Treating the health problems most commonly faced by ferrets can be costly. In the case of insulinoma, for instance, it can cost about $130 per month to check affected ferrets’ blood glucose levels and purchase necessary medications. Using chemotherapy to treat the cancers that frequently affect ferrets’ adrenal and lymphatic systems can vary in cost, but is often extremely expensive, as it uses the same drugs used to treat cancer in humans. That’s in addition to standard procedures like spaying and neutering, which can cost around $50 to $100, as well as routine medical care and vaccinations.
Because medical care for ferrets can be quite costly, it’s a smart idea to consider pet insurance for your ferret. The initial cost could very well be outweighed by the medical bills it helps to mitigate in the future.
Nationwide Pet Insurance Offers Rare Coverage
Nationwide’s Avian & Exotic Pet Plan covers ferrets (along with many other exotic animals like birds), and is one of the few pet insurance companies to do so. Nationwide estimates that their average monthly cost for exotic pet insurance is $9, much less than their estimated $38.58 for dog insurance or $27.58 for cat insurance.
While Nationwide does not list many specific details of the plan, they do state that their insurance covers “accidents and illnesses as well as examinations, lab fees, prescriptions, X-rays, hospitalization and more”—a fairly comprehensive breadth of coverage. This plan isn’t available for online purchase, but if interested, pet owners can call 888-899-4874 to learn more.
Health Issues Commonly Faced By Ferrets
Ferrets are amazing pets: they’re curious, intelligent, and all-around adorable. It’s no wonder that they’ve become such popular pets. However, when purchasing or adopting ferrets, many owners don’t realize that ferrets are frequently prone to health issues, some of them severe. Some of the health challenges most commonly faced by ferrets include:
- Lymphosarcoma: Lymphatic cancer, treated with chemotherapy.
- Adrenal disease: A tumor in the adrenal glands can cause hormonal imbalances and thus lead to other serious health issues. The tumor can also metastasize, which is life-threatening.
- Insulinoma: Severe low blood sugar, causing lethargy and eventually seizures. This is caused by a tumor in the pancreas that leads to overproduction of insulin. Sadly, there is no cure for insulinoma, only ways to manage the disease.
- Distemper: This very serious viral infection can be caught from other ferrets or from dogs, and usually leads to death. Luckily, there is a vaccine for distemper.
- Flu: Surprisingly, ferrets can be infected with the flu by humans, and face similar ailments (fever, runny nose, etc.) for a span of about two weeks. Make sure not to touch your ferret if you have the flu.
- Mites: These tiny insects can be caught from dogs and cats as well as other ferrets. The two most common types of mites affecting ferrets are ear mites and mange mites.
With proper care, ferrets can live up to 10 years, so make sure you keep an eye out for any health issues and treat those that arise immediately.