Message Number: YG3893 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Troy Lynn Eckart
Date: 2001-05-22 13:07:00 UTC
Subject: Re: biting - letting go

Uh uhm... I think I might be able to offer some tips here. Some of you
may already know that I work with severe biters, I am indeed the last
stop for these little ones.

First rule, never jerk away when bitten as this will cause tearing of your
flesh. I know, jerking is automatic. You'll need to think before acting here.

I've been bitten many many times and in different situations. When Abbey
was seizing I used my finger to rub honey on her gums (dumb, dumb,
dumb) and she clamped down while seizing. The first thing you do is hold
the ferret close to your body so as not to harm her and jump up and down
wildly, quietly saying ow ow ow ow ow..... Actually the first thing you
do is NEVER apply anything to the mouth of a seizing ferret with your
finger. In this situation I had to wait till she quit seizing to remove
my finger, gently opening her mouth just wide enough that the canines
came all the way out of my flesh....

My normal technique is to grab the linatone and dribble it over their
muzzle which gives them something else to think about long
enough for me to remove my body part from their reach.

When Nibbles grabbed my finger and continuously chomped on it only opening
wide enough to bite down again and she had blood running down her neck (my
blood), I held her close and again jumped around wildly saying quietly
darn darn darn (well o.k. it might not have been darn but you get the
picture) and when she managed to puncture my thumb and other finger as I
tried to remove my finger from her mouth I finally put her head, only for
a moment, under cold running water in the sink at which point she did let
go but tried just as quickly to grab me again. (little stinker). She
managed to bite through my finger nail and into bone many times. My
finger looked like I'd wrapped it in barbed wire and pulled it tight and
the nail under the skin had also been punctured and as my nail grew out I
had little fang holes in it. :-)

When Spritely bit into my wrist from being startled, I didn't want to let her down while she was so agitated so I got her to the couch where I could gently and lightly lay a blanket over her to calm her. As soon as she calmed down I let her go and she went on her way.

When I awoke with a ferret firmly attached to my nose I gently opened her mouth and put her on the floor then rolled over and went back to sleep.

How you remove the ferret would depend on the type of bite and why they
are biting, but always use a gentle technique. I've never worked with a
severe biter that didn't have a darn good reason for biting (fear,
neglect, abuse, deaf, illness, defense, etc). I've never ever met a ferret that bit out of meanness, there has always been a reason to provoke the bite reaction.

Hugs to all. tle
Troy Lynn Eckart
Ferret Family Services
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