In recent times, ferrets have been much talked about in North America and that too for all the right reasons. There are many wonderful things for a person to know about ferrets which includes the distinctive hues of their foot or fur or even their behavioral patterns. It is very rare that people miss seeing a ferret as it has a buff coat that has a shade of yellow that becomes somewhat brownish at the top of its head and along its back. Also, it has black feet, which makes spotting it even easier. Male ferrets tend to be bigger than females and ferrets are nocturnal mammals.
Another important thing that people should know is that the black foot ferret has now been classified as an endangered species. This is a direct result of the human destruction of the population of prairie dogs and their habitat. The black foot ferrets of North America tend to get hinged on this particular environment, without which they would become extinct. If people have a ferret as a pet, then that animal for sure would like an outdoor environment, which of course, might not make the owners ecstatic, unless they themselves are not the kind who like being outdoors.
The good news is that there are a number of conservation efforts taking place on a large scale to increase the number of black foot ferrets. Aside from the loss of such beautiful creatures, their extinction also poses a grave threat to the ecological balances of the areas in North America. Their numbers are a worrying figure and this time human interventions are aimed at beefing up their numbers rather than dwindling them any further.
The natural colors of the black foot ferret blend well with the environment and hence provide them camouflage. Their black stripes, yellow colored belly and tiny feet give them camouflage by blending into the natural environment and hence gives them leverage over the enemy as they can hide within the environment.
Moreover, these mammals are becoming extinct as their natural habitat and environment is becoming more and more fragile and endangered. If their natural environment and habitat is endangered any more than it already is, these species of ferrets could easily die their way out to extinction. No wonder people living in North America are doing everything that is within their capabilities to save this beautiful species of ferret from getting eliminated from the face of the Earth or in other words succumb to extinction.
Ferrets are very well known fro their scent producing glands that are used in the production of musk. When they are faced by any danger, they have a tendency to stink. Judging from this characteristic of theirs, their nearest cousin could be a skunk.
They are able to identify people or other ferrets whenever they enter into an unidentified areas because of their scent glands. If people are going for the option of taking in a ferret as a pet, then they can do without having a medical degree when it comes to taking care of their ferret’s health.
A few of the most common diseases that ferrets contract are mentioned below:
• Rabies- When ferrets contract Rabies, their hind leg tends to get paralyzed. Most ferrets get rabies when they are bitten by another ferret or any such animal. However, there are a few chemicals which when given to ferrets will not make them secrete the rabies virus. However, people need to be careful to get this chemical given to the ferret while it is still a kit.
• Neural Tube Defects- The neural defects of the tube normally are an endemic condition that has a profound effect on the ferret’s skull, damaging the spinal column and the brain tissue. This followed by imminent retardation and in some cases there may also be some growth defects.
• Helicobacter Mustilae and Gastric Ulcers-This condition is mostly seen to occur in ferrets who are four years of age or above. In normal terms they are also referred to as gastric ulcers and pet owners must take into account this condition while making their decision to get a ferret as a pet. When left untreated for a long period of time, this condition may also cause peptic ulcers.
• Megaesophagus- The dilation for the esophagus of a ferret may lead to the condition of bronchopneumonia. Like in the cases of dogs and cats who have this condition, ferrets also run the risk of getting the candido infection if this condition aggravates.
• Enteritis and Intestinal Parasites- Ferrets run the risk of getting parasites in their intestines, which is exactly what happens when ferrets contract enteritis. This condition mainly occurs when ferrets end up getting parasites of the eosiniphilic variant. This condition can prove to be fatal if ferrets who are young or are less than a year old suffer from it.
• Canine Distemper- Canine distemper is characterized by lesions and a fatal virus. Ferrets who contract this disease, are sure to suffer badly and may eventually die as well. There is a staring lack of treatment options when it comes to treating canine distemper as most of the options available are the ones that one has to take before the ferret contracts this disease, that is they are more of preventive in nature. Pet owners should therefore get their ferrets vaccinated so that they do not secrete any rabies virus.
• Colic- Irregular bowel movements may also hamper the health of a pet ferret. In this condition, the epithelial tissues tend to thicken thereby altering the entire body mechanism of the ferret. In this condition the stool of the ferret is accompanied by blood and mucous. The only good thing about this disease is that only a few ferrets seem to suffer from it.
• Dental Diseases- Like humans, ferrets also suffer from certain dental diseases. The tips of the canines are at maximum risk, since they are the teeth that are most exposed and also undergo a lot of rough use. Other dental problems include broken teeth, malformations in the dental structure of the ferrets and discoloration of their teeth.