How to give medicine to your ferret
Giving a pet prescribed medication can be a scary, even bewildering prospect. You can't explain why the medicine is important; all your ferret knows is that you're trying to make him swallow something he doesn't like.
Medications, in pill or liquid form, are often prescribed, with very careful instructions on how to administer them. Liquid is more common because it is easier to get your ferret to swallow them, compared to pills.
Most liquid medications come with an eyedropper attached to the lid. If the medication does not come with an eyedropper, using an individually purchased eyedropper or oral syringe will also work.
As a reminder:
1 ml = 1 cc
5 cc = 1 teaspoon
15 cc = 1 tablespoon.
- Draw up the prescribed amount of medication in the eyedropper or oral syringe.
- Some ferrets like the taste of the medication and take it willingly from the eyedropper. For most ferrets, this is not the case.
- Ferrets can be difficult to restrain. One trick is to gently grasp your pet by the nape of the neck and lift him/her off the ground. This usually calms the ferret and can even result in yawning. Once your ferret has opened his mouth, slowly administer the liquid medication, allowing time to swallow.
- If that technique doesn't work, you make have to restrain him. Using a large towel works best. Wrap your ferret snugly in a towel and hold him firmly so the head cannot move. Place the tip of the eyedropper or syringe in the mouth just behind the long canine teeth in the area where there are either no teeth or small, flat teeth.
- Advance the eyedropper until it is just past the tooth line (jaw bone).
- Slowly administer the medication and be careful not to give it faster than your ferret can swallow.
- Be prepared for some spitting of the medications. If this occurs, do not re-administer another dose unless you feel the entire dose of the medication has not been given.
- The quicker you perform this procedure, the more cooperative your ferret will be.
After giving medication, always remember to praise your pet and maybe offer a treat after receiving medication, such as Nutrical® or Ferretone®. This will help make future medicine times easier.