Message Number: YG1848 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-03-29 15:08:00 UTC
Subject: Re: obesity question

At 6:03 PM +0000 3/29/01, wrote:
>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.
>Any suggestions appreciated.
>Patrick in Raleigh, NC

Patrick, has she had a check-up to be sure that it is fat and not
fluid or another problem? Does she have a "water-balloon" belly?
Sometimes a rapid gain in weight can indicate ascites, so that it is
something to be sure about. A good general check-up including blood
tests and possibly x-rays may well be in order to look at that,
splenic size, etc.

If she gets a clean bill of health then afterward you'd normally get
to work up a ferret exercise program! Actually, if she is just
pigging and it need to be balanced then you still may. Aren't you
privileged? You get to hang toys from a cord on a stick and play
with those, put treats up high so that she will have to stand and
stretch, etc.

First, though, get her a thorough check-up to be safest!

(I am not a vet, just someone with a pile of ferret-years behind her.)