Message Number: YG4777 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Beverly Greene
Date: 2001-06-22 18:08:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Albino/itchy skin

At 07:20 PM 21/06/01 EDT, yvon358@c... wrote:

>Do you bathe your ferrets regularly? If so, how often? I rarely give
>mine baths because I'd heard bathing them too much can actually make
>things worse. Do you know how much is too much or should I stay the
>course, not bathe them and just try the spray? My other ferrets don't
>seem nearly as bothered as the albino.

We both our ferrets usually only when they need it. We talk them for walks
during the warmer months and sometimes they dig in dirt and get dirty.
Othertimes, they just seem to need it, especially Fisher who is
"spray-happy" as neither are descented. I'd say that we rarely bathe them
more than 4 times a year. I say, if you ferrets go outside and get dirty,
bathe them. If they stay inside all the time, no more than every few
months would be more than enough and you may be able to do it less often
than that. (Just make sure that they have a water dish in their cage if
they want to wash their faces.)

You can also let them clean themselves a little by letting them play in
water. Some ferrets seem to like it, others not as much. Ours don't like
to play in water much, but we have found a game that they like. We cover
the livingroom floor with a large bath towel and then take a regular
kitchen pot and fill it with a few inches of water and put a couple of
raisins in the bottom. They "bob for raisins" with glee. Obviously, they
should ALWAYS be supervised when playing in water, but it can be lots of
fun to watch!

I would, however, try the spray, especially on your lil albino with the
itchy skin. They help deodorize (though I don't think they smell bad in
general) and provide their skin with moisturizers. It's a great option
instead of bathing if they're not really "dirty", just itchy.

>Also, I supplement their diet w/Ferretvite. Should I add some Ferretone?

I think that Ferretvite is a ferret vitamin suppliment, which is what
Ferretone is, so no, I don't think you should add Ferretone too as certain
vitamins can build up in their systems and actually harm them. One type of
vitamin suppliment should be plenty.

>Or do you just recommend the olive oil?

Olive oil is good for the skin and shouldn't hurt them in relatively small
doses (too much might cause loose bowel movements). You could add a little
to some dry food (but I wouldn't recommend leaving oil covered food in
their cage) as a treat. We just add it to the Ferretone because 1) the
stuff is expensive and it makes it last longer, 2) it's good for their skin
and coat and 3) it keeps prevent any accidental building up of the
non-water-soluable vitamins. Perhaps you could try adding some to your
vitamin suppliment. Ferrets seem to like the way it tastes so it won't
detract from their gobbling it up. Plus, it does help spread it out so you
don't have to buy it as often (and can, in all likelihood, waste that money
on more ferret toys to dig out from behind the couch!)

>Perhaps I'm changing too much.

Well, I certainly understand why you are searching so hard for the
"perfect" diet, unfortunately, I don't think that one exists. No one
really knows everything that ferrets need, though, as you pointed out, we
do know their basic requirements for things like protein (from animal
sources), fat, and ash. From conversations with other ferret owners, I
know that many people mix 2 brands together regularly because some ferrets
can be picky and that way if they are unable to get either brand, the
ferrets won't refuse to eat out of culinary snobbishness. However,
changing their diet too often can make some ferrets sick to their stomach
for a little while. I doubt that you've had this problem as you didn't
mention it and I don't think (as someone who's never been to vet school!)
that that would cause your ferrets itchy skin as long as their basic
nuitrional needs are met. Still, it's something to keep in mind. Just
make sure that most of their protein comes from animal products.

Don't forget, if you just adopted your ferret, it may take a little while
for her skin to improve, so if that's the case, patience may be the best
course of action. And the moisturizing spray. =)

Hope this helps,


Personal Homepage:
Poetry Page:
Wedding Page:
Creator of The Equality Project & The Equality Project Webring:
Dedicated to promoting education and acceptance of all people!