Female ferrets (jills) come into season (oestrus) in spring and summer. Female ferrets are always in heat and stay that way until they mate. The high levels of hormones can cause havoc on the female ferret’s health and behavior, such as aggression or lethargy.
A female Ferret that is not neutered stays in heat until mated. This constant level of heat can cause severe health problems.
How to Prevent The Female Mating Cycle
Mating Her With a Vasectomized Male
Some owners utilize vasectomized hoblets (males) to convey their jills out of season through the act of mating. This will stop the female from continuing the cycle by mating.
This will stop the heat but will not curtail her robust and musky smell. You need to carry out this process multiple times during the season.
Also, there are some risks associated with this method. For example, it can lead to false pregnancy, which can cause aggressive behavior and milk secretion.
Give Her Hormonal Injections
This process is alternatively called jill jab. It would suppress heat. However, you should give it to her before the start of the mating cycle.
The hormone prevents heat throughout the period. However, some jills need more than one injection during the mating season.
A hormonal implant is an excellent alternative to injections. Generally, implants last between 18-4 months. In males, it can make them infertile for up to 48 months.
A general anesthetic is often employed to give the implant so the ferret is still, which will allow the implants to be placed securely.
Ferret Neutering Options
- Surgical neutering.
- Chemical (contraception)
- Combination of both.
- Mating with Vasectomized Hoblets
All these options also curb unwanted pregnancy and can help limit aggressive behavior. They can reduce the musky smell associated with the maturing male ( or hob). Each process comes with benefits and risks.
What You Should Know About Each Method
- Ferrets can be spayed or neutered to control the animal’s reproductive cycle.
- There is the surgical method of ferret neutering, which is also known as castration and spaying. Spaying implies surgical removal of ovaries and uterus from females.
- Castration hobs can reduce aggressive behavior and also increase playtime for the animal.
Surgical neutering is a permanent process and is often the most inexpensive method of neutering. However, surgical neutering in ferrets of both sexes gives rise to adrenal disease and adrenal tumors.
When castration or spaying is done, it should not be done till after puberty to delay the possible onset of adrenal disease.
Neutering is the permanent way to end the oestrus in females and curtail aggression in males. However, it is crucial to know the signs of adrenal disease, and treatment may be needed in the future.
The chemical contraception method involves implants and injections. It is available to manage the reproductive biology of a ferret.
The simplest method of chemical contraception are implants. The procedure is done through the skin of the ferret when it is sedated. The process is done regularly.
These implants last a long time. However, it depends on the strength of the implant used and the time it is implanted. Generally, implants last between 18-4 months.
In males, it can make them infertile for up to 48 months. A general anesthetic is often employed to give an implant, so the ferret is still, which will allow the implants to be placed securely.
Another kind of neutering is vasectomy, which is a process of sterilizing male ferrets. A male ferret that has been fixed through this process is called a hoblet.
It does not affect the ability of the hob to mate. Mating jills with a sterilized hob to bring them out of heat is common in most parts of the world.
Effect of Neutering On Ferrets
Neutering of both sexes of ferrets can lead to the development of the hormonal condition called hyperadrenocorticism.
Most times, this condition appears many years after neutering the animal. There are several signs of this condition in Ferrets, for example, hair loss, swelling of the genital area, and urinary blockage.
Also, cyst formation in jills and itchiness, and weakness in the muscles are signs of this condition.
The best way to handle this condition involves early detection, treatment with a deslorelin implant, and a suitable monitoring system to watch for symptoms of the condition.
How to Find the Best Neutering Method for Your Ferret
As the owner of a ferret, you need to be assertive in controlling their reproductive problems.
It is recommended to discuss your options with your vet to prevent unwanted pregnancy and health complications of your ferret.
A discussion with your vet will help you comprehend various side effects and costs. Also, know the benefits and risks you will encounter with each procedure, so you can have an informed conclusion of the best line of action to take concerning your ferret.
You should prevent your female ferret from going into a mating cycle if she stays in heat for too long. The high hormonal concentration will eventually lead to serious health problems.
There are several options for neutering or contraceptives. They are not limited to females alone; they can be done for males too.