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Rabies in Ferrets

Treatment

 

If your ferret has been vaccinated against rabies, provide proof of vaccination to your veterinarian. If anyone came into contact with the ferret's saliva, or were bitten by your ferret, advise them to contact a physician immediately for treatment. Unfortunately, rabies is always fatal for unvaccinated animals, usually occurring within 7 to 10 days from when the initial symptoms began.

 

Living and Management

 

If a diagnosis of rabies is confirmed you will need to report the case to your local health department. An unvaccinated ferret that is bitten or exposed to a known rabid animal must be quarantined for up to six months, or according to local and state regulations. A vaccinated animal that has bitten or scratched a human, conversely, should be quarantined and monitored for 10 days.

 

Prevention

 

All ferrets should be vaccinated against rabies at 12 weeks of age, then annually thereafter. Disinfect areas which may be infected (especially with saliva) with a 1:32 dilution (4 ounces to a gallon) of household bleach solution to quickly inactivate the virus.

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