People who keep ferrets as pets often express interest in knowing whether they can use cat dewormers on the ferrets. In this article, we explore that subject.
Can you use cat dewormer on ferrets? In many places, it can be quite hard to get the dewormers that are specifically meant for ferrets. You thus find that your ferret needs deworming, but you can’t find any deworming product meant specifically for a ferret.
That is the background against which the possibility of using cat dewormers on ferrets is considered.
So you find someone wondering, how do I get rid of worms in my ferret, yet the specialized worm medicine for ferrets isn’t available in my local market?
More often than not, this line of thought leads to the ferret owners considering the use of cat dewormers. The question then becomes, can I give my ferret worm medication intended for a cat or kitten?
And if not, what are the other options for ferret parasite treatment and prevention?
Now for us to be able to answer these questions, we first need to know whether or not ferrets and cats are affected by the same types of worms.
Are Cats And Ferrets Affected By Similar Worms?
Many of the worms that affect ferrets also affect cats.
For instance, ferrets are often affected by roundworms, just as cats are.
Hookworms and tapeworms also affect both cats and ferrets.
Coccidian worms are common in both cats and ferrets. And ferrets and cats sometimes also suffer from heartworms.
Even with regard to external worms, many that affect ferrets (like fleas) also affect cats.
So cats and ferrets are mostly affected by the same worms. This leads to a question: can ferrets get worms from cats? And the answer is ‘yes’ – it is possible for cats to transmit worms to ferrets.
What about you, as the pets’ keeper? Can ferrets give you worms? And can cats give you worms… The answer is still ‘yes’ – there is that remote possibility of you getting worms from these animals.
That may happen if, for instance, you go ahead to eat without washing hands after handling cat or ferret poop…
Our focus though is on cats and ferrets being affected by the same worms. And as we have seen, for the most part, cats and ferrets are indeed affected by the same worms.
Can You Use Cat Dewormer On Ferrets?
So far, we have established that many of the worms that affect cats also affect ferrets. This brings about the possibility of using cat dewormers on ferrets.
Can you use cat dewormer on ferrets? Yes, you can use cat dewormer on ferrets – but only under a vet’s guidance. Otherwise it would be inadvisable to use a cat dewormer on ferrets under self-prescription basis.
There are several problems that may arise, if you use a cat dewormer on ferrets without a vet’s guidance.
Firstly, you may end up giving the ferret too much of the cat dewormer medication. What is otherwise usually enough cat dewormer may turn out to be too much dewormer for ferrets.
So you would effectively have overdosed the ferret on the cat dewormer. That can have dire consequences.
Secondly, you could end up giving the ferret too little of the cat dewormer medication. So what is otherwise enough cat dewormer may prove to be too little for ferrets.
The problem here is in that the dewormer’s efficacy may be poor, due to under-dosage.
There are also scenarios in which some ingredients in the cat dewormers may be harmful to ferrets.
This is why a vet’s guidance is critical, when working out what dewormer is safe for ferrets.
Vet Testing, Diagnosis And Prescription
A vet can also help you in first diagnosing whether or not your ferret has worms to start with. A common question in these sorts of discussions is on how do I know if my ferret has worms? Usually, only testing by a vet can give a definitive answer.
Knowledge on whether the ferret has worms is essential, especially if you consider what happens if you give cat dewormer to a ferret without worms.
Thus a vet’s testing and diagnosis can be critical, before prescription of cat dewormer for ferrets.
In general terms, is cat dewormer harmful for ferrets? Can cat dewormer hurt my ferret? The answer is usually ‘no’. However, you shouldn’t use cat dewormer on ferrets without a vet’s guidance.
You need to seek a vet’s guidance on how to apply cat dewormer on ferret properly.
In fact, even in the context of using cat dewormer on the cats themselves, you still need a vet’s guidance. Thus if the question was, can I give my cat over the counter dewormer, the answer would still be ‘ideally no’.
These sorts of medications are best given under vets’ guidance.
When Can You Use Cat Dewormer On Ferrets?
Ideally, you should only use a cat dewormer on ferrets when a vet advises you to.
In some cases, this may be for treatment of an active worm infestation. So you find that testing by the vet has revealed that the ferret has worm infestation. Then they prescribe a cat dewormer to deal with it.
In some other cases, it may be for prevention of worm infestation. So you find that the ferret has no active worm infestation. But you nonetheless give the dewormer for prophylactic purposes.
What Is The Best Way To Use Cat Dewormer On Ferrets?
The best way to use cat dewormer on ferrets is simply by following the vet’s instructions to the letter.
Normally, the vet will give detailed instructions on how much cat dewormer to use, when and how. Just follow those instructions, and everything should be alright.
Regarding the specific ways to deworm a ferret, that is usually through the use of oral or injectable dewormers.
Normally, if your ferret has an active severe worm infestation, the vet may prescribe the injectable dewormer.
Otherwise if you are deworming for preventive purposes, the vet will usually prescribe the oral dewormer. The oral dewormer may also work well for an active worm infestation that is not too severe.
Which Types Of Cat Dewormers Can You Use On Ferrets?
So far, we have learnt that it may be alright to use cat dewormers on ferrets, as long as you are doing it under a vet’s guidance.
The question that arises is on which specific cat dewormers are suitable for ferrets. For instance, can you use Cat Advantage on ferrets? What about cat flea treatments? Can you use cat flea treatment on ferrets?
The true position is that you should only use the cat dewormers that your vet prescribes for the ferret.
Those may include cat dewormers for internal parasites as well as those for external parasites such as fleas.
The key thing to understand is that the dosage you normally apply for cats may not be the appropriate one for ferrets.
For instance, while using Revolution Topspot for ferrets, the proper dosage may be considerably different from the one for cats.
Ultimately, it is only the types of cat dewormers that vets expressly prescribe that are suitable for ferrets.
Final Verdict – Can You Use Cat Dewormer On Ferrets
You can only use cat dewormers on ferrets if your vet prescribes the cat dewormers for the ferrets.
Often, cats and ferrets are affected by the same types of worms. The cat and ferret bodies also share lots of anatomical and physiological similarities.
It is on account of those facts that the possibility of using cat dewormers on ferrets arises.
You, however, can’t just pick any cat dewormer and give it to a ferret at the same dosage you normally administer it to the cat.
Instead, you need to get a vet’s guidance on which cat dewormer to use on ferrets, and at what dosage.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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