Let me start with this, it was not Riley's fault in the least. She found one of nieces plastic toys under the couch and it ended up wedged between her top teeth. I stupidly thought to try and pry it out with a finger and one of her teeth broke through my fingernail. After that I used a small childs spoon to pry it out successfully.
Took a photo because I thought it was neat how strong this 1lb animal is. It's hard to tell but that dark spot is blood that pooled under my nail, before it sealed after her tooth came out. Have you ever been injured by a ferret?
Most of the serious biting happened to me when interfering in a fight - usually when my alpha boy was trying to rip another ferret into pieces. That led to bad bites I had on my legs (looked like I was attacked by some large animal or something), bleeding everywhere, bites and scratches all the way from the hip down. hand with holes in them on both sides. He bit my husband to the bone (on his hand ) and latched, so I got involved and bit me as well he's quite a brat and extremely strong, and if he's pissed, he's really nasty. We tried (and keep trying to get him) more and more civilized but it doesn't seem to make much progress. Generally with us he's a playful cuddle bug and enjoys company. But not with visitors or other ferrets. He jumped on the sofa and bit one guest on their face out of the blue, and since then, I don't trust him around people without strict supervision. He randomly chooses people to attack when they come on his territory. It's quite unusual since we raised him as a kit, he's not coming from a bad past. He's just, like Heather named him in a previous post, Mr. Brat
Another one of mine bit me by accident when I offered him a piece of meat - accidentally grabbed my finger thinking it was the meat, latched onto it and strted to shake to rip it off. He bit through my nail all the way through the skin, blood was everywhere and he wouldn't let go. Poor guy just wanted his treat and couldn't understand why it was stuck
Most of the time a ferret has ever broken my skin was due to my skin condition which makes areas very thin and takes little to bleed.
The only time I ever had an actual full force bite was my first, which turned out to be a fear biter. All of her canines penetrated all the way through my hand, twice. I ended up giving her away at that point as back then I had no experience on how to deal with it.
Fear biting and a learning kit with food/toys are the only times you would ever find yourself in a situation where you might get an injury by a bite. There are exceptions with polecat/angora breeds and rescues that were never properly nip trained.
My general rule is they can bite as hard as they want, as long as it doesn't break the skin. Ferrets taught me a high level of pain threshold in that respect lol, but they eventually bite softly even if I tell them it's ok to be a little more rough. I found that hissing at babies and walking away were the quickest methods of nip training.
I have had nerve damage done by fear biters. I still have scars from years ago. Don't forget these guys can bite through a chicken thigh bone. So the fact that they choose to restrain themselves is pretty amazing.
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
Maisie has never bitten me ever, even in cases where I wouldn't blame her -- trying to get the hated harness off and getting completely stuck while holding her awkwardly. All she did was lick me which I thought was so cute -- I'm not sure what the logic behind that behavior is: submission? calming herself?
But at the shelter, yes, twice. Both were either Path Valley or Real Canadian ferrets. The first was a fear biter. I accidentally got my hand too close to his face, and he latched on to my finger. So remembered the tips from this website, I gently pushed my finger towards him: nothing. I gently squeezed the sides of his jaw: he bit harder. So we both just sat there on the floor, looking at each other, me frantically trying to remember what technique came after that! Anyway, I just stayed still, and he let me go pretty quickly after that. I think I bored him There was quite a lot of blood.
The 2nd one was just a little psycho, and everyone knew it! I stayed away from her, but she jumped at me from behind and bit me hard on the calf! It was pretty funny, and painful, and it took months for that bite mark to go away! Anyway, the brats are both in loving homes that love them just as they are, so happy endings for everyone
My ferrets are Marshalls and have an extremely sweet disposition, even rough play results in gentle tooth contact with me. My deaf ferret drew blood from me once after she felt she'd been scruffed too long when I was first training them to eat raw soup, but only because she got me on the inside corner edge of my fingernail. If I'm annoying her while she's being held, she'll set her teeth around my finger but she barely uses any pressure at all.
