& Management / Disease
Investigation & Management / Techniques:
- Usually, subcutaneous injections are given into the loose skin
between the shoulder blades. (B631.18.w18,
- The flank can be used. (J15.24.w5)
- Scruff the ferret and use the same hand to "tent" the
- The ferret can be on a surface, or scruffed with the hind legs
- Consider distracting the ferret by offering a palatable
nutritional foodstuff. (B631.18.w18)
- Insert the needle caudal to this, pointing cranially, and inject. (B631.18.w18)
- Up to 20 mL can be injected at one location. (J29.6.w3)
|Appropriate Use (?)
- For injection of many drugs. (B631.18.w18)
- For administration of fluids in fluid therapy. (B631.18.w18)
- Manufacturer's data sheet recommendations should be followed as to the recommended route and rate of drug administration (subcutaneous,
- Dirty needles and syringes must be disposed of properly (needles always into a properly marked sharps container).
- Because of its rich blood supply, the intramuscular route is perceived to be a route for more rapid absorption of drugs than the subcutaneous site.
|Complications/ Limitations / Risk
- The skin of the scruff is tough. (J15.24.w5)
- Absorption from this site is relatively slow. (B631.18.w18)
- Not suitable for use in a collapsed individual. (B631.18.w18)
- Ferrets find subcutaneous injections uncomfortable; good restraint
is needed while giving the injection. (J15.24.w5)
- Some ferrets resent repeated use of the subcutaneous route for
administration of fluids. (B631.18.w18)
- Only suitable for the administration of isotonic fluids. (B631.18.w18)
|Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
|Expertise level / Ease of Use
- This procedure should only be
carried out by an individual with appropriate clinical training and practical
- Not expensive unless expensive drugs are being administered.
|Legal and Ethical Considerations
In some countries there may be
legislation restricting the use of this type of technique to licensed veterinarians. For
example in the UK: "The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Section 19) provides,
subject to a number of exceptions, that only registered members of the Royal College of
Veterinary Surgeons may practice veterinary surgery." (See: LCofC1
- RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Treatment of
Animals by Non-Veterinary Surgeons).
Use of Drugs
- Many drugs are not registered for use in ferrets and care should
be taken in their use, with proper regard for possible toxic effects. Consideration should
be give to relevant legislation regarding the use of drugs.
- In any country, drugs are unlikely to be specifically licensed for use
in non-domestic mammals.
- In Europe the prescription cascade must be followed, and the
client's informed consent should be obtained, whenever a drug is
used which is not licensed for use in a given species. (B284.5.w5)
- In the UK, guidelines regarding the use of drugs are set out in the Royal College
of Veterinary Surgeons Guide to Professional Conduct 2000: (see: LCofC1
- RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Choice of Medicinal Products).
||Dr Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)