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Is It True a Female Ferret Will Die if Not Mated?

Ferrets look similar to each other and there is not much difference in physical appearance but the reproductive organs. Both female and male ferrets have heat in the body and females can die of not mating because of the reproductive system. Female ferrets have various heat cycles whether they mate or not each other they remain in heat in mating season.

Is it true a female ferret will die if not mated? yes, it is true female ferret will die if not mating because of anemia. The female ferret’s body produces estrogen when in heat, which causes bone marrow to stop producing red blood cells which makes ferret anemic. So when the heat remains in the body and they do not mate then ferret can die of severe anemia.

Is it true a female ferret will die if not mated?

The immune system of the ferret’s body drastically affected because of increasing estrogen which also results in producing white blood cells. This process can cause several infections to the female ferret. So you should spray her because its body heat can kill your pet. Until unless if you want ferret kits then there would be no issue to keep them as a pair. Otherwise, you should have to spray or neuter your pet for long life. Let’s know is it true a female ferret will die if not mated?

The reproductive system of female ferret

Female ferrets have a unique reproductive system (unlike human dogs or horses) they have induced ovulators (releases eggs from ovaries). These won’t ovulate until they mated because the ovulation triggers when a male bites on her neck while mating. The more trauma inflicted the more she releases eggs so the kits she has by mating.

The thing is to understand that cats and rabbits also have induced ovulators but ferret’s season won’t cover on its own and keep going. While how much it will take longer to go on the estrogen keeps releases into the bloodstream and cause infection. You must know that estrogen contributes to the sexual characteristics of a female and prepare her body for fertilization. So when it will release in excess and suppress the bone marrow preventing making blood cells then it happens. Let’s know is it true a female ferret will die if not mated?

How would you know the symptoms?

If you have a female ferret and you hadn’t sprayed her she might suffer from several conditions and infection such as:


You can observe your ferret’s constant oestrus behavior that means she has swollen vulva and reduced appetite.


She must have suffered from anemia because of an insufficient supply of red cells. She shows symptoms as (pale gums, shortness of breath, reduced ability to exercise, and Lethargy).


It means insufficient white blood cells which cause susceptibility to infection


It means that the ferret’s body has insufficient platelets which result in (blood in the droppings, bruising under the skin, and internal bleeding). It also causes baldness and she may lose hair growth because of the high level of estrogen.

There are two ways to control this thing, one is to let her be mated and the other is a medication that stops the ovulation period.

Reduce the risk of hyperestrogenism in female ferret?

If you want to save your female ferret from hyperestrogenism then you must have take preventions by following five ways.

  1. First of all, you can let her be mated with a male ferret but keep in mind a lot of kits and make a home for them.
  2. In the second condition, you can let her be mate but the male ferret should be vasectomized (an operation in which the testicle ducts are cut). So that even he can still mate her but cannot get her pregnant at all.
  3. You can use a trick to her body by an injection of devosterone which lasts for 4-6 months but also have side effects.
  4. If you are not satisfied with all the above options then you should have to spay her. It is an operation in which the ovaries and uterus are removed. Then she cannot come to breeding season again, however, she might have a hormonal disorder that causes hair loss, and other infections.
  5. Finally, you can consult the vet and use the contraceptive implant that is deslorelin this will spay ferret medically for 18-24 months without causing infection.

Save your ferret from dying by spraying her

Domestic ferrets are lovely and playful and of course, you won’t let her die if you love your pet. You will do anything that will save her life from her natural disaster and leaving her alone.

The neutering procedure should take place to save her from suffering from diseases and infections. Following is a step-by-step process of neutering in the female ferret.

  1. Pre-operative preparation

Schedule a day or take an appointment and make sure it is of morning time so do not feed your ferret anything before surgery. Make sure your ferret shouldn’t starve for more than 4 hours so the morning time will be suitable.

  1. Anesthesia

As far as the procedure starts the vet will thoroughly check your ferret first by drawing a small blood sample in the hospital for a pre-anesthetic test. If he would feel everything is okay then he will go for a sedative that will make her calm. Then he will proceed to the anesthesia as the post-operative recovery easily.

When he will observe that the ferret is completely anesthetizing and ready for the surgery moreover, the readings are accurate with needed equipment. This is a very sterile surgery so he will wash his hands with soap before starting and he will start as soon as the ferret is ready.

While surgery he will focus on the parameters for the ferret’s vital like (oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide level, heart rate, temperature, and respiratory system).

  1. Surgery

The vet starts the surgery by making an incision in the muscles and skin of the abdomen of the ferret which is called the Linea Alba. The cut won’t bleed much and will help the vet to make stitches when the incision is closed.

  1. Incision with scalpel

He starts the incision with a scalpel and then extends the linea Alba incision with scissors so that he could see the internal abdominal organs of the ferret. While looking over for the uterus the doc will encounter the spleen fat and urinary bladder of the ferret.

  1. Removal of uterus

First, when the surgeon will get to the uterus he will remove it carefully from the abdominal cavity and the stitches would be made and then the ovary and uterine would be removed as well simultaneously. Both the ovaries would be removed then the stitches are made after removal of the uterus. But the small amount of uterus place back to the abdomen and stitches are made. If the stitches are not properly placed then it can cause a hernia to the ferret.

  1. Sealing of abdomen

When all the stitches are becoming internally then the linea Alba also sealed to close the abdomen. Those stitches will always remain in the pet’s body and one can see them in the X-rays.

Some of the stitches are exposed and in the outer skin but the inner skin is better so that the ferret cannot chew them. These stitches will dissolve automatically and not needed to remove.

When the operation ends the vet gives a pain injection to the female ferret that will allow her to wake up slowly and she will get in senses. But she will be active and get to the routine a day later than that.

Controlling estrus in female ferrets

There are other ways professional breeders adopt instead of surgery. They control the female ferret’s estrus periods in different ways.

  1. Whenever a female ferret goes into heat they breed her.
  2. They manipulating the light cycles of a ferret.
  3. They also inject hormones to artificially stop an eating cycle.

You can get to know how this happens as female ferrets come into heat about 7 weeks after the manipulated alteration of their light cycles.

Suppose 9-15 hours daylight so the prediction will depend on the intensity of light. The brighter the light the more predictable the results and vice versa, maintaining of photoperiod of about 9 hours of light prevents her fall in heat.

After ten days you will see her swollen vulva because of the injected hormone into your ferret and the estrus will end within a week. Then later after five days, you can see hormone treatment will start and reduce swelling.

In this way, if the ferret has been in heat, the hormone will go on to induced ovulation and produce estrogen then the estrus won’t happen.  


The female ferrets can die of the heat of their bodies if not mated in the mating season. Because of the high level of estrogen started to release and bone marrow started to decrease providing red blood cells.

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