ferrets and de-sexing

by audrey
(binghamton, ny)

how old does a ferret need to be to be able to de-sex him/her?

ANSWER: Hi Audrey,

This depends on whether the ferret is male or female and whether you intend to breed them or not. Obviously if you intend to breed them then you would not need to de-sex.

With males they can go un-spayed for their whole lives but may become very stinky and a bit aggressive when in season.

For the females de-sexing is a necessity because if left without a male to mate with they go in season and they stay in season untill they get impregnated. If this does not occur the high levels of the hormone eastrogen constantly going through their bodies can cause something called Aplastic Anemia which in most cases is fatal.

Saying this...there are new studies that show a connection between de-sexing and cancer. However, it is not a 100% connection...so another way of managing females going into season would be to give them hormone injections to come out of season.

Personnaly all three of my fuzzbutts are de-sexed. This choice is up to you.

Some breeders de-sex ferrets as young as 6 weeks old. Some suggest leaving males for a whole 12 months for them to mature. But if you wait about 6 months for both male and female ferrets before you de-sex them, then that should allow them to mature properly. (Personaly I think de-sexing at 6 weeks is a bit cruel...poor babies :( )

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