 

What to do if a Ferret licks you 

If your ferret licks you, that is actually a sign of affection, and it is not likely to be dangerous at all. Just make sure to wash your hands/parts your ferret licked. It’s not unusual for ferrets to lick you out of affection. You’re part of the business, and ferrets are naturally social creatures.

They love direct contact and attention. Ferrets also like to groom each other. This behavior is normal and healthy. So just enjoy being petted by your ferret.

Summary 

Ferrets do not have venomous fangs, but they do bite. Ferrets are carnivores, meaning that they eat meat. Ferrets are very intelligent and can learn tricks, such as knowing their name. They are also playful and enjoy playing games such as hide and seek. Ferrets are often kept as pets and are becoming more popular than ever. 

Wash your hands after your ferret has been handled. Make sure that your ferret gets vaccinated against diseases like distemper and rabies, etc. If you suspect that your ferret might have contracted a disease, make sure to take it to the vet immediately. 

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