Why is quarentine protocol so important?
Quarentine protocol is very important non matter if you're purchasing a new ferret from a petstore or adopting them from a shelter, craigslist or from someone you know. The reason for quarentine is so that you the new owner can vet your new ferret and make observations of the new ferret in terms of health. When vetting a new ferret it is a good idea to have ears swabbed for earmites and bacteria. Earmites are highly contagious and if you have cats they can get them too. You also want to have fecal and urine tested. Have fecal tested for parasites and bacteria. You will want to test for Helibactor which is a bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal inflammation and ulcers. Ferrets that may have Helibactor may have diarrhea, weight loss, bloody stools and lethargy. You'll also want to test for Coccidia. Coccidia is a parasite that causes diarrhea in young ferrets. Of course the dreaded ECE aka Green Slime Disease. ECE is a viral infection. I've commonly seen ECE in petstore ferrets. The fecal is green, slimy, and super soft. ECE can last for months. This can spread from ferret to ferret. Test urine for any crystals which can be a sign of kidney or bladder stones test urine for blood and bacteria which can indicate a UTI and for sugar. High amounts of sugar in the urine can be an indicator that your ferret if older may have insulinoma. BG tests on older ferrets are also recommended if you suspect Insulinoma. A quick CBC to check certain values is also a great idea.
Quarentine in conjunction with a vet visit gives you time to treat your new ferret incase they are ill. Other common things many ferrets come in with is URI's (upper respiratory infections), eye infections (Conjunctivitis), ear infections, gi issues, pneumonia, the flu, injury, and cardiomyopathy.
When doing quarentine it is best to quarentine a new ferret for at least 2-4 weeks before introducing to your other ferrets.
When doing any introductions it is recommended to do soft introductions. This ensures the safety of the new ferret and the already existing ferret.