Development of an undergraduate ferret clinical handling programme.
As part of their undergraduate training, veterinary students at the University of Liverpool Institute of Veterinary Science attend a week-long exotics and wildlife rotation at RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre. During this week, students visit the South Cheshire Ferret Rescue to gain experience handling and performing a thorough clinical examination of ferrets. On this practical session, students are also taught appropriate husbandry and preventive health care and, given the opportunity, see a range of normal ferrets, as well as get involved with the care of sick and injured patients. The visit is an excellent opportunity for students to revise their ferret knowledge and discuss some of the more common conditions presented to veterinary practice. They are often also involved with routine surgical procedures of rescue ferrets and gain experience in anaesthesia and surgery. After rotation, students invariably feel much more confident handling ferrets and are much better prepared to encounter this species in clinical practice on graduation.