Ferret Surgery Costs: What Exactly To Expect8 min read

The cost of ferret surgery varies greatly depending on the level of complexity. 70% of ferrets within the US are affected by abnormal growth of the Adrenal glands, and this often requires surgery to treat.  

If you don’t budget appropriately, you may be left in a situation where you can’t pay for the surgery that your ferret requires. Within this article, we analyse what surgical costs you can expect to pay. 

How much should you expect to pay for most ferret surgeries? 

Routine ferret surgery such as descenting and desexing costs around $200. However, more complicated surgical procedures such as tumor removal and clearing obstructions can cost $1000 or more. It’s highly recommended to take out ferret pet insurance which only costs around $10 – $40 per month. 

How Much Do The Different Types of Ferret Surgery Cost? 

The cost of every surgery can vary greatly depending on a wide range of aspects. These aspects include:

  • The complexity and amount of time needed during surgery
  • The rates in your area and the vet clinic you’re opting to
  • Whether your ferret will require hospitalization or a specific rehabilitation program
  • Whether expensive equipment or items are involved in the surgery.

Despite that, we can still give you estimates on what some surgeries might set you back. 

For example, simple and quick surgeries like sterilization are very easy to perform and your ferret should recover quickly. For that reason, they usually run for as little as $100 to $300.

The same price range may also apply for other simple procedures, such as ferret descenting, which is usually anywhere between $150 to $350.

However, more complicated and life-threatening conditions, such as intestinal obstruction and other serious conditions, may cost you up to $3,000 or more.

As for tumor removal, the price may vary greatly depending on the size and location of the tumor. 

Of course, superficial tumors are significantly cheap and easy to remove while internal tumors can be quite pricey and cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000

A more complex surgery can cost 10x what a routine surgery costs.

What Are The Different Types Of Ferret Surgery?

Ferrets are becoming increasingly popular as pets – there are currently over 5 million in the USA. This means an increase in the volume of submissions to vet clinics. 

There’s a huge range of surgeries that ferrets may undergo, but here are the most common:

Desexing Surgeries

Desexing a ferret costs between $100 and $300. 

These surgeries are relatively simple surgeries but they’re among the most common ones that ferrets may need. 

Desexing surgeries are either neutering for males or spaying for females. Some related surgeries may also include descenting surgeries, but more about that later.

To this day, surgical removal of a ferret’s reproductive organ is considered the standard procedure as opposed to other forms of sterilization, such as chemical sterilization using injections.

Obstruction Surgeries

Obstruction surgery costs upwards of $500, and sometimes upwards of $2000 depending on the complexity involved. 

Although ferrets are naturally carnivores that feed almost exclusively on meat like dogs and cats, they’re still inquisitive pets who would nibble and chew on things from time to time.

This behavior can sometimes be simply out of curiosity or due to behavioral issues. 

The problem here is that ferrets will end up swallowing solid and dangerous items that can cause lodged and stuck in their digestive canal.

When that happens, ferrets may require immediate emergency operation in order to surgically remove those items to prevent digestive tract obstruction that can be fatal if left untreated.

In addition to swallowing solid items, dander and hair produced by ferrets and other pets may accumulate in the ferrets’ digestive tract and lead to obstruction, which is why it’s called “hairball obstruction surgery”.

What Is Descenting a Ferret?

Dissenting a ferret costs between $150 and $350. 

If you have been around ferrets, you probably know that these pets have a very characteristic scent that is often deemed as “stinky” or “musky”.

This smell is due to the anal glands that are found on both sides of the ferret’s rectum. Ferrets use their scent glands much like other pets, which is for marking their territory and attracting other sex for mating.

To reduce the smell coming out of them, ferrets will undergo a descenting operation in which these anal glands are surgically removed.

One thing you should know is that ferret smell might still remain after that surgery due to other small glands around their bodies, but it’s greatly reduced upon removing anal glands.

Tumor and Cyst Removal

Tumor surgery for ferrets normally costs between $1000 and $3000. 

