Preventing Ferret Hairballs
Judith A. Bell, DVM, PhD
Ferrets require little grooming. They do lick themselves and may develop
hairballs in their stomachs during the spring and fall, when they shed their
coats. Hairballs may cause vomiting or even intestinal obstruction. Brushing
with a soft brush or cat grooming mitt helps get rid of loose hair, especially
when a fluffy winter coat is being shed. You can control the ferret's exposure
to loose hair by bathing once a week and frequently changing the bedding
in the sleeping area. Some vacuum cleaners have pet-grooming attachments
that do not terrorize ferrets the way they do cats, and this is a very efficient
way to remove most of the loose hair. Treat ferrets at least once weekly
during the shedding period with a malt-based cat or ferret laxative (e.g.;
Doctor's Foster & Smith Hairball Remedy, Laxatone). Ferrets find these
products very palatable and cooperate in eating the laxative from the tube
(Side Effects:Aspiration of the oil could cause serious effects in the lungs.
May see a decrease in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, &
K) when used frequently and long term. May see loose stools.)
This article was adapted from the
"The Pet Ferret Owner's Manual" for PetEducation.com and
is used with permission from Judith Bell, DVM, PhD.
Planet Pets is not responsible for content
or opinions of contributing writers.
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