Message Number: YG969 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Troy Lynn Eckart
Date: 2001-03-09 11:14:00 UTC
Subject: Re: starvation, heavy whipping cream, coccidia

>IS it really possible for someone to look at a sunken,
>emaciated ferret and NOT realize something was wrong?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. If the ferret is fully furred and the
people do not handle them daily or let them out of the cage, they may not
notice the skin and bones. Three weeks ago I went out on a call for a
ferret that was dying from starvation, and she did, even though we did all
we could. To look at her in the cage, her eyes were sunken in and 3/4
closed but her body was fully furred and without handling her and knowing
that the lay of the fur (almost standing on end) was an indication of her
condition her person didn't know. She was only about 1 yr old.... We
were able to save her companion.

My understanding is that the more fat the less lactose and that heavy
whipping cream is high fat so most ferrets tolerate small amounts. I have
one ferret that does get diarrhea from it in her baby food recipe but she
has also gained enough weight to become pudgy on it. I'm working on
reducing the amount and still get her to eat the recipe (Fara is a very
finicky eater) until she decides to eat enough kibble to sustain her.

When Nancy had goats we used her goat's milk for the ferrets and they
tolerated that fairly well.

Coccidia -
We got hit with coccidia when I brought in 12 ferrets that we didn't know
had it. With free roam ferrets and an outdoor enclosure, once it gets
into the environment it is just about impossible to eliminate though it is
possible to manage. To look at our group you wouldn't know they were
plagued with bouts of diarrhea as they are fat and sassy. But clean-up is
a bear.... sigh.

Hugs to all. tle
Troy Lynn Eckart
Ferret Family Services
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