What flea treatment can I use on my ferret?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chicken_china_mom, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    I have a 4 year old ferret named Scottie that has become infested with fleas. We had a wet spring and summer, and the dogs and cats got them, and now Scottie has them too. I want to treat him with a topical solution. I've been spraying him with cedar spray and dusting him and his cage with DE, but he needs something more. He's getting sores, and I want the stupid fleas GONE! I had been told once that I could use Bio Spot, but I can't seem to find it online at PetCo or Drs Foster and Smith. Anyone know what I can use on him? And is there anything I can use in his cage to keep him from getting reinfested again?
  2. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    First, you need to get rid of the fleas from your cat and dog as they will only reinfest your ferret.

    Secondly, get rid of fleas in your home (again...refer to the first thing.)

    I use Comfortis for the dogs. It's a once-a-month pill that you give and kills after 4 hours and keeps them away for approximately 30 days. Each pill is around $15.00. Feed on a full stomach to prevent an upset tummy.

    For the ferret, once the dog and cat flea issues have been addressed, give it a bath. A bath in an oatmeal bath should help with the sores and itching. Lather it up really well so as to kill as many fleas as possible. You may be able to mix some Dawn in there to help kill the fleas.

    I would hate to put anything on the ferret since they are so limber, and susceptible to chemicals, so I'd just stay with the wash treatment.
  3. Whispering Winds

    Whispering Winds Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think I might have seen the BioSpot at Rural King . . .so maybe a tractor supply store in your area would have it!! They are horrible, and cause such grief. I have to use advantage for at least 9 months out of the year to keep them under control where I live. Good luck. I have a ferret and LOVE her. She is getting older now, almost 6.5 and i know 7 is their usual age to live, so am dreading that. I notice when I play with her and hold her, there is a slight tremor, so guess she is getting older.
  4. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    PLEASE do NOT ever use BioSpot, or ANY of the Hartz/Seargents/Zodiac, etc topical flea treatments on ANY animal EVER. (Sorry if all my CAPS are a little much, just trying to get my point across). I am an emergency veterinary technician, and I have seen WAY too many reactions to ALL of these flea treatments. Stick to what your veterinarian sells, and I have to 100% agree with the first response about treating the dogs/cats with a quality product (I use comfortis for my dogs too) and bathe the ferret. Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  5. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    We had all the dogs and cats treated with Frontline because it's what we've used for years, but I swear it isn't working anymore. They had it on and STILL contracted fleas. It is beyond frustrating. We ordered some holistic stuff and it arrived today. We began using it almost as soon as we got it out of the box. There is an oil spray for the dogs, and a dusting powder for the cats which, honestly, I think is just DE, but that's ok, I immediately started dusting the cats. Treated all the dogs with the oil and watched with delight as they fleas just started dropping dead. Good stuff! Since the dusting powder is for dogs and cats, I'm going to also dust anywhere the dogs and cats lay. I think I will use it on the ferret too. Once the fleas are under control with the dogs and cats, then I will remove the ferret bedding and burn it, and then bath him real good, clean out his cage completely, and then dust it and dust him. Hopefully it will keep the fleas away for good. I don't know if I can use this oil spray on him. It says not recommended for cats. It has jojoba oil, rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil, and citronella oil. I don't know if any of those oils are harmful to ferrets. It's working so fast on the dogs, and I'd like to use it on him, even if only to initially kill the fleas, and then immediately wash him, dry him, and dust him. He's such a good boy, I don't want him suffering.

