From: Shortley, Lisa
Date: 2001-05-08 01:59:00 UTC
Subject: Neurological Problems in Ferrets
I have a little girl named Hope who just turned one year old
this past January.
Here's how the story from the surrender goes:
Hope and her sister were purchased by a college student at 6
weeks old. This college student thought it would be fun to
physically abuse the girls. They were kicked, thrown against
walls, deprived of food, and very cruely abused. This went on
for about 2 weeks.
They were "rescued" by a friend of this guys' due to the abuse
they were receiving. This friend couldn't handle the needs of
the girls - they lived in an empty carrier. Eventually, he
found the shelter that I volunteer at and dropped off two VERY
neglected little 8-9 week old kits. The girls' conditions
were so poor that they couldn't even stand. They were renamed
"Hope and Faith" because that was all the directors had to
look towards to help the girls. Both would fit easily in the
palm of one hand. Faith had a fractured vertebrate, two
broken ribs, and a broken leg (from the student jumping on
her). Hope couldn't walk. Both were malnurished and VERY
The shelter directors were absolutely wonderful with the girls
and the girls proved themselves to be true angels and
survivors in every sense of the word. I adopted the girls
when they were 6 months old.
Faith has recovered completely from the abuse and aside from a
kink in her tail, you'd never suspect that she'd been through
what she was. Hope, on the other hand, has some severe
balance issues. She's like an eternal clumsy kit - she tries
to run with food in her mouth and falls backwards (can't do
two things at once). Also, the girls have some potty issues
whenever I do something they don't like (like clean their
ears)- but that's okay with me.
Anyway, we always just assumed that Hope had some neurological
problems from the abuse, which is why her balance is so off.
I believe that she's also deaf as well but it's hard to tell
with her. Is that what you would call her problems?
Neurological? Is there any way to tell the extent of the
damage to her? Is it even worth it to wonder? She's VERY
happy and healthy aside from the balance problems. I doubt
that she will ever outgrow that.
Anyway, the balance problems have existed since she first
arrived to the shelter and was able to walk after everything -
so I know it's nothing like insulinoma or anything like that.
Is there a medical name for her condition? Aside from stating
that a complete jerk abused her?
Thanks for any input on this.