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Specific guidance for ferrets when conducting minor procedures without anaesthesia

Ferrets vary considerably in temperament, ranging from non-aggressive pet animals to more unpredictable animals which are maintained for rabbiting. Laboratory ferrets are normally reasonably easy to restrain, but occasionally a particularly aggressive animal may be encountered. The ferret should be grasped firmly around the neck and the hind-limbs and pelvis gripped as the animal is lifted clear of its transport box or cage. It is often helpful to distract the animal’s attention before grasping it. Unlike other small mammals, the ferret has a powerful and well-muscled neck and this must be held firmly. The handler’s thumb and forefinger should be positioned beneath the mandible so that the animal cannot lower its head to bite.