    I won't use Bio Spot, or any products by those companies. I know they've been in the news lately for all the problems they cause, and the pyrethrins (sp?) are making so many pets sick, especially cats. Makes me wonder just how safe it is to use products like Sevin dust on our chickens. Even when I dust heavily with DE, we STILL have lice. Like I said, it's been an awful wet year and we ended up with flies, fleas, mosquitoes, spiders, lice, you name it, and they are in massive amounts everywhere. I guess it doesn't help that we have two creeks on either side of our little town, AND a pond. We had a wet summer last year too and that was the first strike of fleas and flies, but this year we have a different type of fleas, and these are harder to kill. Last year we had little black ones, this year we have big red ones. We have mosquitoes the size of jet planes too, and we're in Central Indiana! I'll be treating the yard again too. I put down a ton of DE out there, but it doesn't seem to be enough, so I'm going back to using my expensive cedar oil solution in the dog part of the yard. I'll keep using DE and Sevin dust in the chicken yard. This is just so tiresome. It seems like nothing we do works. I'm going to finish dusting the cats now...
  6. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    In my companion animal vet class, we were told repeatedly how Frontline is no longer working and that the fleas are becoming immune to it. (Why it's now available in Wal-Marts instead of at vet offices only...)
  7. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

  8. Whispering Winds

    Whispering Winds Chillin' With My Peeps

    I googled fleas/ferrets, so thought this might help too. Has some interesting information for all of us.

    Because fleas can cause serious health problems, every effort should be made to eliminate them. If you have cats or dogs that habitually go outside, they will continually carry fleas back into the house in temperate seasons. If the ferret is allowed to play in the same areas as the cat or dog, it will quickly be infested. .

    Flea control chemicals

    Pyrethrins, which are relatively safe even on baby kits, act as flea repellents and kill adult fleas. Products containing pyrethrins and similar ingredients, such as resmethrin are available in many forms including powders and sprays. Use a product that is labeled for use in ferrets, unless your veteriarian directs you to use a product 'off-label' An off-label product is one that is not licensed for use in a certain species or for a certain condition, but may be prescribed for such use by a veterinarian, such as Advantage.

    Imidacloprid, the ingredient in Advantage blocks nerve transmission in adult fleas, immediately killing them. Advantage is available as a topical liquid that can be applied to the skin once a month. It then spreads to the rest of the animal's skin, and is resistant to the effects of water in the form of rain, swimming, or baths. It kills larvae as well as adults, so is able to bring a heavy infestation of fleas under control fairly quickly. It has no effect on the eggs in the environment, of course, and they will continue to hatch, so the flea problem is not solved until all eggs have hatched and the adults contact the pet and the Advantage. If used monthly, this treatment will probably also control ear mites. It is not labelled for use in ferrets, but to my knowledge, no adverse effects have been reported.

    The disadvantage to using these chemicals alone is that they do not affect the flea eggs. Eliminating all the intermediate stages in the life cycle (eggs, larvae, and pupae) required several weeks of intense effort, and preventing re-infestation of the house meant constant vigilance. In the last few years, flea control has become much easier because of new types of chemicals on the market that interrupt the life cycle of the flea. The new chemicals are safe for humans and even very young animals because they mimic hormones or enzymes that are present only in insects. They include lufenuron, Precor, and Nylar.

    Lufenuron (pronounce loo-fen-your-on) is an insect developmental inhibitor. Its familiar trade name is Program[​IMG] (Novartis). Program is available in an oral suspension for cats that may be used off-label, under direction by a veterinarian, to treat ferrets. Be aware that this product, like all other flea control products, is not labelled for ferrets. The manufacturer has no responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from treating animals other than those named on the label. To my knowledge, no reactions have been reported in treated ferrets.

    Lufenuron is absorbed by the treated dog, cat, or ferret, and biting fleas get a dose of it with their blood meals. The eggs of treated fleas are damaged so that they do not hatch. This prevents the ordinarily rapid increase in numbers of young fleas in your house, but has no effect on the adults that are already there. The life span of an adult flea is at least a few months. If Program alone is used as flea control for animals that are already infested, it will take several months to eliminate all fleas from the house, because adult fleas are not affected. Program works best as a preventive, or in combination with other products that kill adult fleas on the animal and in the environment. Remember that all pets must be treated or there will be a constant source of fertile eggs hatching.

