Hi there! This is my first post. I have done SO much research on ferrets and can tell you anything you need to know about them. I've been researching and hoping to get one for two years now. Well, I found out there is a fostering program at my near ferret shelter. I thought it was a great option and I think it would be an amazing thing for me to do. These ferrets are "undesired" sick, unhealthy, or old ferrets. I want to give them a forever home, I just want to love them all and snuggle them... anyways.. My question is, is it a bad idea to foster two ferret siblings, 4 and 5 years old, healthy, as my first ferrets? thanks!
With any ferret, the first thing you need to do is get them properly checked out by the vet. A full checkup, so not just a physical, but also check for things like insulinoma by running a Blood Glucose test.
It's pretty common for ferrets who'd been fed kibble to have insulinoma around that age, and if they do, you will need to know so that it can be treated. Adrenal disease is another concern at that age, but unfortunately the test for it is often inaccurate and you're better off getting the DES implant or run a trial of Lupron injections to see if any adrenal symptoms go away.
With ferrets, while it's wonderful to adopt or foster, it's best to go into it with your eyes and mind wide open. You need to keep in mind that older ferrets might come with some issues from previous owners and homes, and may not have been treated the best, and you will need to respect that and put in the time to help these ferrets get past those problems as best you can. Some ferrets may have been abused and come with a lot of mental trauma. Some may have been on horrendous diets and require a lot of extra work to get them switched onto a healthy diet. Some may come with medical issues that need to be taken care of and taken into consideration on a daily basis. Etc. etc. etc...
Funny thing is, there really isn't anyone who knows everything about ferrets, we are all learning new things about them every day as time goes on. Old teachings and methods get replaced the more we learn as well, as plenty of things once thought to be alright or eve healthy have been discovered to be dangerous to a ferret's health. There's still a lot of incorrect, and even dangerous information floating around on the web about ferrets too.
So as to your question of getting older ferrets the first time around, nah. It's not a bad idea at all, just make sure you are prepared for all the possible outcomes. And make sure to have savings ready or apply for something like a CareCredit card, since it's generally recommended to have around $1000 kept in savings, per ferret.
I was just thinking that LindaM lol. after more than a decade of having them, these little ones STILL surprise me! And fostering is a great idea :-) Talk to the shelter operator. They will let you know what they need, as well as do a home visit to talk to you, and to see where you are going to keep them.
Ferrets: Contessa, Frankenfurter, Butterscotch. Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
Fostering is a wonderful idea to see if you really want to have ferrets or can take the heartbreak and stress that's involved. I offered hospice for years. Taking in the unwanted, the sick, the dying or the aggressive. Ferrets who never hoped to ever get a home. One thing to look into when fostering is the rules of the foster and just what they will support and how they want things done. Some shelters/rescues offer some aid in the financial care but have very strict rules on how things need to be done. Others, offer no financial support at all but are a huge source of information and can help out with vetting and such. I think it's wonderful that you're considering this but let me tell you, you're probably going to learn very quickly as to how much you have yet to learn. I'm amazed as to how little I know and how often I get stumped lol ciao