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Harmful household items

Q - Are there any items I should keep away from my ferret?

A -
This list is by no means complete. Keeping your home ferret-proofed is an ongoing process.
1. Empty Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls: If your ferret has a small enough head to get themselves into the tube they most likely will not be able to get themselves out. Never allow your ferret to play with toilet paper and paper towel rolls.
2. Screened Windows Opened From the Bottom: We all know ferrets love to climb, some more than others but an opened window with a screen is the most tempting of all summer activities. Ferrets will dig through the screen and get out of your house, quite likely before you even realize they are in the window. Sometime this activity not only gets them out of the house it finds them facing the dangers of outside away from the protection of their humans. Always open your windows from the top down.
3. Laundry On The Floor: Ferrets most favorite place to sleep is in a pile of dirty laundry in or out of the hamper, laundry basket or on the floor. If you have laundry any where around where your ferrets can get to it always, always carefully put your laundry in the washer one piece at a time to be sure you do not wash your ferret!
4. Dryers: We all know how our ferrets love soft warm places to sleep, what better place than the clothes dryer? Never leave your dryer door open and ferrets unattended in the laundry room. I highly recommend you do not allow your ferrets in that room at all, that just saves you the heart ache of not knowing whether your ferret is in the washer or dryer when you can't find them.
5. Toilets and Utility Sinks: Keeping the toilet seat down, and keeping anything your ferret can climb onto, to get into a utility sink, away from that sink. Doing so just may save the life of your ferret.
6. Bath Tub: Any vessel that holds water is a potential danger to your ferret, bath tubs especially. Any amount of water in the tub can pose a danger because if your ferret gets in and can not get out they will be in standing water, that in and of itself will drop their body temperature causing hypothermia, left long enough they will die. They do not have to drown.
7. Vacuum Cleaners: I had one of my smallest ferrets come around when I was cleaning the cage. I had no idea she was there, so when I set the vacuum hose down (without an attachment) still running, she was sucked up into the hose. Fortunately she was too big to go up too far however it did take her breath away. When I got her out she was unconscious and unresponsive. This could have been deadly. I got real lucky.
8. Doors to the Outside: If you have doors in rooms that your ferrets play in that go directly out to the outdoors, I recommend you put some sort of barrier in that doorway to slow them down. Ferrets are fast and sometimes hard to see when they are insistent on getting somewhere. I use Plexiglas in my doorways. I have to climb them but they cannot sneak out any door with the barrier there. All my barriers are 29� high; I have some ferrets that can get over anything lower than 29".
9. Trash Bins/Bags: You just took the trash bag out of the container to take to the roadside. You get a phone call so you set the bag on the floor. 10 minutes later you are off the phone, pick up the trash carry it to the roadside and go on about your day. It is now 8 PM and you cannot find your ferret. What you do not know yet is your ferret was in the trash bag you set out side to the road for pick up. She/he is gone forever.
10. Octopus Ferret Bed and Foam Rubber: For about a week or so I have been finding foam rubber pieces in and about the play rooms the fur kid's use. I do not buy or allow my kids to play with foam rubber anything so I could not imagine where it was coming from. I searched the toy boxes and could not find anything that was foam let alone coming apart.
  Today I found another piece of foam lying on the floor but this piece was near the Octopus sleep toy they have. I took the octopus out of the play pen where it was and started looking it all over I could not find any place it was coming apart. I was convinced the foam was coming from this so I continued to look.
  I finally found where they had gotten the foam; they dug a hole in the TOP INSIDE of the octopus. I had no idea there was foam in that toy, I suppose I should have realized it did have but I did not. The octopus has been removed from the kids play things and will not be replaced. PLEASE keep an eye on your kid's things to be sure they are not going to be harmed by the things they play and sleep in.
11. Inflatable children pools: Someone had mentioned on the FML the other day about the dollar store inflatable pools that the ferrets could play in .. We had some come in for clinic day on Saturday. the ferrets used them, abused them and deflated them. I did not give it any thought, I allowed 3 of my larger boys to push the deflated pool all over the play room, they were having a ball with it ... I noticed they were chewing on the plug that allows you to blow the pool up. I did not give it much thought, I just grabbed the scissors, cut the plug off, so they had nothing to chew on. I then went about my business... About 5 minutes later I come back into the playroom, one of the fur kids had decided to crawl into the small hole I made by taking the plug off the pool. The fur butt had gotten half way around the ring in the pool and appeared not to be able to go any further. The pool being plastic like a trash bag I figured her had no air to breath. I frantically and quickly cut him out of the pool ring. What I should have remembered is this, these are human children's toys, they can be and are dangerous to our ferrets.
  Please, please do not allow your ferrets to play with these items unattended. I got lucky I was there to get the fuzz butt out of trouble.
12. Children's toys: (This is about dogs, but it could happen to a ferret who likes to chew on cloth or steal children's stuffed animals.) Last night at agility class, a vet, who is a fellow agility student was telling us about a case she had this week. The dog ate a child's teddy bear and was very sick. When she opened the dog up to remove what she thought was an intestinal obstruction she found a huge gelatin type mess inside and the dogs intestines were black and the tissue dead. The dog will die no surgery can fix him up there was no living intestine left from stomach to colon.
  This was not an obstruction. .... so she called the manufacturer of the Teddy Bear on a quest to find out what the gel was and what killed the dog. Turns out the stuffing in children's toys contains ingredients for flame retardants and mite control! It is designed to become a gel. It is highly toxic. Now you would think a child's toy would be safe because it is for children, but they don't expect a child to eat the stuffing of the toys...that seems a bit scary too. But we all know dogs demolish stuffed toys.
  So do not give or buy your dog any children's stuffed animals... The vet will be posting a warning and story and I will send any other facts as needed and as I learn more. Maybe some children's toys do not have this ingredient, but better to be safe than sorry. So meanwhile, make sure all your dog toys are for dogs. - Vicki Montgomery, FHL
13. Furniture: Never! Never! Move your furniture unless you can account for each and every fur kid!
  I am so blessed that I did not lose Weezley. I was looking for him and his brother to put them away. I found Bear but I could not find Weezley. I kept going around looking in all the hiding places and could not seem to locate him. I kept hearing what sounded like scratching but I could not find it.
  Finally I said okay angels I need your help to find this boy. At that point I grabbed the flash light and looked down the tube that runs behind my couch. No Weezley so I get on my knees to look under the couch. There he was PINNED between the couch and the tube at his neck. I thought for sure I was going to find him dead.
  Thankfully the angels pointed me in the right direction soon enough and he is fine. The poor boy could not swallow his chin and neck was soaked from drooling.
  I feel so bad that I did that to him. I moved the couch to see if he was behind there, I did not see him, he must have been under it and stated to go to the tube when I pushed it back and pinned him there. Thankfully I did not push it hard.


Further reading:
ASPCA Poison Control & Information - There is a $65 consultation fee for their phone service.


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