How Does Heartworm Disease affect my Ferret?

What is Heartworm Disease and How Does it Affect My Ferret?

                                                                                                       By Christopher Stancel, DVM


- Heartworm disease is a condition where a parasitic larva is transmitted to a host (Dogs, cats and ferrets) when fed upon by a Mosquito. This larva then travels through the bloodstream and matures into an adult worm causing significant damage to the heart and lungs. Ferrets have such small hearts that even one or two worms can lead to fatalities.

- Even though your ferret lives indoors, mosquitoes can travel indoors and feed off of your ferret leading to infection with this fatal disease.

- Ferrets should be tested annually and placed on a monthly heartworm preventative such as Revolution.

Some signs that a ferret with heartworm may exhibit include: 

• Lethargy
• Chronic cough
• Shortness of breath
• Exercise intolerance
• Decreased Activity
• Poor Appetite