There are a number of websites claiming that ferrets cannot get worms. This is not true, especially if the ferret lives in a household with other pets. Other types of high-risk ferrets include pets who are allowed to roam free outside and ferrets that frequently break out of the home. Ferrets are the most curious animals on the planet and they will likely find their way into trash that may contain fecal matter, fleas, and dead animals, all of which may contain parasites and parasite eggs.
The most common type of worm in ferrets is the tapeworm. While roaming around outside, your ferret may accidentally swallow an infected flea. The worms will hatch in the ferret’s intestines. Tapeworms can be transmitted to humans as well. Animal carcasses such as rodents and rabbits may also contain tapeworms, and they can also be contracted from other pet’s feces, which can be easily be found in parks, on pet runs, and even in your own backyard.
If left untreated, a tapeworm can grow up to three feet long. At three feet, the tapeworm can have as many as 90 segments. These segments look like grains of rice. These grains are easy to spot in your ferret’s stool or in the fur around his anus. In some cases, you will find tapeworm segments around your ferret’s paws (from scratching) and even in his ears.
Dog’s are bigger and stronger than ferrets and their systems can tolerate a tapeworm infection until they can make it to a vet. Unfortunately, a parasite infection can quickly overwhelm the tiny ferrets system, so he will become sicker and weaker than a dog. If you think your ferret has been exposed to any kind of parasite, you should take him to a vet immediately for treatment. In fact, a parasite infection in ferrets is considered a medical emergency.
Symptoms of tapeworms include:
·Change in your ferret’s appetite
·Coughing or hiccupping
·Inability to exercise
How to Prevent Ferret Worms
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent tapeworms. One of the most important ways to prevent a serious tapeworm infection is to have your ferret screened for worms twice per year. If your ferret is considered high-risk for worms, you should have him screened more than twice a year. High-risk ferrets typically live in condensed urban areas and they usually live in a home with more than one pet. Caring for a ferret with worms should be done only under the care of a vet. Most non-prescription medications do not work. Your vet will have access to a number of effective medications that can treat the most aggressive types of parasites, including tapeworms.
There are a number of steps you can take to help keep your ferret safe from worms. Keep your ferret clean and well groomed at all times. You should also dispose of ferret and dog feces immediately. Never leave ferret feces or dog feces in piles around your yard, dog run, litter boxes, etc.
If you are interested in alternative cures for tapeworms, speak with your vet about everything from acupuncture to herbs or contact the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association to locate a holistic vet in your area.
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
2218 Old Emmorton Road
Bel Air, MD 21015
e-mail: [email protected]
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1 thought on “Types of Ferret Worms”
I found black and white colored worms in my ferrets bedding. I’m worried becuase I also found tan once sworming in there litter box. The one is losing alot of weight while the other one is gaining weight. Please help. I have two and I’m worried for both of them.