Date: 2001-07-18 09:45:00 UTC
Subject: Bob C: Should we treat illness in ferrets?
Q: "One of my ferrets has been diagnosed with adrenal disease. I follow
a homeopathic lifestyle....I have been wondering what your take was
regarding [homeopathy] in ferrets? I've included a post from [another
mailing list] for your consideration."
>Perhaps right NOW, I, Dr. Bernarr, have cancer, AIDS, etc. If I do not
>suppress these health problems, I may satisfactorily live for more than the
>next 1,000 years, with these health problems. These health problems are the
>result of my incorrect living, my incorrect thinking and/or my incorrect
>spirituality. When I choose to correct my life style, my thinking and my
>spirituality, then my inherent intelligence, my God within, will no longer
>need for me to have these health problems and my health problems will
>spontaneously disappear, completely and permanently.
>NEVER interfere with your bodily symptoms and health problems. Leave your
>bodily symptoms and dysfunctional health problems alone. NEVER TRY TO "CURE"
>AND SUPPRESS your health problems with any kind of drugs, surgery or
The lifespan of mammals, including humans and ferrets, is set by their
genetic code. Prehistoric male humans lived about 35-40 years and today
the average male lifespan is about 77 years, roughly twice the earlier
lifespan. Feral ferrets and polecats live about 2 years, with an upper
limit at about 4 years. Pet ferrets live to be about 7-8 years of age,
roughly double the upper limit of the wild lifespan. You can see the
lifespan roughly doubling in nearly every wild or domestic animal which
has been removed from predation, starvation, and disease. But there is
always an upper limit, set by genetics, that cannot be ignored. In
humans, regardless of what Dr. Bernarr suggests, that upper limit is
nowhere near 1000 years. You simply have to make due with what you have
got, do the best you can, and have faith your ideas of an afterlife are
true. Still, if you want to embrace disease, it is your privilege and I
support your right to do so.
However, my opinions regarding your ferret are different. Ferrets never
asked to be domesticated, but they are and we did it. That means we have
a moral and ethical responsibility to be positive caretakers of these
animals. Domestication results in physical and physiological changes
which generally decreases an animal's fitness in the wild, which means
they rarely survive outside of human influence. So we have to provide
for them. That includes an aggressive approach to health care.
If your ferret has adrenal disease, I suggest that you immediately see a
veterinarian, and if the health of the ferret allows, seek immediate
surgery. Do not wait, do not hesitate, do not try alternative
treatments. Years ago, I always took the slow cautious approach, but the
truth is, I have since found that in ferrets, immediate, aggressive
treatment (including surgical intervention) provides the best results.
Now, each ferret is unique and your veterinarian may suggest other
treatments depending on your ferrets specific problems, so my
suggestions have to be taken in that context. But I honestly think that
if your ferret has adrenal disease, it requires immediate surgery.
I'm not going to get into a discussion if Dr. Bernarr is right or wrong,
on or off this list. But it is clear he is talking about humans, not
ferrets. I have owned a lot of ferrets and currently have 15 running
around my house, permanently uncaged. I know of no way they could change
their "incorrect living, ...incorrect thinking and/or ...incorrect
spirituality." If they can't do that, it follows they cannot expect that
their "health problems will spontaneously disappear, completely and
permanently." You therefore have to assume a lack of treatment, such as
advocated by Dr. Bernarr, will have the exact opposite effect as
intended. And what THAT means is, the suggestion to "NEVER TRY TO "CURE"
AND SUPPRESS...health problems with any kind of drugs, surgery or
treatments!" would be a death sentence to your ferret. Moreover, it
would be a death sentence that was intentionally prescribed. Can you
live with that?
As for homeopathy? More than a few people are convinced it helps. Others
are more skeptical. I try to keep an open mind about it, but I demand
ANY treatment have testable, reproducible, and predictable results. All
I ask is proof of effectiveness, including for surgery, drug therapy,
and/or concoctions made from dust of the grave, claw of the toad, blood
of the bat, and fermented yak vomit.
These are just my opinions. Please, see a veterinarian for your ferret
with the adrenal disease.