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How Much Do Ferret Vaccinations Cost?

How Much Do Ferret Vaccinations Cost?

As a friend of mine was sharing her concerns about her ferret’s costs and mainly the vaccines, I immediately went into thinking how much do ferret vaccinations cost?

You see, I’m going to get my first ferret in a few weeks and I had considered thee one-time costs, like setting up the cage, the bedding, and all the accessories. But I had totally neglected my ferret’s vaccination! After all, my furry friend’s well being is totally my responsibility.

I read and researched, and now, I have all the essential information regarding ferret’s vaccines as well as the other routine checkups.

So, if you are looking out for answers, read on to find out more about how much do ferret vaccinations cost.

What Vaccines Does My Ferret Need?

How Much Do Ferret Vaccinations Cost?

Your ferret will need mainly two preventive vaccines:

  1. Canine Distemper
  2. Rabies

Let’s discuss these 2 diseases and understand how the vaccine can help combat these.

1. Canine Distemper

Canine Distemper is common in ferrets. Your ferret may contract this disease via an airborne Canine Distemper Virus(CDV) or through the bodily fluids of some other infected animal.

It usually takes 10 days for the clinical signs of canine distemper to appear. Hence, if you have a new ferret and are not aware whether it has been vaccinated or not, it is best to quarantine it for 10 days.

Hemce, you should give the CDV vaccine to your ferret, as it can also spread this disease to other pets that you may have.

Clinical Signs of Canine Distemper

  • Mild conjunctivitis
  • Yellow or greenish discharge from one or both the eyes
  • High fever
  • Thickening and reddening of the skin of the chin and lips area
  • Hard and thickened foot pads
  • Skin and foot lesions

Vaccination For CDV

Many times, ferret owners report their ferret contracting the CDV even after providing with the vaccination. However, this happens only when the government has not approved the vaccine.

The government has only approved one vaccine of Canine Distemper Virus for ferrets, which is Purevax Ferret Distemper Vaccine, produced by Merial.

2. Rabies

Rabies is another common disease that your furry friend can contract if it is bitten by another rabid animal, like a dog. In rabies, the main affected area is the ferret’s brain, which can lead to other signs and symptoms.

If you suspect that your ferret has had rabies exposure, it is best to immediately call the vet. In most cases, the vet will suggest quarantining your ferret for 10 days, so that the clinical signs can appear.

Clinical Signs of Rabies

  • Anxiety in your ferret
  • Behavioral changes
  • Lethargy
  • Partial paralysis
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Unexpected and erratic behavior

Vaccination For Rabies

Currently, the US government has approved two inactivated rabies vaccine for use.It includes Imrab-3 or Imrab-3 TF manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and Defensor 1 or Defensor 3 manufactured by Zoetis, Parsippany, NJ.

What Age Should My Ferret Be Vaccinated?  

The age at which your ferret should be vaccinated depends upon which vaccine is being provided. Take a look at the below two vaccinations that are essential for your ferret:

1. Canine Distemper Virus

Young ferrets or kits are unable to circulate the antibodies required against the CDV virus. Hence, young ferrets are most susceptible to canine distemper as compared to older ferrets.

You should get your ferret vaccinated for CDV at the early age of 6 weeks. Two booster vaccine shots should be provided every 3 weeks after the initial vaccination. 

So, you will need to provide your ferret with 3 shots of canine distemper vaccine, at an interval of 3 weeks. Make sure all the 3 shots are provided, else the vaccine will not be effective.

Moreover, it is recommended that you provide annual vaccination.

2. Rabies

Even though domesticated ferrets are less susceptible to rabies, many countries have a law of vaccinating them against rabies, as rabies poses a threat to humans.

Moreover, many housing societies also ask for a rabies vaccination certificate before allowing your pet ferret to accompany you which ensures rabies control in the residential area.

Rabies vaccine should be given to your ferret once he is 3 months old, and never before that. Apart from this, an annual booster shot for rabies should be provided to your ferret.

How Many Vaccines Does My Ferret Need?

How Much Do Ferret Vaccinations Cost?

If you want to prevent the diseases in your ferret, you should provide the below vaccinations:

1. Canine Distemper

  • A single dose during inoculation at approximately 6 to 8 weeks age
  • Two booster doses, each at 3 weeks apart from the previous dose
  • An annual booster immunity shot to maintain the effectiveness of the vaccine

2. Rabies

  • A single dose during inoculation at approximately 12 weeks age
  • An annual booster immunity shot should be given. If your vet suggests and the laws permit in your state, the booster immunity shot can be given annually or once in 2 to 3 years

You must follow the complete cycle of the vaccinations to prevent your furry friend from being infected.

How Much Do Ferret Vaccinations Cost?

Ferrets are exotic pets, and it is important that you consult a licensed veterinarian who has an expertise in dealing with exotic pets.

Depending upon your location and your vet’s experience, the overall cost of vaccinating your ferret may vary. However, the approximate costs, excluding the vet’s consultation charges are listed below:

1. Canine Distemper

  • $20 to $25 per shot. So, a total of $60 to $75 for the complete vaccination
  • $15 to $20 for the annual booster shot

2. Rabies

  • $15 to $20 for the first shot
  • $15 for the annual booster shot

The above figures are just approximate costs. It is best to call up the vaccination clinic for more accurate pricing information. Also, it is important to consider the consultation charges of the vet too, in addition to the vaccination charges.

