Message Number: YG2974 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-04-26 05:51:00 UTC
Subject: Needing different Vet's opinions

Hi --
I am new to this list. I have several questions for the Vet's on this
list. I have a 6yr. old little girl (Adrienne) who has Insulinoma,
Adrenal Tumor and a tumor on her bladder (which is quite large). She
tries to eat her regular food, but if I don't supplement it, she loses
weight very quickly and becomes nothing but skin & bones. Everybody
keeps telling me that I am not "doing right by her" because I don't add
things like chicken baby food, ferretone, AD cat food - I just grind up
her food in the blender until it's a fine powder and then add water
until it's a thick soup. I feel that adding things to her (or my other
ferret's) diet is unnecessary and I really hate adding things that have
things like molasses, syrups, anything sweet (unless it's to bring her
out of a seizure). And I feel that their food meets their dietary needs
and I don't want to mess around with their diet. I have had ferrets
since 1972 and I never had a problem with Insulinoma or Adrenal Tumors
or with any major health problem, until I started adopting from a
shelter - do not get me wrong, I choose to adopt from a shelter and when
my health allowed it, I volunteered at the one in my area and I always
seem to have a soft spot in my heart for the ferrets that I knew nobody
was going to adopt, because of health problems or temperament, so I am
not saying anything bad about adopting from a shelter. But I am
wondering could all the treats and additions to their diets from
previous owners (all of my sick ones either came to me sick or the
previous owners had let it be known that they fed their ferrets junk
food) be adding to their susceptibly to things like Insulinoma - their
pancreas' are so tiny (I watched my vet do several Necropsy's) and I
can't imagine that even a little bit of something sweet, even every
week, is tolerable to their pancreas'. In my mind, it just adds stress
to an organ that may already be stressed or susceptible. Am I wrong?
Should I be adding all those other things (chicken baby food, Ferretone,
Ferretvite, etc.) to her diet? Nobody thought she'd live past October of
last year, but she is hanging in and is a happy, although quite spoiled,
I am constantly being told that ferrets should be caged when I am not
at home or am too busy to watch everything they are doing, but I have
never caged any of my ferrets (except when I am in the hospital and have
a friend babysit them) and have never had an accident with one of them
and I think that it causes ferrets to stress, even if it's just a
little, when they are caged. I have seen caged ferrets and how when they
come out, they are hyper and get into everything and you can't take your
eyes off of them for a minute, but my ferrets are calm and they get a
little rambunctious when they play sometimes, but nothing like caged
ferrets do and my house is not a people house, it's a ferret house,
including the furniture (nothing they can get into and get stuck or be
hidden and sat on). They go out for walks almost everyday and I find
that with sick ferrets, all of this seems to keep them interested in
life and living. But with everyone telling me that I am actually hurting
my ferrets by giving them so much freedom, I am beginning to doubt
myself. As Veterinarians, do you find that I am hurting my babies with
all of these things? I must admit, that not caging them makes it so much
easier to give them attention - when they wake up, they come find me and
want to snuggle for a few minutes while they are waking up a little more
and when I come home (even if I have only been gone for a few minutes)
they are so excited to see me when I get back home that they jump all
over me and we play, but I am a little concerned that if I started
caging them, they're personalities would go back to what they were when
I first adopted them - not that their personalities were bad or
anything, well except for maybe my newest one that I've had for just
over a year, he's 2 yrs. old now and is as sweet as he can be and loves
hugs and kisses and being cuddled, but when he first came here, he was
neurotic (in the real psychological sense of the word), was terrified of
people, would bite you just for being there and attacked other ferrets
(very aggressively) - he was caged for basically his entire first year
of life (not let out everyday and when let out if was for maybe 10min.
Do you think he would revert back to his old behaviors, if he were caged
again? I am VERY interested in hearing what professionals have to say
about all of this, my vet says he has never seen anyone as in tune with
their animals wants and/or needs or able to see a potential health
problem as quickly as I do, but he's my vet, he is a little biased - he
comes to your house, so he gets to see the environment they live in. He
agree's with me about adding things to their diets as well, but I know
that different Vets think differently about different things, so I am
hoping to hear all the different sides to everything. Thanks, Kessa