How to Properly Clean your Ferret’s Ears

It is essential to check and clean your ferrets’ ears regularly and check for ear mites every week. Keeping your ferret’s ears clean and dry will help eliminate the risk of infection. It is very common for ferret owners to be too concerned about cleaning the ears of their ferrets.

However, they may not be aware that if the ear is not cleaned properly, it may lead to infections that affect the whole body.

A typical mistake people make is to clean the outside of their ferrets’ ears using cotton balls or tissue paper, which can push dirt and wax deeper into their ear canal. The best way to do it is by running a warm, wet cloth along the inside of their ear flap.

According to Rick Axelson, DVM ear mites are “a common problem for ferrets, and can affect a ferret of any age and sex. Your ferret may acquire ear mites from other affected animals at home, or at the breeder, pet store or animal shelter.” He further goes on that the “mites are visible to the naked eye if you look carefully” and he suggests, that “the ears should be cleaned regularly if dirty.

Source: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/ferrets-ear-mites

It is best to make an appointment with your veterinarian if you wish to be sure whether or not your furry friend is suffering from ear mites. Your veterinarian will examine your ferret’s ears as well as its crusts thoroughly, so he or she can tell for sure if your ferret has parasites.

Acarexx

Acarexx has actually diluted Ivermectin ear drops. You should use 1 tube per ear and repeat after 3 weeks.

Ivomec

This is an injectable or topical form of Ivermectin and should be repeated in 3 weeks.

Tresaderm

Those are ear drops. 3 drops per ear twice daily for 10 days, stop 10 days, and repeat another 10 days.

General Information

Ferrets are not very fond of having their ears looked into or receiving drops, so this can be challenging. You can try applying Ferretvite, Laxatone, Petromalt, Nutrical, Ferretone, etc., to their tummy, and while they are busy licking away, you can tend to the ear cleaning.

When all else fails, you will need to gently restrain the ferret so you can attend to the task at hand. Holding the ferret in your arm, position him so that one arm supports the body with your hand under their neck supporting their face.

Put the Q-tip gently into the ear with your free hand. Be sure to place the tip all the way into the ear. I’d advise you to slightly pull the ear back with your hand to ensure that you have a clear view of the channel.  

The ferret’s ear canal is very delicate, so proceed with caution without going too far down. Gently swap the surface area and a small part of the canal. It would be best if you used an ear cleaner which is readily available in stores.

Another rule of thumb in cleaning your ferret’s ears is to make use of two different motions when cleaning your ferrets’ ears. You can use a swabbing motion in scooting wax outwards, and you can also make use of a gentle back-and-forth motion for clearing out any debris that was pushed into the canal.

Summary

Except for the inside of the ear flap, ferrets’ ears are usually clean. Ferrets don’t like getting their ears inspected or receiving drops, so this can be hard. The best way to clean the outside of your ferrets’ ears is by running a warm, wet cloth along the inside of their ear flap. Use an ear cleaner available in stores.

It is very important to use the same technique when administering drops. As quickly as you can, place the drops in the ear canal and rub their ears to help them move through the ear canal.  

As always – Be very careful, and if you don’t feel comfortable or are afraid that you could hurt your ferret, make an appointment with your vet instead.

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