Message Number: YG2398 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Edward Lipinski
Date: 2001-04-09 23:09:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Garlic & Other Goodies.)

Mr. Sidsel,

Read your post of 3/15/01on the FHL for the first time today 4/9/01 and
can add to your knowledge the following:

Here at the Ferret Endowment for Rehabilitation, Research, Education &
Training Society North West, have been adding garlic, onion, and brewer's
yeast to our home-made ferret food for a long time now. Do this for the
same reason we add 1ml apple cider vinegar to 400ml drinking water. This
combination is a good means of controlling fleas on ferrets.

It's effective and economical. What can I say: it works for us.

On new ferrets incoming to the shelter in case they're heavily infested
with fleas, we place them into their new cardboard closed nestbox (small
circular opening for the ferret to go in and out to lower level fecal
tray) a nesting cloth that has been dusted with the compound termed
carbaryl @ 5%, otherwise named N-methylcarbamate mixed with 95% inert
ingredients. The common name for this flea powder is Sevin 5 and it is
available at K-Mart in 4 lb paper bags for about $4.00 or so. I
originally bought this Sevin 5 from my vet many years ago for $9.95 in a
plastic 5.0 ounce container. Quite the difference in price, yes?

The ferret's natural tendency here in the cooler climes of western rain
country (Seattle) is to cover itself completely with enough of its nest
cloth such that the ferret effectively dusts himself. In 24 hours all
fleas are at room temperature and can be counted on the inside floor of
the nest box.

Relating to flea control I have been greatly amused to view a new TV
commercial that takes place in a vet's waiting room and the varied
patients with their pets are discussing how they dread using any kind of
drops of flea control fluids on their animal's necks, because YEECCCH!
there is pesticide residue from the treated pet that gets on the carpet
and furniture from the topical application of the pesticides currently
being marketed. The vet patients are all horrified that pesticide
residue is contaminating their homes.

The new way now to avoid that horrible pesticide residue being spread all
around your house, so the commercial goes, is to administer a 'pill' or
liquid (?) to your pet that the pet eats and swallows. Thus the poison
goes into the pet's blood and when the flea bites the pet it gets a
poison-laden meal of the pet's blood. So at least the poison stays
inside the pet and the flea and doesn't get on the rug and furniture. So
this looks like you poison your pet in order to poison its fleas. This
new 'inside the dog' substance is called Sentinal flavor tabs.

If anybody knows the long term lasting effects of such pest control
poisoning of pets, including ferrets, you can be assured that the
manufacturers will be the first/last to tell you. You choose: first
or last.

Dr Murry wrote previously that the externally applied flea control
products mode of operation is both external and internal, where the
external 'fleaicide' (a new word coined here) is absorbed by the ferret's
skin oil and the internal is where the 'fleaicide' gets through the skin
and into the ferret's blood/lymphatic systems.

So it can be assumed that the flea has to suck up the ferret's skin oil
just prior to injecting its anti-coagulating enzyme into the ferrets
circulatory bodily fluids (the 'sting' that causes the ferret's dramatic
response to the flea's injection of its 'saliva') immediately prior to
siphoning up the ferret's yummy blood. Then again that may not be the
primary mode of operation. Possibly the contaminated skin oil of the
ferret is absorbed thru the tiny, tiny little tarsal meatus pads that lie
along the 'instep' of the fleas 'foot', there between its well developed
dual claws, a pair on each end of the flea's six legs.

With the internal [absorbed thru the skin] 'fleaicide' the biting flea
doesn't get walloped upside the head until after it is siphoning up the
ferret's blood. Of course this is after the flea's saliva has previously
been injected.

Please note here that in both cases flea 'saliva' is injected. It is in
this injection that transmission of heartworm and other worms, their
eggs, larvae and adult worms occurs most readily. Some few other
heartworms also wriggle out of the flea's mouthparts and go thru the
ferret's skin at many places of their choosing, usually at the base of a
hair follicle or thru a 'pimple' of sorts.

And just a note of caution here in handling dead fleas, or even live
fleas for that matter, the flea detritis and/or fecal masses I avoid very
carefully, for it is in these masses that very dangerous bacteria,
rickettsia, and parasite eggs may be found. The rat flea, which isn't
normally found on a house ferret, unless the ferret has been lost for a
while outside and has been scent-tacking down a rat burrow, as wandering
ferrets have been known to do, is the primary vector of Pasteurella
pestis, the agent of the bubonic plague.

A votre sante. [F.] To your health.
Edward Lipinski @ F.E.R.R.E.T.S. NW Foundation

On Thu, 15 Mar 2001 22:08:16 +0100 "Sidsel L. Espersen"
<ferret@w...> writes:
> Is garlic bad for ferrets, or would they benefit from it the same way
> horses
> and dogs do?
> Is echinea good for them in any way? I can buy it powdered for dogs
> and I
> wanted to add it to my Chicken Gravy.
> Thanx in advance! :)
> - Sidsel
> Oh, sorry for X-posting!
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