Are ferrets safe pregnancy companions?

Being pregnant brings me a lot of joy, but also a huge sense of responsibility.

What if I'm not giving the fetus all the nutrients he needs?
What if I give him something that hurts him?
What if I put him in harm's way by not knowing about something potentially dangerous?

ENOUGH. Those are valid concerns but the best way for me to stay confident is though education and getting all the information that I need, as early as I can. Sometimes, eating healthy and avoiding alcohol and tobacco is not enough to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Can my pets be hazardous for the pregnancy?

I read about how pregnant women should avoid getting in contact with their cat's litter in order to prevent toxoplasmosis, which can be very dangerous to the growing fetus...


Dogs are safe and Luka's very happy about that!

What about ferrets?

I have 3 ferrets and happen to be the prime caretaker of their bunch. Which means, lots of litter cleaning, and it's often not as simple as cleaning a cat's litter box...

I called my ferrets' vet and asked.

His first answer was that they were safe since they do not carry toxoplasmosis. (GOOD) But then, out of any expectations, he added promptly "but you should have all of their feces analyzed for parasites or a regular basis. Most parasites are inoffensive, but some could be dangerous for a pregnant woman." (UHHH...)

Just about everytime we brought our little furballs to the vet, there was a new mild, innofensive parasite found in their feces. It seems almost inevitable when you have three in the same cage. We would then go home with different treatments to solve the case but after some time, a new kind always makes an appearance.

That is not very reassuring... So DF brought up the idea of putting them for adoption. This way we can achieve 4 goals:
  1. less risk for the pregnancy
  2. more space for the baby room
  3. more time on our hands to take care of baby+teenager+dog
  4. get the ferrets into a good family that will play more with them than we do
I'm having a bit of a hard time dealing with that decision but I know deep down that this will be the right choice for us. So for now, the teenager is being very helpful and has taken over the litter cleaning chore...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this advice about ferrets. I keep trying to tell my husband who seems really adamant about the ferret not transmitting anything to a pregnant woman. I think he is just being lazy because I usually take care of the animals and he doesn't so he doesn't want to clean up the cage even though he is the one who wanted the animal.

Cynthia Quenneville said...

I'm glad I could help! :)

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