Message Number: YG5015 | New FHL Archives Search
From: katharine
Date: 2001-06-30 08:48:00 UTC
Subject: This & That

Letting Go: It's hard to have an animal
euthanized but my experience has been that, when
the time is right, I have not had one minute of
hesitation. I have never had a regret afterward.
I think that we just know when it's time. I think
the animal communicates it to us even if we don't
realize it. I also think we can see a lot in
their eyes. The true gauge is their quality of
life and their comfort level. That's why I'm
having some problems with Champ right now. I
certainly don't feel that he's at that point yet
but I also don't think he has much quality of life
any more. He basically sleeps (lots!) and eats
(only when I make him). If I didn't sit down
with him and hand feed him, I truly think he would
not eat one bite of food and would slowly shut
down and die. He is not really opposed to eating,
just needs encouragement. It is now taking longer
and longer to get a serving of soup down him.

Weights: Everyone should have a scale for
weighing their little ones. I find gram scales
for smaller animals to be much more accurate
(precise?) than ounce scales. I have one I bought
from a kitchen supply store for <$50. It weights
up to 2kg (about 4.4 lbs.). I originally got it
for wildlife babies but made sure it could weigh
my ferrets also. This one actually can weigh in
ounces/pounds or grams/kilograms. It also has a
tare (container) weight function. Just weighed
everyone this a.m., our monthly ritual prior to
giving heartworm medications (so I can calculate
the dosages). Everyone is doing well. Champ
(renal failure) actually gained 15g (about 1/2
ounce)!!! Cedes (my next adrenal surgery <sigh>)
actually has gained 65g (over 2 ounces)!!
Chester, Dillon, and Lany all remained about the
same. Emma (my recent rescue who arrived in heat)
has gained 110g (nearly 4 oz.) since she came in
mid-May. I compare my scales to my vets' much
nicer gram scales when we visit. It's pretty much
right on target.

Changing Colors: Emma is a whole different ferret
than the one who arrived. She came to me in
mid-May very stocky and short (the bulldog body
frame). She was very furry and soft. She had a
white face with just a hint of grey going from
under the eyes to her nose (v-shape). After her
spay, she totally shed (buckets of the stuff!!),
she is now a very dark sable with a full sable
mask (she may be hooded; I'm not quite sure yet),
her fur is quite short (no bald spots), and she
has slimmed down even though her weight is up.
I've never had one shed like she did so I don't
know what will happen next. I hope she gets her
long, fluffy fur back. You would never know that
she weighs over 2 lbs. (950g). She is a tiny
little thing but very solid.

Rice Boxes: I've never fixed one for my gang but
my understanding is that you want to use "real"
rice, NOT instant rice. The instant rice may
swell up in their bellies when fluids mix with
it. It could then cause blockages. I use
shredded paper with my guys and just change it out
when it gets too dusty.

Grooming: Emma grooms Da Boyz quite a bit. She
also talks non-stop (guess she's giving them
motherly advice). I think (hope) it's probably
some leftover hormones from her being in heat and
her recent spay. Dillon likes to groom my
ears....major goosebumps and giggles from head to

OK. I've played around long enough. Time for
Saturday chores.


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