Message Number: YG1842 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Michael Janke
Date: 2001-03-29 13:18:00 UTC
Subject: RE: obesity question

Obesity in ferrets that don't have an underlying medical condition (or
treatment) that is causing it is pretty rare. I don't know if 2.7lbs is
overweight for yours, though it does seem to be more than what she would put
on for, say, her winter weight gain.

We had one ferret in our shelter (Sammy) that was diagnosed with
hypothyroidism and grew to as big as a house. I understand this condition
is unheard of in ferrets, but I believe his T4 readings confirmed it. I
remember sending his records to Dr. Williams for his comments, but that was
a number of years ago and don't recall the outcome.

I have one ferret myself who has gained quite a bit of weight and could
easily be termed obese. But he's been on a high protein (and presumably
high calorie)diet and prednisone for insulinoma for quite some time now.

I wonder about the hour glass shape you mentioned as a possibility of
adrenal disease. But they're usually described as being pear shaped. I'm
also a bit confused by the statement that her head and stomach look bald but
there's no hair loss. I'm not quite sure how those areas could look bald
with no hair loss.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: basementdogs [mailto:basementdogs@m...]
> Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2001 7:53 AM
> To:
> Subject: [Ferret-Health-list] obesity question
> Hello fellow members,
> Polly is a 5 year 1 month old neutered/descented female Silver Mitt. I
> obtained her second-hand at age 6 months. At age 1 year 8 months, she
> weighed 2 pounds. At age 2 years 7 months, she weighed 1.8 pounds. At
> 3 years 5 months, she weighed 1.6 pounds and stayed at that weight until
> this past December.
> She and my other 2 ferrets were fed a mixture of Iams cat food (orange
> bag) and 8-in-1 ferret food until 4 months ago, when I switched them
> all to Marshall Farms regular ferret food. By mid February, she
> weighed 2.4
> pounds when I took her to a local ferret wise vet. He thought that she
> was simply overweight (her weight distribution is symmetrical, the
> classical hour glass of middle age, and there are no lumps) and
> suggested that I place her on a reduced calorie food.
> So, about a month ago, Polly was placed on Science Diet Maintenance Light
> cat food. She now weighs 2.7 pounds. She's gained an ounce in the past
> ten days - fat as a tick, you might say, and looks bald on top of her
> head and on her stomach (but there's no hair loss). As far a activity
> is concerned, she's just as hyper as ever.
> I've read over the ferret pathology pages and can't find anything that
> fits her situation. Is such a quick, drastic onset of obesity common in
> ferrets this age? BTW, the other two ferrets (neutered males, one 5
> years, the other 4 years) show no change in weight.