Vaccinations – IMPORTANT

Distemper Vaccinations – Important!

Unless you know for sure your ferret has been to the vet and had two distemper vaccinations, then it still needs them.

Pet stores tell people the ferrets have had all their shots. They don’t know any better and also don’t want to lose the sale. Marshall Farm supplies 99% of the ferrets available to the general public. Before the ferrets are shipped from Marshall, they are given one booster distemper vaccination to make it safe to ship them on the airlines.

The ferrets must receive two more vaccinations in order to be protected from distemper. The second one is given at four or more months. Three or more weeks later, the third is given.

It is very important the ferret gets these vaccinations. Distemper is an airborne virus. You can bring it into your home just by walking through the path of an animal that has it. If the ferret gets distemper, it is an almost certain death.

When going to the vet for any vaccination, plan to wait for an hour to be sure there is no reaction. It is rare, but it can happen. You don’t want to be home, have something happen and not be able to make it to the vet in time.

Do not do anything that will cause stress to the ferret the day of getting a reaction. Don’t give it a bath, introduce it to new people, take it to a new place (besides the vet), change the routine, etc. Any stress will increase the risk of a reaction.

Just because your pet has never had a reaction does not mean it won’t. Once the pet has had a vaccination, most vets recommend not vaccinating any more after that.

Of note, there is a lot of research out there that shows vaccinations last longer than one year and that by giving them every year, you are building up more of the vaccine in the system and have a greater likelihood of a reaction. I vaccinate every 18 months.

Rabies vaccinations are required by most states, but many people do not do them because of the risk of a reaction and the low risk of getting rabies. However, if your pet ever bites a person and breaks the skin and that person calls animal control, then animal control will take the pet to see if it has rabies. That means the pet could be quarantined for ten days or euthanized.

You do NOT want to have both a rabies vaccination and distemper vaccination given on the same day. This greatly increases the risk of a reaction. You should wait at least ten days after getting one vaccination to get the next one.