Message Number: SG5171 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Melissa
Date: 2003-07-01 19:58:45 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Fruitarian ferret normal?
Message-ID: <>

--- wrote:
> Hi,
> My ferret Pippin, will not eat meat . . . I
> wrote a little bit ago about his small size and
> weight loss, and a kind person sent me a recipe
> containing chicken baby food to try to make him gain
> weight. When I offered this to him he not only
> turned his nose up at it, he practically ran away
> screaming.

Many ferrets that are not "used" to eating baby food
will dislike it quite a bit. It may take several
weeks of offering/placing warm chicken baby food in
his mouth for the "it's food!" light to click on. I
highly recommend that you keep trying, because if
there ever is anything wrong with him, eating this
alternative food (which can be syringe-fed if
necessary) could sustain him when he otherwise might
be in serious trouble. Ferrets often refuse to eat
when they don't feel well.

> He's been a little depressed lately <Snip> for the
last 2 months restricting his out-of-cage time, he
also has lots of new rules to learn) but he's had a
marked turn-around in the last week (coinciding w/ a
change to ferret food instead of kitten?) he's happier
and less sullen and vengeful.

Glad he's better. It's good that he will eat some
other type of food, at leat.

<We're thinking of getting him a playmate, since the
Humane Society where we got him had him housed with
another ferret, but I'm worried that he might have
some sort of obscure illness that could be given to a
new ferret.>

It's unlikely. Transmissible diseases are ADV and ECE.
I would suggest having him tested for insulinoma at
your vet's (not transmissible, but may be responsible
for the depression).

I would suggest having him tested for ADV before
bringing another ferret home (and test the new ferret,
too!). It's possible that he may not like other
ferrets -- suggest you take him to a shelter and see
if he likes anyone. Be sure to make it clear that
*he* will not be staying at the shelter! (don't want
him to freak out, since he was at one once already).

>I'd still like to know if it's normal for
> ferrets not to want meat?

Unless they have it as babies, they often don't ever
want it. keep trying.

>Also I wanted to know if
> he would help a new ferret learn the rules of the
> house, or if the new ferret will just teach him new
> bad habits?
Depends - - can go either way.

nd if anyone has a recipe for a
> non-meat diet to help him bulk up a little it would
> be much appreciated.

Some people give nutrical or heavy cream. But that
kind of stuff will usually result in weight that falls
back off once you stop giving it.

Best of luck

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