September 15, 2010 "Ask Seth"

I just bought an 8-week old ferret for my son at a pet store. They said he had his shots. Will he need any more vaccines?


Seth,

I just purchased an 8-week old ferret for my son at the pet store. They said he was vaccinated by a veterinarian at 6 weeks of age. Does he need any more vaccines?


YES!!!! Kits (young ferrets) are vaccinated in a series of shots just like a cat or dog. Although the ferret was vaccinated by the veterinarian at 6 weeks, he is not fully vaccinated at the pet store, and he will need additional boosters to allow his body to create the antibodies needed to protect him from the ferret deadly canine distemper virus. Kits are vaccinated with a ferret approved canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccine, where I work for a total of three (3) injections between the ages of 6 weeks and 14 weeks. CDV is then boostered annually. Keeping your ferret's vaccines up-to-date is very important because CDV can be brought into a house on the shoes, clothing and even dogs, resulting in a 100% fatality rate if contracted by your ferret. Ferrets are also required to be vaccinated for rabies at 3-4 months, and then annually. Our veterinarian only gives one vaccine at a time since ferrets can be prone to have vaccine reactions if multiple vaccines (CDV and Rabies) are given during the same office visit.

Seth Mayersohn, CVT

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