The ferret is an exquisite small mammal in the family Mustelidae, which also includes mink, ermine, and weasel. But, unlike its wild counterparts, the ferret is fully domesticated. This makes it an intelligent, affectionate, playful little companion animal with a very entertaining mischievous side. However, it does require some special grooming, especially when it comes to cleaning its delicate ears.
Like other small pets, ferret ears are very fragile, so special attention should be paid when cleaning them. Indeed, these little creatures tend to accumulate a lot of secretions in their ears. Regular cleaning with a mild pet cleanser is a must. In addition, it is important to accustom your ferret to these manipulations from an early age, in order to make grooming less stressful and more pleasant for everyone.
Follow the steps in our handy little guide to ensure a gentle and proper cleaning of your ferret’s delicate ears.
Before You Start
How To Clean Ferret Ears
1. Choose a Ferret-Friendly Ear Cleaning Solution
There are a variety of suitable ferret care products available online (such as Marshall Ear Cleaner for Ferrets) or at a pet store. Alternatively, you can also purchase an ear cleaning solution that is safe to use for kittens and other small pets, such as the Bodhi Dog Aloe Vera Dog, Cat & Small Animal Ear Cleanser.
When in doubt, you can also ask your veterinarian to recommend a reliable product.
2. Handle Your Ferret Properly
Unsurprisingly, ferrets don’t particularly appreciate having their ears cleaned. Therefore, you must know how to handle your pet gently so as not to stress him:
3. Gently Clean Your Ferret’s Ears
How Often Should You Clean Your Ferret Ears?
It is recommended that you clean your ferret’s ears once every two weeks. If you can’t do it with this frequency, you should clean them at least once a month.
So, if you notice that your ferret’s earwax smells bad and is black or gray in color (normally earwax is red and odorless), it’s time to visit the vet. Fortunately, this infection is easy to treat when caught early.
Other Important Grooming Care to Keep Your Ferret Healthy
Does a Ferret Need Special Health Care?
Ferrets are quite hardy animals, but they can suffer from certain health problems, such as diarrhea, parasites, and intestinal obstruction (caused by ingesting a foreign object).
Regular visits to your veterinarian will help identify potential problems early. You must go to the veterinarian at least once a year, so that he can carry out a thorough physical examination and administer the necessary vaccines, in particular for rabies and canine distemper.
Ferrets are wonderful, entertaining, intelligent, and inquisitive pets, but they do require some specific care to live long, healthy, and happy lives. Regular and gentle grooming of their ears is one of them. But even if ear cleaning can be a bit of a hassle at first — especially if you are both nervous — but with a little practice and our tips, you should quickly get the hang of it!
Featured Image Credit: Irina Vasilevskaia, Shutterstock