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What Vaccines Do Ferrets Need?

Every domesticated animal requires vaccination and is always carried out at their tender age, just like cats and dogs. On the other hand, Ferrets are not exempted, and vaccination plays a major role in their health.

Series of vaccines are carried out on ferrets, especially when they are young. Generally, ferrets require vaccines once every year.

They also need other examinations, fecal tests for internal parasites, and booster vaccination.

Here comes the big question, What Vaccines Do Ferrets Really Need? Ferrets are vaccinated of Rabies and canine distemper annually. This vaccine is given to ferrets that are greater than 16 weeks of age and is repeated annually.

The canine distemper vaccine is also given to ferrets of 8,12 and 16 weeks of age. However, local municipal laws vary depending on ferret bite, and most countries do not approve rabies vaccination given to ferrets.

Here in this article, we will be looking into all you need to know about ferret’s vaccinations. 

Right! Let us get to it.

What Type of Vaccines Do Ferret Need?

Vaccination is essential in all animals. And it’s something that should be carried out on all pets.

It helps protect them from contacting or transmitting infectious diseases. So, it is expected you keep your ferret away from others until they are fully vaccinated.

They are two primary vaccines to be given to ferret, The Canine Distemper and Rabies vaccines. Going along on what type of vaccine to give your ferret.

You need to understand that some cities do not approve of the use of some of these vaccines. 

Only one FDA-approved rabies vaccine is used in the USA and can only be given to ferrets above 16 weeks of age and then repeated yearly. However, if the vaccine is not available, a recombinant vaccine can be used as an alternative.

Currently, the FDA has approved a canine distemper for ferrets in the USA. This vaccine is only administered to ferrets less than 8,12,16 of age, and it is administered annually. 

Vaccines are carefully given, and only one vaccine is given at a time. That is to say that vaccines for Rabies and distemper cannot be given at the same time to avoid other serious side effects that could occur.

Even as this could be effective, they still could have some side reaction due to the vaccine. So, ferret owners are advised to keep their pets 20-30 minutes after vaccination for monitoring.

However, reactions are unpredictable and rare, but when they occur, they can be treated.

Another type of vaccine can be used by commercially-raised ferrets called Clostridium botulinum type C. It is administered to 6-8-week-old ferrets.

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Why Do Ferrets Need Vaccine

There is a widespread belief that when your ferret does not go out and associate with mates, there is no need for vaccination. Well, that could go wrong for your ferret as your ferret does not need to be out before getting infected.

Canine distemper and Rabies can affect ferrets even though they do not set their foot outside. 

As a matter of fact, Canine Distemper is an air-borne disease, which means your ferret does not need to associate with other pets before contacting it. Your ferret can get it from you through your clothes or shoes, which act as a major carrier.

So, vaccination is not essential but a norm. Moreover, Canine Distemper has a 100% mortality rate, and an unvaccinated ferret is prone to a high risk of death.

Rabies, on the other hand, is usually transmitted through a bit. Though a deadly virus, cases have been relatively low around the world.

But that does not stop you from vaccinating your ferret from Rabies. A rabies vaccine can prevent other infections from recurring, though rare, but it unvaccinated rare could get infected. 

Furthermore, it is always recommended you acquire Rabies vaccination certification in case your ferret bites. Failure to do that, when your ferret bites someone, you stand a big chance of losing your ferret to the state or even get a worse punishment.

If you own a pet, vaccination plays a crucial role in your ferret’s health and the health of other pets around him or her. Giving your ferret that healthy life lies on proper vaccination.

What To Do Before Vaccinating Your Ferret

Before taking your ferret for vaccination, you would need to know his or her vaccination record. On the first day, you adopt your ferret and ask the organization of any vaccination that the ferret has received.

This is to prevent you from double-vaccinating your ferret. 

If your ferret is already vaccinated, you would not need another vaccination; instead, you will go for a booster. It is recommended you keep a good record of the date and the year your ferret was vaccinated.

Also, you need to keep a record of the type of vaccine received. A proper check of all these would go a long way to help your ferret have side reactions due to the vaccine.

Ferret Vaccination Side Effect

Some ferrets are vaccinated, and the vaccines do well in the body system without side effects, while others take the same vaccine and experience some reactions. Well, you would not know which ferret will be allergic to the two vaccines.

That is why it is recommended you keep your ferret for a few minutes to monitor the situation.

Unlike dogs and cats, ferret reactions can be severe and last up to 8 hours after receiving the shot. Most ferrets experience diarrhea, vomit, fever, itch. If this is the case for your ferret, desist from using the vaccine.

Keep the ferret away from others to prevent her from getting sick.

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While this could occur, your vet may want to test the vaccine on your ferret by giving it a small dose and watch out for the reaction. Sometimes Vets do administer an antihistamine before the vaccine to reduce the side effect. 

And remember, vaccination is not carried out any day. Consult with your vet to see your ferret’s vaccination schedule.

Who Can Vaccinate My Ferret?

Ferrets treatment is more complicated when compared to cats and dogs. So, vaccinations should be carried out by an experienced Vet. 

One thing to look out for is the type of treatment given to your ferret. Ferrets treatment is formulated for ferrets, and using otherwise might be hazardous to your ferret.

So, make sure you visit a veterinary doctor who specializes in the treatment of ferrets to schedule a vaccination plan for your buddy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Old Should A Ferret Be Before Vaccination

Ferrets are usually given their first vaccination in their 16 weeks of age in the USA. However, other vaccines could be given in some cases.

What Is The Vaccination Interval?

Ferrets interval vaccination after the first comes annually. However, they can be given a booster to maintain their immunity during this period. 

Does Vaccination Cause Reaction

Some ferrets are allergic to vaccination, and this could cause reactions after the vaccination. A vet may recommend a small dose to test the reaction before given the full dose.

So, ferret owners are expected to leave their ferret 20-30 minutes to watch for any reaction.

Can I Vaccinate My Ferret at Home?

 It is recommended vaccination be carried out by a qualified Vet as this is a complex process compared to vaccination on other pets.

Can I Vaccinate My Ferret at Home?

Is Ferrets Vaccination Licensed

Ferrets vaccination against Rabies and Canine Distemper is not registered to be used in some localities. However, the FDA has approved the use of ferret vaccination on ferrets.

But places like the UK have not yet approved this vaccination. Instead, they use a dog distemper vaccine as an alternative.

Which Disease Does Vaccine Protect Against

Vaccination protects against Canine Distemper and Rabies. Especially to Canine Distemper, which has a massive spread globally. 


Many people still believe that vaccination is only meant for a ferret that socializes with other pets. Many infectious diseases that require this vaccination are air-borne, which can be carried by anyone, including humans.

So, to protect your ferret against these infections, you need vaccination. It is no longer a necessity but a norm if you need to keep your ferret looking healthy all the time.

to protect your ferret against these infections, you need vaccination

Also, it gives you extra protection from the state when your ferret bites

We have presented information to guide you through in the know about ferret vaccination. However, do not contradict the information present in this article to the one professionally given to you by your vet.

Keep your buddy vaccinated to give them a healthy life.