Treating and Preventing Fleas in Ferrets
Ferrets can get fleas just like dogs and cats. Since most ferrets are housed exclusively indoors in the US, it’s usually the dogs or cats bringing fleas inside and exposing the ferret. All pets in the home should be on flea control to help prevent a flea infestation from developing. Continue reading to learn more about flea control and prevention for your ferret!
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Flea Preventatives for Ferrets
Currently, there is only one flea product labeled for use in ferrets in the US. That product is Advantage Multi. The dose is not the same as it is for dogs and cats, so be sure to have your vet calculate the appropriate dose for each ferret. This product also prevents heartworm disease, which is spread by mosquitos. It can also control ear mites, mange mites, and some intestinal parasites. This is a topical liquid that is applied once monthly to the skin, high up on the back of the neck so the ferret cannot twist around and lick it off.
Frontline, Advantage 2, and Revolution have been used off-label in ferrets. Again, the dose is not the same for dogs and cats, so be sure to have your vet calculate a safe dose of this product.
Revolution can help control fleas for 7 to 21 days in ferrets. Advantage Multi controls fleas 100% for 2 weeks after application and is still over 90% effective at week 4. Advantage 2 controls fleas over 90% in the first week, but the efficacy drops by about 50% each week thereafter.
Preventing Fleas in Ferrets
It can take 3 months or longer to control a flea infestation, so preventing fleas is much better! Have all the pet mammals in the home on a good flea control product as recommended by your vet. Not all flea products are safe for all pets, so be sure your vet says it’s a safe product to use.
If you do have a flea infestation, vacuum the home twice weekly for at least a month. Wash all linens the pets have access to twice weekly and consider having an exterminator out to treat the home and yard. Let the exterminator know what type of pets you have so they use a product that is safe around pets.
Fleas have a developmental stage called the pupal stage that can’t be killed by any of our products. This is the stage just before the fleas erupt as adults and start feeding. By cleaning, vacuuming, and washing items at home, we are trying to remove this stage from the environment to help resolve the flea issue as soon as possible.
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