Message Number: YG2712 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Pam Sessoms
Date: 2001-04-18 18:18:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] teeth grinding

On Wed, 18 Apr 2001, Corinn Lesperance wrote:
> Here's a question for you...what does the teeth
> grinding of a ferret actually sound like?

That's a really excellent question... I used to wonder the same thing,
and when I finally heard it, I was surprised at how it sounded. The few
ferrets I've heard grind their teeth all sound pretty much the same, so
here goes my attempt at describing it. Others feel free to jump in.
It's a sort of rhythmic "snick snick snick" sound. Can't really think of
a terribly good way to describe it... it's kinda like the sound made by
cutting heavy fabric with big scissors.

In the worst cases I've seen, they often sort of crouch low and stretch
their necks out parallel to the ground and squint their eyes when they do
it. Some of them try to hide (ie, stick head in a handy bag) or burrow at
the ground in frustration before grinding their teeth (or clawing at their
mouths, which often goes with grinding teeth). Hmmm. Actually, the
posture and attitude some of mine have adopted when doing it is not unlike
what they do when they try to vomit. When it's less severe, they will
also do it intermitently while eating: take a bite, smack lips, squint
eyes, grind teeth, take a bite, smack lips, grind teeth, etc...

I had one with a mystery GI problem that actually would grind her teeth if
she merely sniffed kibble or thought about drinking - not actually tasting
the food or water, just thinking about it would start up that
heartbreaking little sound. I'm definitely rambling.

Hey... this is an opportunity - anyone have the capability to capture this
sound and upload a snippet of it to the files area? :-)

-Pam S.