    Precor and Nylar are insect growth inhibitors which can be found in products formulated for use on carpets and animal bedding. Some products are available which can be used directly on the animal and contain both a growth inhibitor and an insecticide. Growth inhibitors have no effect on people or pets, and they do not kill adult fleas, but they prevent the flea eggs from hatching and the larvae from pupating and turning into adults. Using the combination of a separate growth inhibitor with an insecticide that kills adults brings a flea problem under control very quickly compared to the old methods of bathing, dipping or spraying the pet, and using sprays, bombs, or powders in the house for several months. Best of all, the new chemicals are much safer for animals and people.

    It is possible to use traditional flea products to control fleas on ferrets, but they do not like to be sprayed and must be held firmly or scruffed to get a thorough treatment. Most are not fond of baths either, and the once-a-month treatment is very much simpler and safer than any of the traditional methods. Although ferrets are very resistant to the toxic effects of insecticides, many people and cats are not.

    Organic products that are relatively, but not absolutely, non-toxic are available to kill fleas. The most popular and probably most effective is D-limonene, a citrus product that both repels and kills adult fleas. It is applied in the form of shampoos that have a pleasant citrus odor. However, D-limonene is not nearly as effective as Advantage or pyrethrins at killing adult fleas, and will not bring a heavy infestation under control without using some other form of treatment, such as growth inhibitors.

    If you have any pets that go outside, all animals in the house will need to be treated during the warm months to prevent fleas infestation.

    To speed up the elimination process, remove all fabric bedding from the ferret's cage or nest and wash it. The litter box in the cage should be emptied and cleaned as usual. Cage cleaning and then treating with Precor or Nylar makes a huge difference in the number of eggs and larvae that will develop into adults.

    It is very difficult to treat every part of the house that a ferret can access, so it is still important to vacuum thoroughly to pick up eggs, pupae, and larvae from ferret trails. The vacuum cleaner bag should be changed frequently, and sealed in a plastic bag before disposal in case it contains live and fertile fleas.
  9. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    Wow, I didn't know there were so many options Whispering Winds! Thank you! The vets where I live, none of them treat "exotics", they treat cats, dogs, and livestock. Only one will look at a chicken, and she admitted she has only looked at maybe 2 or 3 in her entire career. Ferrets are considered exotics, so they don't get seen by vets out here in the country. I'd have to drive to Timbuktu to find a vet that would see him and prescribe anything for him.

    The dogs go out, obviously, to potty and play. The cats are suppose to be indoor cats, but this spring and summer we had a few escape artists, and so fleas came in.

    So Frontline isn't working anymore Rodriguez? Why am I not surprised? That is so frustrating. It's like head lice on humans. They become immune to the chemicals used to kill them, so therefore new chemicals must be used.

    I'll see what flea treatment I can use on him. I'm going to give him a bath tomorrow and then dry him and dust him. While he is getting his spa treatment, I'll have my daughter clean out and dust his cage. We vacuum regularly and the dogs lay either straight on the hardwood floors, or the little dogs will lay on the couch or in my bed. Sheets get cleaned, floors get vacuumed and washed. Only one dog has a kennel, mostly because she has like doggy ADHD, and I dusted her bedding good earlier. She isn't scratching at all. My other big dog though, she was fine for a few hours, but she's scratching a little again, so tomorrow I will add more oil to her. The oil really did help. The cats aren't scratching either. So the DE dust I put on them seems to be working. I hate fleas, I really, REALLY do. I just want them gone, but it's so hard to do when EVERYONE out here has a problem with them.
  10. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Frontline quit working on mine too. I switched to Advantage for the dogs and cats. It killed all the fleas and ticks immediately. I then sprayed the rugs and upholstery with flea spray and vacuumed like crazy. A couple of rounds of that and the flea problem was gone.
    On my ferrets in the past I used the kitten size tube of flea treatment. I used one tube for two ferrets. For the little tiny ferrets a single drop of the treatment will do. Truthfully though, with the current batch of ferrets I have only treated the cats and dogs. Once the their flea problem is under control the ferrets don't need treating. Mine never go outside, so they would only be exposed through the other animals.

    Good luck!

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