From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-07-13 23:33:00 UTC
Subject: Re: hind limb weakness
>1. Swimming. I put Caleb into a little harness
>(one of those you can get for iguanas), filled the
>garage sink with warm water just deep enough that
>he couldn't touch bottom and put him in, forcing
>him to work his legs to stay afloat. He
>absolutely hated it and pooped all in the water
>but I made him do it for 5-10 minutes every day.
>I actually kept my hand under his belly to give
>him some security but he instinctively worked
>those little legs, mostly trying to figure out how
>to get out!
>2. Range of Motion. I would put him in my lap
>2-3 times a day and work his legs in their natural
>movements. You need to carefully watch your other
>ferrets to see just how they do move their legs,
>including the range, and move Amelia's the same
>way. I usually did several repetitions. You need
>to go forward, backward, upward, downward, inward
>and outward (did I leave any out?). It is very
>important that you don't force anything and follow
>the natural movements.
>3. Climbing. I got a cushion from a lawn chair
>that has a seat and back and folds in the middle.
>I put it in an upside down "v" shape and put Caleb
>at the bottom. I then proceeded to pinch his
>little behind to make him climb. He would climb
>to the top, survey his kingdom, then I would make
>him climb down. My husband keeps trying to throw
>out my treasured cushion and I won't let him!
>Never know when I might need it again.
>I think we started with the range of motion, added
>the swimming after a few days, and then graduated
>I have no idea if any of these would work with a
>ferret or for this type of problem but I don't
>think it would hurt.
Those first two are like ones we've used and they have helped. Love
the hill idea! It is also possible to use a sling and let the ferret
exercise with that providing some support. Pantyhose sling making
info is in the past messages so can be found with the search feature.
We have one technique which calls for us putting treats on the drawer
pull of our stove pot-lid drawer so that they have to stretch up for
the treats; it provides a bit different motion and weight
distribution. Oh, and you can do ROM in the bath, too, esp. if there
is limb soreness and stiffness.