Ferret Teeth Care
At ferrets there are milk and molars. The milk dentition consists of 28-30 teeth: 12-14 incisors, 4 canines, 12 pseudo-rooted. The teeth begin to erupt in 3-4 weeks in the following order: fangs, 3rd and 4th false-rooted, then 2nd false-rooted. The sequence of teething incisors is not constant, but they begin to appear shortly after teething. The dental formula of the milk teeth of ferrets 2 (r3-4 / 3k1 / 1lk3 / 3) = 28-30. In practice, it is customary to describe the halves of the mouth: the upper jaw and lower. Uppercase letters indicate the type of teeth (p-incisor, k-fang, lux. Pseudo-root. In molars, are capitalized, and M. molar). The first numbers indicate the number of teeth on the upper jaw, and the second. number of teeth on the lower jaw. Thus 3.4 / 3 means that the ferret has 3–4 upper teeth and 3 lower teeth on either the left or right side of the mouth.
In dentistry of molars, the designations are as follows: 2 (P3 / 3 K1 / 1 LK3 / 3 M1 / 2) = 34, however, the number of incisors still varies. The usual thing is when they are lost or, conversely, there are super-complete teeth. The molars begin to erupt at the age of 50 to 74 days in the following sequence:
Dental care is as important for ferrets as it is for humans. Ferret’s clean teeth. it is the prevention of gum disease and other diseases that may arise in the future. Due to heredity, some ferrets are more prone to dental diseases.
Poor nutrition also predisposes to tooth problems. Proper nutrition. this is one of the important points in dental health. High-quality granular food for ferrets (or kittens) will help the ferret maintain his teeth in good condition (with the obligatory addition of water). Canned food can also lead to the appearance and growth of tartar, as well as plaque. Chewing hard dry food can prevent the appearance of plaque and stone on those teeth that the ferret chews. When consuming more "crisp" dry food, chewing muscles only train. If brushing your teeth is a rule, then the absence of tartar and plaque on the teeth of your ferret is ensured (removing plaque before it became tartar is much easier than removing tartar).
To accustom a ferret to "brushing your teeth" is necessary, like children, from an early age. There are two ways to brush your teeth. With a brush or with a dentist. Both methods are possible, but the second is more time-consuming and absolutely not for animals with a weak stomach. Before you start brushing your pet’s teeth, you must teach the ferret to have a foreign object in his mouth. You can use your finger first. Take the ferret by the scruff of the neck, then gently rub the gum with the index finger of your free hand inside and outside your ferret’s mouth. In the beginning, the ferret will, of course, try to bite you, but after several attempts, they usually stop doing it. Once the ferret is used to it, you can try to brush the ferret’s teeth. You will need a few things to do this. You can purchase a special toothbrush for dogs and cats and a special toothpaste for animals (malt-based toothpaste cleans better). Human toothpaste cannot be used in animals, as it must be spit. Because Since animals cannot do this, swallowing it can lead to gastrointestinal diseases. Toothpaste for animals can be swallowed and it will not bring any harm to the body of your ferret. Instead of a toothbrush, you can use a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. Use what is more convenient for you. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto the toothbrush (with a pea or even less). Take the ferret by the scruff of the neck, lift the ferret’s upper lip and gently brush the ferret’s teeth with soft circular motions (the same as you brush yours). Do not forget about the base of the teeth. It is there where plaque and stone are mainly located. Gums can bleed, especially if toothbrushing has not been practiced before or if plaque has been present. It is worth starting if the blood really starts to flow from the gums. It will look like the ferret is bleeding when in fact only a small amount of blood has flowed out. Do not panic. Keep brushing while your ferret stays calm. If the ferret begins to worry and resist, then stop and wait a bit to continue. Do not interrupt the process in half and leave only half of the teeth cleaned. Finish what you started to the end. It is most important to brush the upper teeth and the outside of the teeth. The inner side of the teeth is much more difficult to brush, so brushing it is not necessary. After brushing your teeth and in between, let your ferret lick. This will help the ferret easier to transfer the unpleasant process.
Removing tartar from a tooth is a more complex process than just brushing. It requires a lot of practice. There is always a risk of gum damage if your ferret jerks its head or if your hand is not firm enough. You should not practice this too often, as the instrument used to remove tartar can damage the tooth enamel. In these scratches, plaque subsequently accumulates and as a result, tartar is formed twice as fast as usual.
A cleaning tool is available from your veterinarian or dentist. The size and shape of the tool depends on what you prefer to work with. When choosing a tool, be careful, as some human instruments have very sharp edges that can very easily damage the gums.
First firmly fix the ferret with one hand. It is very important that the animal’s head is stationary in order to avoid damage to the gums or other parts of the oral cavity. Now take the tool and find the tartar (at the base of the tooth) and smoothly remove the tartar from the tooth. If you cannot find the edge, then outline a point in the middle of the stone and press it a little. Thus, you destroy the structure of tartar and can remove it in parts. Try to scratch the surface of the tooth as little as possible. On the upper molars and fangs, tartar is especially common. If you are afraid to do this alone, then ask your veterinarian to help you or do it for you.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth loss and gum disease, which can lead to heart and / or kidney disease. Thus, maintaining the cleanliness of your ferret’s teeth will help you avoid some of your pet’s health problems.