- Anthony Shields
Heartworm Disease in Ferrets
Ferrets, like dogs and cats, can be infected with heartworms.
Heartworms are parasitic worms that are transmitted by mosquitoes. They can be fatal to ferrets, and treatment of infected ferrets comes with its own substantial risks. Prevention is key!
Heartworm larvae are spread directly from a mosquito vector to the animal’s blood stream through a bite. The larvae then develop into adult worms that lodge in the heart and major blood vessels. A single adult worm is enough to cause serious disease and even death in a ferret. In some cases, multiple worms (up to 14) may be present.
Because mosquitoes are active year-round in Georgia, and may gain access into homes, we recommend that all ferrets be kept on a heartworm preventative 12 months out of the year. The medications we like to use are topical treatments that are applied to the back of the neck once a month. These drugs have the added benefit of also preventing fleas and ear mites.
Heartworm prevention is only available by prescription from a veterinarian. Ask us about a prescription today!