Message Number: YG3252 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Pam Sessoms
Date: 2001-05-05 05:44:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: Food for Sick Ferrets

On Sat, 5 May 2001, katharine wrote:
> Wouldn't 1 teaspoon of canned A/D have a whole lot
> less protein than 1 teaspoon of dry A/D??? I'm
> assuming this because of the water content in the
> canned.

Yes, you're right, in terms of the number of grams of protein that will be
in each teaspoon. I actually have never seen dry a/d, but that would be

> And, I realize that an animal would eat
> much more quantity of something packed with water.

That's the key.

My critters don't actually eat too terribly many kibbles at one sitting,
but they'll drink vast quantities of soups. My old lady Sonic currently
won't eat dry food at all, but I make her a soup of mostly TF Senior, and
she drinks tons of it. When she starts to pork out too much, I start
making it extra watery, so she'll fill up faster on the water but won't
have so much actual food in her belly...

And it's that dry-matter percentage that really matters, if I understand
correctly, for trying to help out a diseased kidney. I imagine it
wouldn't really matter, kidney-wise, whether wet or dry is going down,
just what the phosphorous is and what the protein percentages (when
normalized to dry matter basis) are. Water will be added or taken away by
the body, depending on what needs happen.

> A while back, I talked to my vet about changing my
> soup recipe to accomodate Champ's need for lower
> protein. I am using dry K/D as the base but am
> adding canned A/D. He thought this would be OK.
> Should I perhaps use canned K/D instead of
> A/D?????? Talk quick, I'll be making soup again
> soon <g>. I'm sure I can exchange the A/D.

*laugh* Ya got me. Best to discuss it with your vet... If the k/d is
really too low in protein, you could sure bump it up a bit with a/d.
Just watch the phosphorous, I'd guess, since the a/d isn't designed for
kidney health. It would be SO nice if there were prescription diets
designed specifically for ferrets!!!! If anyone contacts Hill's or the
other manufacturers about whether they've studied their products in
ferrets, I hope they'll report what they find here.

And as Shelley points out, those values on the cans are minimums and
maximums. She has a book giving an average value, which might be more
accurate. They also have those average values on their web site at:

Just select the product in question... They note where the numbers are
different than they are given on the labels. For k/d they do have it all
calculated on a dry matter basis.

Whew, tired now...

Congrats on Champ's fourth b-day, btw!

-Pam S.