Message Number: SG5802 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Angela Espinet
Date: 2003-08-16 03:43:32 UTC
Subject: Re: when to spay--need help!
Message-ID: <>

Sorry if I caused a stir! I used to breed ferrets
for several years, way back before ferrets became
popular. After about 3-4 years I realized that
INSULINOMA was showing up in my ferrets and therfore I
stopped breeding. Also by that time ferrets were
starting to arrive in the Pet Shops already
spayed/neutered. I never encounted the aplastic anemia
in my own ferrets, as I spayed them when necessary.
When we had the Rescue in Miami, what I did
see(remembering this set off my alarm), was some
ferrets were still being bought and sold whole and
unsuspecting ferret owners had no idea that they were
supposed to breed, or spay!
We would get calls at the shelter for help and
several times these ferrets were only 4 months old and
in full estrus, sometimes after only 2 weeks and just
as Sukie pointed out the hematocrit levels were the
first to be evaluated. For many of these females the
hematocrit levels were so low, nothing could reverse
them and they died a horrific and unecessary death.
We have to remember as Dr. Williams pointed out
that spaying cannot be done until the red blood count
is brought back up and if it cannot, then there is
nothing else to do. For a novice, how would they know
when the deadline would be, therefore it would be best
to spay before putting the ferret at risk.
I appreciate that most reputable breeders(thanks
for your response Marie) know all this, but in some
areas of the US there are still breeders that sell to
the general public and this is where the problem lies.
Since most of the ferrets in Pet Shops are already
neutered/spayed I would venture to say that most
ferret owners in the US know little, or anything about
breeding and the dangers of having an unspayed ferret
still do exist.
Our familiarity with ferrets grows in discussions
as these, but the general public and first time owners
of ferrets, are unbelievably in the dark, so to speak!
I guess after doing rescue work for so many years and
being exposed to so much ignorance, my response is
always to avert danger before it happens, rather than
put the animal at risk---Angela.

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