by Ross Woodward
I received a phone call on Friday 27 October at about 8:15pm, and was told that a dog had attacked a ferret at Canley Heights. I contacted the people and went to collect the ferret. At the time I was out at Olympic Park, and did not have a ferret carrier in the car, but had been told that the ferret was secure in a box. When I arrived I saw a sable male ferret, about a year old, that was very quiet lying in the box. The dog that attacked the ferret was a Staffordshire cross terrier, and apparently the ferret had managed to bite the dog on the nose, as the dog was howling outside.
As the ferret was found in Avonlea Street I named him Avon. I took the Avon home in the box, settled him into a cage and fed it some water, biscuits and meat. He was rather ravenous, and hoed into the meat, then settled down.
The next 2 days he was very quiet, but was eating and going to the toilet ok. I let him have a small wander around and he seemed to be sore, but able to walk.
I took Avon to the vets on Monday morning; they checked him over and operated on Tuesday. The major damage done was he had been bitten near the groin and the dog's teeth had split the muscle, causing a hernia. (A hernia is a protrusion of a tissue, structure, or part of an organ through the muscular tissue) This was repaired, and the ferret was also desexed at the same time. (It also turned out Avon was a Cytptorchid, where only one testicle had descended)
He was bought home and was soon back eating and starting to wander around a bit more. Avon gets his stitches out on Friday; the vet bill came to $377.60
The owner has since contacted us, and apparently is a single mum who is having to chase the money up.
Lessons to be learnt
1. Carers and Rescuers should have a travel cage in their car at all times - I suggest the ones that fold flat that were given away when cat food was purchased.
2. Ferrets should be secured at all times, as if they get outside you may not see them again, or they could be killed or injured.
3. Like all animal owners you should be prepared to have a large medical bill at any time.