Message Number: YG2168 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-04 15:48:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Two sick ferrets -- one urgent question

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., lchez1965@y... wrote:
> In a nutshell, about two and a half months ago, Tigger, one of our
> four years olds, began to lose weight, became lethargic, had
> diarrhea, and would not eat. We had him x-rayed and ultrasounded
> well as had numerous blood workups done. However, nothing was
> conclusive. His protein level was very high. Also, there is a
> of some sort on his pancreas but no one could give a definitive
> diagnosis. ADV was discussed, but we did not have the blood work
> done to test for it. He currently seems better, but refuses to eat
> anything but gruel (duck soup) and this only by hand. Any
> suggestions on how to ween him from the hand feeding and get him
> on his regular food?

First off - can you tell us what the protein level was, and what the
albumin was in this patient. Without knowing what the protein level
was (high is usually not good enough - a definite value is better and
the whole blood profile is best), it is difficult to say what may be
causing it.

It can be difficult to wean ferrets from supplements, and rarely,
some won't ever do it. Ferrets are easily spoiled, and they really
love the attention. I usually start by grinding kibble into a powder
in a coffee grinder, and slowly add more and more to the mix.
Evntually, I will add small chips and progressively larger pieces to
the gruel - what a feeling it is when you hear the first crunch!

Hand feeding during all this is still required. Don't ever try to go
cold turkey - ferrets will literally starve themselves if they have
been accustomed to eating a certain way.

Oops - Mom and baby's coming home. More later.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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