Without a doubt I've damaged my hands far more times when I was getting the hang of prepping their meals than they've ever hurt me.
Keep a very close eye on that to make sure it doesn't get infected. A through the nail bite is a prime spot for infection and harder to treat than a skin would. At the first sign of infection I'd suggest going to the doctor.
OUCH! That looks pretty painful. Rolo has never bitten anyone before. There was some playful nipping when he was a baby before I trained him not to do that anymore. That's the joys of getting a brand new baby I suppose - you get to raise them before anyone else has a chance to teach them bad things. Even licking raw meaty juice off my hands he's very careful and gentle. Same thing for when I occasionally need to pry him off the cat - I just stick my fingers into his mouth and he lets go.
My roommates boy Fender will nip/bite sometimes when he gets overexcited but thats more due to his being deaf. He can't tell when he's going overboard so we're trying to teach him the "all done" hand signal to get him to settle down. It works roughly 50% of the time now to get him to stop.
Thank you all for your responses! I do not blame Riley one bit, she must have been frightened and it was really my fault for putting my finger in her mouth.
It is nice to see like-minded people who have the same idea, that when you are bit by an animal it is not inherently their fault or makes them bad.
bitbyter I appreciate that! It's red today but not swollen or in any way worse. I am extremely allergic to felines, so every time I am tagged by an animal I keep a close eye on it. My cats have sent me to the hospital a few times from accidental scratches, so I am prepared in case it does get infected!
My hubby received 14 minus one little teeth punctures in his hand from a male kit before he decided to put him down:))). He was our first boy and was frightened. Even as he got older you dare not put your hand in a box if he was in it. Although playing, he delivered a serious nip.
The one thing I've found, that it's rare that ferret bites infect (unlike a cat bite where the infection is free). They do so don't be careless but it's rare. I carry some nasty marks from fear biters. Minion who was only a 3 month old kit at the time had my one hand so sore and swollen (multiple bites several going to bone on finger joints) that I could barely move my fingers and couldn't close my fist The worse bite I've ever suffered in one go was poor Mayhem. They'd been playing in the ferret room and I heard this horrible blood curdling screaming. I found Mayhem with his penis hooked on the door of the ferret mansion. The one metal hook had actually hooked into the sheath. I went to him to remove him, unfortunately, he was out of his mind and honestly I wasn't thinking very straight either or I might have grabbed a blanket or something to wrap him up in before handling him. As I moved to grab him to stop him from tearing himself apart he sunk his teeth again and again into my hand. It didn't hurt at the time. I managed to unhook him, take him into the bathroom and started to clean him up. There seemed to be so much blood, I started to look for other wounds and then realized I was bleeding. His wounds had basically stopped bleeding. He didn't need stitches, but I probably should have lol. The few on my index and thumb were very deep but the ones on the meat of my thumb were the deepest and had the biggest tears. It was months before I got feeling in that thumb and forefinger. When you think about it, ferrets show massive amounts of restraint when they bite us. Their jaws can crush bone and though the bites were to the bone in places, never once were the bones damaged. ciao
Post by Corvidophile on Dec 5, 2015 10:31:03 GMT -5
Ouch, I can feel that just by looking because I've been pierced deep in the fingernail by a wild squirrel actually! I was a dumb 10 year old trying to get it out of my screened in porch with my bare hands. It hurt for two weeks, but then I actually liked the location because I got to watch it slowly grow out. It was a bittersweet day when it finally grew off the nail bed and I snipped off the damaged area.
After Rocket (DIP) passed, Trixie (DIP) became a terrible biter. We couldn't handle her at all, and she actually became nicer after we went 3-4 days without handling her at all. One night she had curled up in my lap, and I reached under the blankets to move her (because I was getting too hot) and she bit me hard enough to draw blood.
I've been watching stoat & weasel hunting videos a lot lately. We are very very lucky they show restraint