Ferret Vaccination Schedule

Take a look at the below vaccination schedule to ensure that you do not miss out on any crucial vaccination week!

Ferret’s AgeRecommended Vaccination
6 weeksCDV Shot 1
9 weeksCDV Shot 2
12 weeksCDV Shot 3
13 weeksRabies Shot
1 year + 6 weeksAnnual Booster for CDV
1 year + 13 weeksAnnual Booster for Rabies

It is advisable that you should never combine the two types of vaccines on the same day. This will cause extreme discomfort to your ferret and may result in allergic reactions.

Moreover, providing the jabs on separate days will make it easy to determine the cause of any caused side effect after the vaccination.

What Are the Side Effects or Risks of Ferret Vaccination? 

How Much Do Ferret Vaccinations Cost?

Your ferret is a delicate pet and is extremely prone to ferret vaccine reactions and side effects. Most of the side effects appear after around 30 minutes to an hour after your ferret is vaccinated. 

Hence, you can expect the vet to keep your ferret under observation for around half an hour.

Moreover, the side effects of the vaccination can last for around 8 to 10 hours. In some cases, it can even last for 72 hours. Because of this, it is important that you select a day of vaccination where you can give ample time and comfort to your ferret.

Below are some commonly seen side effects of vaccines on ferrets:

  • Itching due to an allergic reaction
  • Fever that may rise gradually
  • Swelling on the face
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • A blank or an indifferent attitude
  • Restlessness
  • Hives
  • Redness and raised fur
  • Difficulty in breathing 

Some veterinarians choose to pre-medicate the ferret with an antihistamine like a Benadryl before the vaccination. This helps to reduce the severity of vaccine reactions.

You can discuss with the veterinarian if your ferret has a history of vaccine reactions. This can help him determine better if premedication is needed or not.

How to Take Care of My Ferret After Vaccination? 

We understand that you would want to do everything possible to make your furry friend feel better after that dreaded vaccine shot. Below are few tips that you can follow:

  • Setup a warm and cozy place for your ferret to rest. It is possible that he might want to rest at some other place or maybe simply in his cage. Do not force him and let him rest wherever he wants.
  • Provide them with access to their favorite food, maybe an egg if he likes, water, and his favorite toys.
  • Be there for him, but do not force your furry friend to play with you.

In most cases, your ferret will be back to his normal energetic self in a few hours. However, if you see any sign of warning, like difficulty in breathing, or if the effects persist for more than 3 days, you should immediately consult your vet.

What Happens If My Ferret Is Not Vaccinated?

If your ferret is not vaccinated, it can contract rabies and canine distemper. 

Distemper is an airborne disease, with no cure. So, you can understand that it will affect your ferret if there is an outbreak where you live or if your ferret comes in contact with another affected pet.

Moreover, the distemper has some serious effects on your ferret, as we discussed earlier, and it can also prove fatal for your ferret. Hence, by not getting vaccinated for CDV, your ferret is at high risk.

Coming to rabies, even though it is rare in ferrets, it can prove to be fatal if your ferret is infected with it. Moreover, an infected ferret can also pass on rabies to other pets and humans too.

Hence, if you want to be safe, and do a lot of public outings with your ferret, it is advisable to get your ferret vaccinated with rabies shot, as they tend to lick and bite.

Are Ferret Vaccinations Required by Law?

The answer to the above question varies from state to state.  If a state has many occurrences of a particular disease, it is mandatory by law to get your ferret vaccinated. One such state is Washington.

Most of the states have mandated the rabies vaccination, as this disease is dangerous for humans.

You can check out with your local state animal department if your ferret needs to be vaccinated by law or not. For more accurate information, you can also contact the public health veterinarians that are actively involved in animal rabies prevention.

Do Ferrets Really Need Vaccinations?

Yes, just like any other pet, ferrets really do need the necessary vaccinations. By not providing them with the vaccines, you will put them at a risk of contracting rabies and canine distemper, which can prove fatal for them.

Apart from that, it is important to provide annual jabs to maintain the effectiveness of the vaccines.

Which Are the Routine Examinations Required For Ferrets?

It is important to provide vaccination to your ferret. However, it is also very important to perform routine medical examinations for your ferret. Below are few check ups that you should not miss:

1. Your Ferret’s First Routine Health Check Up

The first health checkup will help you establish the below details of your ferret:

  • Your ferret’s sex and whether he is intact or not
  • Age
  • Any behavioral issues that your vet might notice
  • Vaccination records

2. Your Ferret’s Annual Health Check Up

At every annual health check up, you can discuss any concerns or signs of worry that your ferret is showing that includes:

  • Instances of vomiting, coughing, or sneezing
  • Irregular bowel habits
  • Any issues related to your ferret’s skin or coat
  • A drastic change in weight in a short span
  • Energy levels
  • Food habits and discussing the best ferret foods
  • Lyme disease


Now that you have an answer to How Much Do Ferret Vaccinations Cost? , you should manage your finances in a way that your ferret’s vaccine is in no way compromised.

Vaccines have been a boon in modern times, providing safety from fatal diseases to your healthy ferret.

So, you should provide vaccination to your ferret, and maintain the records safely for any future needs.

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