Another popular type of surgery that ferrets may undergo is the removal of cysts, masses, or tumors that may grow on their bodies.

These masses may form superficially, which is usually a simple procedure that shouldn’t take a lot of time. 

However, they can be quite serious, such as internal tumors and abnormal growth, such as adrenal gland growth, which leads to a condition known as “hyperadrenocorticism”. 

Luckily, according to studies, most ferrets who undergo those surgeries recover completely with survival rates of up to 98%.

For very complex surgeries, your ferret may be referred to a specialist hospital.

Simple Procedures

Lastly, these procedures are relatively simple and usually require no hospitalization or recovery time but may still require some form of minor anesthesia. These procedures include:

  • Abscess removal and cleaning
  • Ear cleaning
  • Teeth trimming
  • Bandaging in the case of accidents

Do Ferrets Really Need Surgery? 

Like humans and other pets, ferrets may sometimes require surgery. However, vets will always try to keep the surgery option as a last resort for any pet because surgeries are quite invasive.

Additionally, some surgeries are quite costly and may require several days of hospitalization and recovery after the operation, which makes the non-surgical alternative a more viable choice.

However, when the need calls for surgery, there are usually no other options because time can sometimes be a critical factor that impacts the survival rate of your beloved furry friend.

What Are The Chances That Your Ferret Needs Surgery? 

Most ferrets may require a form of surgery, whether it’s simple or complicated, at some point in their lives.

However, the vast majority of ferrets nowadays will undergo desexing and descenting surgeries.

As for other surgeries, the likeliness of needing surgery will depend on the statistics of that exact condition.

For example, according to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, studies suggest that 70% of all ferrets in the United States are affected by abnormal growth of adrenal glands that require surgeries to be treated.

Are There Any Alternatives to Surgery? 

Some surgeries may have an alternative to surgery. For example, sterilization of ferrets can be done chemically using certain medications

However, the results of these methods aren’t always guaranteed and are usually accompanied by some heavy side effects, which is why surgeries remain the gold standard.

Similarly, some diseases and tumors might be treated using certain medications or other forms of therapy, such as injections in adrenal diseases.

Yet, in some cases, the tumors are much safer and quicker to be removed surgically, which makes it the best solution. 

In other words, if your ferret’s vet recommends surgery over other routes, you should rest assured that this is the best possible option for your pet’s welfare.

Wouldn’t Ferret Pet Insurance Cover Surgery? 

Ferret pet insurance usually covers the costs of treatment of some of the most common ferret diseases, including adrenal diseases, hairball obstruction, dental issues, aplastic anemia, and more.

Despite that, you should know that the pet insurance policy won’t only vary from one company to the other, but may also change depending on the type of plan you’re subscribed to.

For that reason, it’s always recommended that you check the insurance plan and make sure that it covers these types of surgery.

How Much Does Ferret Health Insurance Cost?

In general, a ferret insurance policy is classified as “exotic pet insurance in most insurance providers and is usually anywhere between $10 to $40 a month or $100 to $300 annually (annual plans are usually cheaper)

Yet, this is just an average that will vary from one company to the other depending on many aspects, such as:

  • The prices rates of the company
  • The reimbursement percentage in your insurance policy
  • Whether you’re paying for 1 one more ferrets
  • Whether you’re paying monthly or annually.

How Much Do Regular Vet Clinic Checks Cost?

To keep your ferret healthy, you should take your pet for a regular checkup at the vet at least once every 4 to 8 months.

There, the vet will check the ferret for any infections and test your pet for any underlying medical conditions. 

Additionally, the vets will administer any necessary vaccinations in order to keep your pet healthy. 

Vet checkups will usually cost anywhere between $75 to $100, so you might want to set an annual budget of about $200 to $400 for them.

Conclusion

As you can see, ferrets are quite likely to undergo surgeries in their lifetime, which can be either affordable or expensive depending on the type of seriousness of the condition.

Luckily, however, most of the common diseases that require surgical intervention are covered by ferrets insurance plans, so you might want to check your insurance provider about the terms of your plan for more information about that.