Vaccine Reactions in Ferrets


If they are going to happen, vaccine reactions usually occur any time up to 60 minutes from when the vaccination was administered.

Some of the symptoms include:

Looking glassy-eyed
Blue Tongue/Skin
Becoming Limp

If left untreated, your ferret could collapse or have a seizure before falling into a coma and dying.

Some vets might recommend that you stay in the veterinary clinic for approximately 30-60 minutes after your ferret has had a vaccination to ensure that it doesn’t have an adverse reaction to the vaccine.


More information about Vaccine Reactions in Ferrets can be found on the following sites …

Vaccine Reactions in Ferrets by Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP (

Distemper Vaccine Reactions and Anaphylaxis by Ron Hines DVM PhD

Vaccine Reactions (Yarmouth Veterinary Centre)



You can download a pdf from the Exotic and Bird Clinic of New Hampshire called “Vaccine Reactions in Ferrets” HERE.

There you’ll see that the vet recommends “medicating your ferret with 0.25ml of pediatric liquid Benadryl about 45 minutes before the vaccination appointment greatly minimizes the chance of a reaction“.



(Last updated November 2019)



DISCLAIMER: The vets listed have either been recommended, or have advised me personally that they are happy to treat ferrets, or have mentioned that they treat ferrets, exotic pets &/or pocket pets on their website. However I have no firsthand knowledge of how experienced any of the vets are with ferrets.
It is up to you to make sure that you are happy with the treatment your ferret is getting from your vet. If you have any doubts at all, please think about getting a second opinion so that you know that your pet is getting the best possible treatment available.

1 thought on “Vaccine Reactions in Ferrets”

  1. Hi all.
    I was told by my life long vet (for my kitties as well as ferrets) not to risk giving my ferrets distemper vaccination shots.
    He said in his experience this shot causes such a shock to the ferrets system, many have fatal reactions to them shortly after receiving them – the risk of a reaction to the vaccination far out weighs the risk of them coming down with distemper. So please choose wisely.

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