Heat Cycle Hazards

Star Wars. It’s always been my sci-fi movie series of choice. My husband is a Trekkie. Not the dress-up, know-every-detail-about-the-franchise type but enough to spur me to want to watch the movies. Oh, and Chris Pine is way cute in Star Trek (2009).

We began watching the movies from the beginning and just last night were enjoying Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. About halfway through the movie, Lieutenant Saavik, a Vulcan female character, noted that the  “It will be hardest on Spock. Soon he will feel the burning of his Vulcan blood.” If you’re not familiar with the series, please admit that this just sounds weird. Consequently, I looked up the blood-burning called “pon farr.” Apparently, every seven years, Vulcans go into a heat state, become violent and if they do not mate – they die. Wow. While doing my Star Trek research, I discovered that as crazy as this premise may be, it actually happens on Earth. Now. In ferrets.

When female ferrets, Jills,  go in heat, they stay in it until bred. Unless, the Jill breeds, its system will continue to produce estrogen causing anemia, because of bone marrow suppression, and eventually result in death.

Fortunately, if you own a female ferret and don’t have a vasectomised male one nearby, you can just have your Jill spayed. Another method is a hormonal injection called “Jill Jab” given every time your ferret is in heat those shots, however, are said to have side effects.


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