Ferrets, skunks and otters

image of Ferrets, skunks and otters
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This chapter provides the need-to-know information on ferrets, skunks and otters:

  • Biology
  • Husbandry
  • Handling and restraint
  • Diagnostic approach
  • Common conditions
  • Supportive care
  • Anaesthesia and analgesia
  • Common surgical procedures
  • Euthanasia
  • Drug formulary.

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6.1 Domestic ferrets, showing the characteristic long thin body shape and some colour variation. (Courtesy of J. Chitty; reproduced from the .)
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6.2 A 5-year-old female pet skunk feeding on a combination of ferret food and fruits.
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6.3 An Asian small-clawed otter In a zoo.
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6.7 Ferrets eating a frozen/thawed whole pigeon. (Courtesy of B. van de Laan.)
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6.8 Reproductive data for the ferret. Swollen vulva of the in-season jill. This animal has been in season for a while, hence the ventral alopecia. (Courtesy of J. Chitty; reproduced from the .)
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6.9 Gently handling a ferret by placing one hand around the thorax and supporting the hindlegs with the other hand. Scruffing the loose skin at the back of the neck may be necessary for restraining difficult ferrets.
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6.10 By applying a liquid diet to the abdomen most owners can clip the nails of their ferrets while they are licking the food.
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6.12 Blood collection from the jugular vein. The technique is similar to that used in cats and dogs. Some prefer to roll the non-anaesthetized ferret in a towel for optimal restraint.
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6.13 Blood collection from the cranial vena cava.
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6.17 Extensive alopecia in an elderly ferret with hyperadrenocorticism.
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6.18 Ventrodorsal radiograph of an obese skunk, showing severe demineralization of the skeleton due to metabolic bone disease.
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6.19 Subcutaneous injections are fairly easy to administer when the ferret is fed a favourite liquid diet.
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