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August 12, 2011

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Black-Footed Ferret’s Rediscovery - Part IX: Breeding Season

Bunting’s kits are now at the 55 day mark.  At this stage they have the adult color pattern, but still have a juvenile appearance. This period is critical as it is when they get their first canine distemper vaccination.  Canine distemper is one of the diseases that nearly brought the black footed ferrets (BFFs) to extinction.  A special recombinant canine distemper vaccine was developed for BFFs as well as the domestic ferret. 

Bunting’s kit getting it’s first
canine distemper vaccination at
55 days of age.

The catch cage is always used now whenever they need to be examined or restrained along with thick leather bite gloves to block their escape from the catch cage. Roughly seven days from the distemper vaccination or at around 62 days old, they are anesthetized for a physical examination by one of our veterinarians.  They look for any possible abnormalities and implant a microchip under the skin for permanent identification.  

Bunting’s kit under gas anesthesia
for exam and microchip implant at
65 days of age.
Half inch long microchip
used to permanently ID the BFFs.
The microchip provides a 9 digit number
that is unique to that particular individual.

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