Message Number: YG1931 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Karen Purcell, DVM
Date: 2001-03-31 16:57:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Gerber chicken food vs "duck soup"


You wrote:
> My 7 year old ferret Mackenzie has not been eating for the last 2-3
> weeks. Last week when I first took her to see the vet, he
> recommended feeding her the Hills A/D canned food mixed with Ensure,
> which I believe is believe is something like the "duck soup" that I
> keep reading about. She hates that stuff. I got on the internet and
> read one of Dr. Williams articles about how to feed the Gerber
> chicken food and she has been eating it just fine from my fingers. I
> can easily feed her a jar a day.
> I went back to see my vet today because Mackenzie was not improving
> and we did a blood sugar and it looks like she has insulinoma. He
> told me insulinomic ferrets frequently do not eat and that I can't
> sustain her on the Gerber chicken food and I should force feed her
> the Hills A/D canned food mixed with ensure with a syringe. I
> thought I read somewhere, but I can't find the article or email, that
> Dr. Williams felt force feeding with a syringe was not a good idea
> because it can lead to aspiration. I also thought he was not a fan
> of the "duck soup" but I can't remember why and I can't remember how
> long ferrets can be fed the Gerber chicken food.
Are you treating the insulinoma? I've fed ferrets exclusively baby
food for months, with ferretvite or petinic to supplement, with good

> So far, Mackenzie has not lost any weight on the Gerber baby food.
> She has been on it a week. She may have even gained a bit. It just
> seems more kind to give her want she will volunarily eat than to
> force feed her. What I really want to know is: Can I just keep
> feeding her the Gerber baby food? If so, for how long? Or do I
> really need to force feed her the "duck soup"?
Will she eat her usual diet at all? When/if she eats will depend
on how she responds to treatment of her insulinoma. What was her
blood glucose, and was she fasted beforehand?
Hope this helps,
-Dr. Karen
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