Message Number: YG1106 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-11 08:47:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Tube feeding geriatric ferret

In a message dated 3/11/01 10:22:12 AM Eastern Standard Time,
deevecchione@c... writes:

> My question is...can a ferret become dependent on tube feeding to the point
> that they will no longer eat on their own?
> How long should I continue with this? My vet bill is probably around $200.
> 00
> now and climbing. Finances aren't the main concern here, but I can't
> to tube feed her for months and this is something I cannot do on my own.
> What if Gidget is trying to say "enough...let me go", and instead we're
> forcing life support on her. My vet wants to keep her for a at least a
> more days. She said that she has been able to get other ferrets to start
> eating on their own again, once they feel stronger. I am really torn and
> just
> not sure how much more I should allow.

Hi Dodie

I can tell you from personal experience that it is totally up to the ferret -
the danger is removing the tube too soon, in my opinion. Once the ferret is
back on its feet and doing everything normally again, I begin to wean them
off of the feedings - from 4/5 per day to 3/4, then 2, then the same
time I am also reducing the amount that they are getting to stimulate their
appetite and make them want to eat by mouth again. I try the whole time the
ferret is being tube fed to continue by mouth feedings, even if its just a
couple licks of baby food or ferretone. Some ferrets here have had a feeding
tube for more than 5 weeks, others have only needed it for 2 or 3.

I'm glad that you had such luck with the tube feeding - it has saved at least
5 ferrets here. Good luck!

Lisa Leidig, Head Ferret
The Ferret Haven "By-the-Sea"