Giving Meds to a Ferret
One challenge often faced by ferret owners
is giving medications to ferrets. I will admit it can be
challenging, especially with some medications that have
a very bitter taste to them like Flagyl and Biaxin, even
though they are compounded with a flavor.
easiest way to do this is to scruff the ferret by their
neck (the loose skin) and let them dangle. In short order,
they will relax their body and begin to yawn. This is your
opportunity to pop the pill towards the back of their mouth
from either the front or the side. You should make sure
their head is tilted backwards.
Like other animals, ferrets can fake you
out by thinking they swallowed it, to only spit it out.
So it's a good idea to continue scruffing a while and gentle
rub their throat to encourage swallowing.
Liquid Medications and Duck
Liquids are a little more challenging, as
they are very good at spitting the meds right out, and
will often wiggle will trying to get it in their mouth.
Chances are pretty good, that you'll end of wearing
some of the meds by the time you're time.
Liquid medications presents a different challenge
to pills, as you do not want
to shot the medicine down their throat, as you risk the
chance of aspiration which could be life threatening, As
above the key will be to scruff the ferret with a tight
grip and let their body dangle.
the syringe on the side of their mouth, and while they
gently push through the medication either going across
or towards the front.
If you have a stubborn ferret that won't
yawn, you might have to gently rub their gums with your
finger which will cause them to loosen their bite. Quickly,
place the tip of the syringe between their upper and lower
teeth on the side and inject it. Often when giving meds
that they don't like, this tends to become the standard
After the meds are in or during giving it
to them, be prepared for them to shake their face, spit
it out, foam at the mouth etc. This is normal, especially
for medicines that have a bitter taste. One way to lessen
it, is you can apply some ferretone to the tip of the syringe,
so they'll taste that at first vs the meds, and as soon
as you get the meds in follow-up with some additional tone
to hopefully cover up the bad taste.
When having to force feed your ferret Duck
Soup, many will willingly take it slowly applied from the
front of their mouth. If not, you will need to feed through
the side and make sure you release very slowly either going
across or towards the front, never towards
Mix with Duck Soup?
While this may seem like a good idea, this
might not be the case due to how the drug works and drug-to-drug
interactions. Some drugs lose effectiveness if:
Given with Food
Added to warmed up Duck Soup
Could be contraindicated with other drugs
you might be mixing together (often they need to be spaced
Drug needs to be given on an empty stomach
to work (especially in the case of ulcers)
Before mixing any drugs in Soup, you should
check with your vet to make sure it's safe and will not
lose it's effectiveness.