Pet Care Advice:
Reasons to Neuter Your Ferret:
Female ferrets that have not been neutered are known as 'Jills,' males are known as 'Hobs.' Ferrets may be neutered for a variety of reasons depending upon personal circumstances:
- To decrease their strong smell
- To prevent unwanted or accidental pregnancy
- For health reasons:
- Jills will not come out of season unless they are mated with a male ferret.
- If not mated, she will eventually die from problems with her blood cells and immune system due to her fluctuating hormones.
- It is VERY important that this is addressed as soon as possible.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Prevention is far better than any cure and there are a number of ways to achieve this:
- Mate Jills whenever they are in season with a male which has not been neutered.
- This will result in many baby ferrets which can be difficult to find homes for.
- Mate Jills with a vasectomised male (a 'hobble') to bring them out of season.
- As long as the male has been vasectomised successfully, the Jill will not get pregnant.
- If you have several ferrets this is likely to be the most cost-effective method.
- Give the Jill a hormone injection before she comes into season.
(Sometimes called a 'Jill Jab')
- Once the hormone bottle is opened it must be disposed of within 12 hours.
- This can be expensive as you will have to pay the price for a full bottle even if you only need a small amount as we cannot use it elsewhere (e.g. 0.4ml from a 10ml bottle).
- Surgically sterilise the Jill by removing her ovaries ('spaying').
- Once done there is no chance of pregnancy or problems with seasons.
- However, Jills are then at risk of developing a problem with their adrenal glands.
- Indoor ferrets are particulalry at risk of this condition.
- Outdoor ferrets are much less likely to suffer from this condition, but it is still possible.
- Place a hormone implant into the Jill once every 4 years.
- This is the safest option as it only involves a brief anaesthetic and prevents the risk of adrenal disease later on.