Pain management in ferrets

Hugo van Oostrom, Nico J Schoemaker, Joost J Uilenreef

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    The growing popularity of ferrets as pets has created the demand for advanced veterinary care for these patients. Pain is associated with a broad range of conditions, including acute or chronic inflammatory disease, neoplasia, and trauma, as well as iatrogenic causes, such as surgery and diagnostic procedures. Effective pain management requires knowledge and skills to assess pain, good understanding of the pathophysiology of pain, and general knowledge of pharmacologic and pharmacodynamic principles. Unfortunately, scientific studies on efficacy, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety of analgesic drugs in the ferret are limited. However, basic rules on the treatment of pain and mechanisms of action, safety, and efficacy of analgesic drugs in other species can be adapted and applied to pain management in ferrets. This article aims to make an inventory of what is known on the recognition of pain in ferrets, what analgesic drugs are currently used in ferrets, and how they can be adopted in a patient-orientated pain management plan to provide effective pain relief while reducing and monitoring for unwanted side effects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-16
    Number of pages12
    JournalThe veterinary clinics of North America. Exotic animal practice
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    • Analgesia
    • Analgesics
    • Animals
    • Ferrets
    • Pain
    • Pain Measurement
    • Species Specificity

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