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Overview of Ferrets


James K. Morrisey

, DVM, DABVP (Avian), Companion Exotic Animal Medicine Service, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

Last full review/revision Jul 2013 | Content last modified Jul 2013

The domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is in the order Carnivora, family Mustelidae, and has been in captivity for more than 2,000 years. Ferrets are used as research animals, often in studies of the respiratory system and as a model for Helicobacter sp infection. They have become popular pets in recent years in the USA. They are also used as hunting animals in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

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