& Management / Disease
Investigation & Management / Techniques:
- Generally, castration is performed at about 12 weeks of age - at the
onset of puberty. (B631.23.w23);
by 6-8 months. (B602.12.w12)
- Some large producers of ferrets in the USA castrate ferrets at an
early age. (B629.13.w13,
- Anaesthetise the ferret.
- Clip and aseptically prepare the surgical site. (B232.19.w19)
Castration of ferrets is performed basically as in cats. (B602.12.w12,
- Incise the scrotum over each testis, as in cats. (B232.19.w19,
- Castrate with an open or closed technique. (B232.19.w19,
- Ligate the spermatic cord and the testicular vessels with
suture material (B602.12.w12,
monofilament suture material. (B339.9.w9)
- "Self-tying" the vas
deferens to the testicular blood vessels is not recommended due to the fragility of the tissues.
- Leave the incisions to heal by secondary intention. (B602.12.w12)
- Push one testis into a suprascrotal position. (B232.19.w19,
- Make a single prescrotal incision. (B232.19.w19,
over this testis.
- Exteriorise first one then the other testis through this incision. (B602.12.w12,
- Castrate as above. (B602.12.w12,
- OR: Double-clamp the spermatic cord and ligate using 2.0 or
1.5 metric (3/0 or 4/0 USP) absorbable suture material or haemostatic
- Ligate the spermatic cord tightly. (B232.19.w19)
- Close the subcutaneous tissue using a 4-0 or 5-0 absorbable suture
- Close the skin incision either with an intradermal suture or with
skin sutures. (B602.12.w12)
- The skin incision may be closed or left open. (B631.23.w23)
- Close the fascial layer with 1.5 metric polglactin 910 (coated
Vicryl, Ethicon) and the skin with a subcuticular suture. (J15.24.w5)
|Appropriate Use (?)
- To reduce odour and dominant/aggressive behaviour. (B232.19.w19,
- To prevent unwanted breeding. (B631.23.w23)
- To prevent development of testicular neoplasia (See Neoplasia in Ferrets). (B602.12.w12)
- In the treatment of testicular neoplasia. (B232.19.w19)
- A castrated male ferret is
known as a hobble. (B232.19.w19,
|Complications/ Limitations / Risk
- "Self-tying" the vas
deferens to the testicular blood vessels is not recommended,
due to the fragility of the tissues.
|Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
|Expertise level / Ease of Use
||This is a surgical technique.
This procedure should only be
carried out by an individual with appropriate clinical training and practical
The costs of a surgical operation include those associated with: (J15.30.w1)
- Pre-operative diagnostics (e.g. radiography, ultrasonography, blood
- Perioperative medication (e.g. analgesics, antibiotics, fluids).
- Surgical preparation (of the operating theatre and the patient,
including staff time).
- Consumables and equipment.
- Time of the surgeon and assistant(s).
- Post-operative hospitalisation.
|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).
||Dr Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)